This year, Creditinfo celebrated its 25-year anniversary, so I decided to look back on how the landscape in effective credit risk management has evolved.
While it was a little before my time, I’m sure there are still many people today who remember that the only way to open a bank account, apply for a loan or to be considered for a mortgage was to visit your local branch and sit with a loan officer. Though, this is still the case in many emerging markets even today, there will be some small differences on the data used and the risk assessment criteria that is in place.
Historically, a visit to the branch would involve meeting a loan officer who would then try to understand your circumstances before making an approval. If there was a past relationship or a connection (family member, friend, etc) with the loan officer, this would usually work in your favor. It was a direct relationship that usually lasted a lifetime. The loan officer would know or at least try to understand as much personal information on your employment, income, and expenses as possible and then would make a personal judgement to provide you with a form of credit. All of this was most likely completed and documented on papers and filed into a filing system for record.
Fast forward a few decades and not only are local branches disappearing, but also the idea of sharing personal information with a “stranger”, along with any supporting documents that validate your circumstances are a thing of the past. In a world of smartphones, tablets, and access to the internet 24/7, we have moved to a new wave of digital lending.
Lenders are implementing new strategies today to meet the end needs of customers by enabling access to credit instantly at their fingertips. Digitalization has become the new norm in lending and to succeed today, lenders need to adjust and transform their platforms. It is now a thing of the past to fill in an application form on paper when we have a smartphone in our pockets that can allow us to fill in the same information into a mobile application within a few minutes. As part of the loan onboarding, we can now validate our identity through biometric authentication options – fingerprint analysis, selfie/face recognition and document validation, etc. eliminating the need to do human to human verification.
The challenges from old-fashioned lending methods, i.e. understanding family ties or seeking information on employment and income would typically result in an unfair and inaccurate risk assessment. With the vast amount of information available today, either traditional or non-traditional, we can accurately assess everyone, even customers with limited credit history – “thin files”. These are often rejected due to the lack of evidence on how risk-tolerant or risk-averse they are. Usually, the absence of traditional information for these customers creates a challenge for them to receive the financial support they need. With the introduction of psychometric data, e-wallet data or open banking solutions, lenders can combine credit scoring methods with traditional models to provide accurate and reliable risk assessment.
The benefits and success of this digital transformation and innovative approach to lending is not just about delivering quick-fix money solutions. Instead, it is about empowering individuals, facilitating access to credit and growing our global economies.
If you are interested to reach the top and win the digital race with a state-of-the-art digital lending platform then reach out to Gary Brown, Commercial Director, Creditinfo Group.
Visit www.creditinfo.com for more information.