Personal finance comparison website GoBear and smartphone-based alternative credit scoring provider CredoLab announced today their partnership to launch Easy Apply, a smartphone app that enables banks, financial institutions, and lenders to extend credit to a larger pool of customers while keeping risks in check.
|Easy Apply is the fruit of co-operation between GoBear and CredoLab |
The partnership signifies an important headway in making financial services accessible to the 49.5 million unbanked people in Vietnam.
Aside from Vietnam, the Easy Apply app will also be launched across Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Around 65-75 per cent of the population in Southeast Asia have no access to credit, despite many being creditworthy consumers.
The app will utilise CredoLab’s AI based proprietary algorithms that extract and analyse tens of thousands of data points from applicants’ smartphones, turning these completely anonymised ‘digital footprints’ into predictive credit scorecards to be used in their credit card, loan or insurance applications. The use of non-traditional smartphone data for credit scoring provides applicants from all demographics – including the unbanked who have little to no traditional credit history – greater access to financial services such as credit cards, personal loans, and other forms of unsecured credit.
Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear, said: “There is a massive market opportunity here in Southeast Asia to continue improving financial inclusion by constantly innovating solutions. Our partnership with CredoLab will bridge the divide between the unbanked and financial institutions by giving both parties access to the right technology at the right moment to create better outcomes.”
Peter Barcak, co-founder and CEO of CredoLab, said: “We are excited to partner up with GoBear to help banks profitably serve their customers, including the unbanked. Since our launch in 2016, through our use of non-traditional alternative data points, we have seen a significant drop in the cost of risk, helped reduced the time-to-yes to a few seconds, and achieved almost 45 per cent increase in approval rates. I am optimistic that we can achieve similar results through this partnership.”
With the average credit card penetration in Southeast Asia (with the exception of Singapore and Malaysia) at only 5 per cent, financial institutions which actively engage in financial inclusion activities stand to earn an estimated $88 billion in revenue by 2020, according to a report released by Ernst & Young earlier this year.
Bao Nguyen, country director of GoBear Vietnam, said: “We are very pleased that Vietnam will be one of the first markets to launch the Easy Apply app. With the new technology, we will be able to help our partners to better serve the unbanked, and enable our users to access useful and affordable financial products at the same time. Improving financial inclusion and serving the unbanked consumers is very important in an emerging market like Vietnam, and we are excited to be part of this meaningful journey.”
The Easy Apply app will be an integrated part of GoBear’s user journey. It begins with GoBear’s Easy Choices feature, which helps applicants understand which set of products better suit their profile, before downloading and installing the Easy Apply app onto their smartphones to generate their predictive digital scorecards. Easy Apply will kick-off with the credit card segment and extend to personal loans, insurance products and other lines of credit in the near future.