Personal finance comparison website GoBear and smartphone-based alternative credit scoring provider CredoLab announced today the launch of 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. The partnership signifies an important headway in making financial services accessible to more than 110M underbanked people in emerging Southeast Asian (SEA) markets.
The Easy Apply app will be launched across four of the largest underbanked markets in SEA — Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — where around 65 to 75 per cent of the population, of whom many are creditworthy consumers, are without access to credit.
The app will utilise CredoLab’s AI based proprietary algorithms that extract and analyse over 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 underbanked 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, 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 underbanked and financial institutions by giving both parties access to the right technology at the right moment to create better outcomes.”
Peter Barcak, co-founder & CEO, CredoLab, said, “We are excited to be partnering with GoBear to help banks profitably serve their customers including the underbanked. Since our launch in 2016, through our use of non-traditional alternative data points, we have seen a significant drop in cost of risk, helped reduced the time-to-yes to a few seconds, and achieved almost 45% increase in approval rates. I am optimistic that we can achieve similar results through this partnership.”
With the average credit card penetration in SEA (with the exception of Singapore and Malaysia) at just 5 per cent, financial institutions which actively engage in financial inclusion activities, stand to earn an estimated USD88 billion in revenue by 2020, according to a report released by Ernst & Young earlier this year.
Shabab Muhaddes, Head of Product, Indonesia and the Philippines, Visa, said, “It’s exciting to see fintech start-ups coming together to solve problems. It’s a good sign of the growing maturity of the fintech ecosystem in Singapore. At Visa, we have been working on a financial inclusion roadmap to connect fintech solution providers with banks in the region. The GoBear and CredoLab partnership will be the first of many.”
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 cards segment and extend to personal loans, insurance products and other lines of credit in the near future.