CredoLab set to drive financial inclusion in South Africa

Fintech company, CredoLab has announced that it has officially launched in Africa, starting in South Africa. The company is aiming to drive financial inclusion in emerging economies on the continent by credit scoring more people, especially those who are new to banking or credit.

Michel Massain, Sales Director for Europe and Africa at CredoLab, says, “South Africa is a country desperately in need of ways to help more people access financial products and participate in the economy. It is estimated that about 76% of the Sub-Saharan African population needs credit but cannot access it, as they are excluded from the traditional banking sector”.

“You need a credit score to participate in the economy, but what about people who are new to credit and new to banking? How do they get a credit score? How can someone with no credit history get a credit score? And how can they start a business if they can’t lend money to do so?”

“Many people in South Africa remain neglected by the mainstream financial sector and are invisible to lenders because of a lack of data for risk assessment. Existing options for the underbanked are limited, traditional credit scoring is inadequate, and as a result, many turn to informal money lending with excessive interest.”

“CredoLab was launched in 2016 in Singapore to solve one problem: the lack of instruments available to assess the creditworthiness of nearly two billion consumers globally.”

“By harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence applied to smartphone data, we enable financial institutions to grow by reaching new segments that they weren’t able to access through traditional systems, at a lower cost of risk, based on real-time decisions.”

According to the company, its AI systems collect more than 50 000 data points from a consumers smartphone and turns them into more than 500 thousand behavioural features. The collection process is consensual and permissioned and the collected data is anonymised, securely stored within the country.

Using this non-traditional data and predictive analytics for credit scoring enables lenders to expand their pool of borrowers while keeping risks under control. “Millennials, new graduates, self-employed and other thin credit history customers increasingly try to access credit, but to no avail. Here, digital scorecards help provide predictive insights into borrower behaviour, thereby redefining credit-decisioning,” adds Massain.

CEO and Co-Founder of CredoLab, Peter Barcak says, “We are excited about our launch into South Africa, which is our gateway to the African continent, where too many people remain locked outside of the mainstream economy because they do not have the credit history in the traditional sense to participate in it.”

“With plans to expand further into other countries on the continent, we hope that CredoLab will help to remove a key barrier to entry in South Africa and complement traditional credit scoring systems with the power of behavioural data.”

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