Fintech Friday: ConfirmU
Yatir Zaluski, CEO and co-founder of ConfirmU, told Efma's Boris Plantier how the company is helping firms offer loans to borrowers without a credit history.
Data analytics startup ConfirmU is registered both in Israel and Singapore and specializes in providing alternative credit scoring services for lenders who wish to score people with no credit history.
“Initially I wanted to build a tool that will help landlords evaluate creditworthiness and reliability of potential tenants,” said Yatir Zaluski, CEO and co-founder of ConfirmU. “The problem they face especially is a ruling paradigm where if you don’t have a bank account that means you’re likely to be considered as a fraudulent or criminal person, so why should they trust you? I thought psychological screening was the right way to break the paradigm for landlords on this issue, and this led me to the financial inclusion space and psycholinguistics.”
ConfirmU has built a mobile app, available on Google Play, which can be white labelled according to lenders’ needs. With the applicant’s consent, it enables them to build an alternative profile based on data generated online via interaction with the applicant. The data can include the applicant’s payments history through SMS messages, to capture their ability to repay; geolocation; social media, to get an indication of the applicant’s education, profession and stability in the job market; and phone contact directory and call log history.
“Our unique selling point is a chatbot available in more than 20 languages worldwide that provides an indication of a borrower’s intent to repay using a psycholinguistic model, as well as their ability to pay,” said Zaluski. “We are able to generate 70 personality traits from the conversation, using a deep learning psycholinguistic model which can allow lenders to upsell/cross-sell other products.”
Voice analytics are also in the pipeline. “We are in the process of integrating speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities that will allow an interaction with consumers who are illiterate,” said Zaluski. “Product can be customized according to customers’ needs. We already validated our psycholinguistic model with a travel funding company from Mumbai with 85% accuracy on repayment rates and are now working with a P2P lender from Kenya.”
ConfirmU has achieved global industry recognition. It is a graduate of the Citi Tech for Integrity challenge, won a cash prize at last year’s Singapore fintech festival, is part of a bank innovation accelerator in the US, and recently graduated from the Y Combinator startup school.
Looking ahead, the company plans to extend its solutions further. “We plan to develop our voice analytics in four main languages: English, Spanish, Hindi and Bahasa, which will enable lenders to reach people at the bottom of the pyramid and provide a solution for the SME market,” said Zaluski. “SME credit is a major problem in emerging markets and we wish to provide a solution on that area.”
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