Russia’s Sovcombank is using a new form of credit scoring to attract young people looking for their first credit card.
The score, developed by Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) and marketed by Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO, uses an interactive online assessment to evaluate an individual’s credit risk. Sovcombank, a universal bank with more than 2 million customers, is using the score to “gamify” the credit application process.
“We are using the EFL score to give young people a new way to get their first credit card,” said Sergey Khotimskiy, deputy CEO at Sovcombank. “Moving forward, we intend to use the score to rate the risk of people who don’t have a FICO Score because they are new to credit, and so don’t have a credit history to score. This is an innovative way for us to grow our market.”
Unlike the FICO® Score in Russia — which scores credit information from the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI), Russia’s leading credit bureau — the EFL Score gathers applicant-contributed data in an interactive online survey to assess a person’s attitudes toward credit and willingness to pay. EFL’s psychometric scoring and behavioural data analysis technology was born out of more than a decade of empirical research, initially at Harvard, and validated by over a billion dollars of lending across the world.
“EFL uses a very different method from FICO, but the goal is the same — to instantly and reliably determine a person’s likelihood of repaying credit,” said Jim Wehmann, executive vice president of Scores at FICO. “It’s an incredibly useful tool to use when there isn’t sufficient data to calculate a FICO Score, and that’s the case for around 3 billion credit ‘invisibles’ around the world.”
“Our score is perfect for a bank like Sovcombank, which wants to build its portfolio among young people who may not have traditional FICO Scores,” said Jared Miller, CEO at EFL. “Our technology can score anyone, it’s simple to use and can even be engaging for the applicant. As a first-mover in the Russian market, Sovcombank is pioneering an approach that will reshape the way people worldwide get into the credit mainstream.”
FICO’s partnership with EFL Global is part of its FICO® Financial Inclusion Initiative, which aims to help lenders make affordable credit available to the estimated 3+ billion unbanked and underbanked adults worldwide. These “credit invisibles” benefit from credit scores that leverage multiple data sources to assess credit risk and assist responsible lending. FICO offers EFL’s psychometric scoring alongside its own credit scoring products in Russia, Turkey, and Mexico.