On the constantly evolving fintech scene, a new player is emerging; say hello to Hello Soda, who have created a new platform that uses social media data to assessing the creditworthiness of loan applications.
Whilst most people are aware that recruiters may scan potential applicants’ social media profiles for clues about their suitability, analysing minute data from those sites to assess their creditworthiness is something quite different. Founded in 2013, the new platform PROFILE aims to inject an element of human behaviour into a typical computer-led lending application process, and give a more accurate depiction of customers’ situations. The company is the brainchild of James Blake, previously head of Global Sales at the UK’s second largest credit reference agency Call Credit and tech entrepreneur, Paul Shepherd.
This process benefits both lenders and consumers, who get quicker decisions that are more accurately aligned to ‘the fabric of their life’. The data can also be used by recruitment and gaming companies to help compile personality profiles. Blake says:
“That human element, especially in lending, disappeared with the financial crash in 2008 when the world changed, leaving many people unable to access credit.
“With the exponential growth in online data, it makes sense to take a ‘snapshot’ of a person’s real life and cross reference that with traditional metrics to further verify an individual’s application in a way that benefits the customer and lending provider”.
The information Blake refers to comprises of thousands of pieces of online data, including the use of only capital letters when filling out forms ad the amount of time a person spends reading terms and conditions. These are then collated to deliver a ‘Soda Score’ that forecasts trustworthiness, affordability and consumer intent.
“We think technology should be leveraged to the mutual benefit of vendor and consumer,” says Paul Shepherd, Hello Soda’s co-founder and marketing director, “and we believe PROFILE does that.”
The Manchester-based company recently took part in Pitch@Palace 3.0, the third event organised by HRH The Duke of York, which aims to identify the most promising technology startups from within the creative industries. Furthermore, the company has attracted backing from several European investors and has recruited leading data-scientists and engineers from the likes of Skype and General Electric.
For further information on HelloSoda and their services, visit their website here.
Miranda Wadham on 24/08/2015