By becoming an underwriter for some of the world’s largest banks and credit card companies, ZestFinance might actually be able to achieve its goal of using big data to supply the underbanked with needed credit. It’s not altruism by any means, but here’s how it works.
ZestCash, the startup co-founded by former Google CIO and VP of Engineering Douglas Merrill to provide short-term loans to the underserved, has changed its name to ZestFinance and its business model, as well. Now essentially an underwriting service for lenders, can ZestFinance remain ethical?
Next-generation online banking service ZestCash uses data to help qualify people for short term loans. The company explains at Structure:Data it has been giving $300 to $800 loans to users based on thousands of variables, which are boiled down to 10 models.
ZestCash, a next generation loan-service for the underbanked led by former Google CIO Douglas Merrill, has raised $19 million to expand its data-driven approach to offering short-term loans. The company uses online data to help determine the credit worthiness of customers.
Former Google CIO Douglas Merrill has set out to provide an alternative to payday loans that uses data analysis to determine whether borrowers are likely to pay him back. Called ZestCash, Merrill’s Hollywood-based startup is launching tomorrow in the Utah market.