Chinese Startup Develops AI Model That Uses Data Mining Algorithms to Offer Automatic Credit

| Mar 28, 2017 09:15 AM EDT

RMB banknotes in a wallet.

A financial technology developed by Chinese startup Yongqianbao will revolutionize risk control by automating the work of loan officers. This will be made possible by the combination of data-mining algorithms and artificial intelligence.

China's major banks generally focus on serving state-owned enterprises, large private companies and local and regional governments. This opened an opportunity for fintech to grow by providing services to under-served sectors.

Yongqianbao isn't different, as it also targets the majority of Chinese that are under-served by traditional banking.

The company is currently training an AI model to automate manual risk control by teaching it 1,000 different factors on loan assessment such as applicant reputation, credit usage, call returns and others. When the model is fully developed, it will offer 24/7 automatic credit.

Together with data scientists, an engineering model named "Conan" will train the AI machine. It will integrate the 1,200 weak features that the company has found on applicants.

Yongqianbao is close to completing a C round of financing which attracted a lot of venture capital investors.

Jiao Ke, the CEO of Yongqianbao, said: "The core issue lies in that risk control technologies are outdated among traditional financial institutions in China. Data beneath the tip of the iceberg that exists on everyone is a hidden treasure."

According to Jiao, the fintech sector of China is outrunning the U.S. due to the sheer number of investors that are confident in the technology of the country. He also stated that China is more open to embracing fintech compared to the U.S., which is mostly dominated by traditional banking.

China's fintech has evolved by first increasing its accessibility, improving its efficiency, then giving better customer experience compared to the countries traditional banks. Its growth was largely an extension of services from Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT)--all of which control much of the online and mobile life of Chinese Internet users.

Startups will either join BAT or take on them into the competition. In Jiao's opinion, Yongqianbao is not seeing itself as a direct competitor.

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