Transparency, Governance, and Credit Scoring: A Conversation with VantageScore’s Rikard Bandebo

We are all familiar with the challenge businesses have when it comes to new customers. On the one hand, there is an urge to onboard as many new customers as possible. On the other hand, great care must be taken to block bad actors or, in the case of the lending business, to avoid borrowers who are unlikely to repay their loans.

To help companies manage this tug-of-war, innovators in the credit scoring space have developed new strategies for determining credit-worthiness. These new approaches have moved beyond traditional credit scoring to help lenders reach reliable borrowers who may have thin credit histories – or even no significant, traditional credit history at all.

VantageScore is one such innovator. This year at FinovateFall, we caught up with Rikard Bandebo, VantageScore Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer to talk about the company’s approach to credit scoring, how it differs from traditional credit scoring methods, and how fintechs can leverage VantageScore’s technology discover more “newly lendable” customers.

Below are a few excerpts from our conversation:

We went back to the drawing board in a way to look at what we could do to make these models much more accurate and inclusive. In doing so we started looking at ways we could look at the data on the credit file. We began using what’s called trended data and found, in doing so, we were able to improve the accuracy of the model significantly. It’s probably one of the most accurate, if not the most accurate, generic model that’s been widely adopted.

Secondly, we also found that by using this type of data we got much more consistent scores for consumers over time. There’s nothing quite as frustrating for consumers and lenders (than) when their scores go up and down a lot over time. So this provides a much smoother transition throughout a consumer’s history.

And the third piece is that we were able to massively improve our inclusion with this latest model. We score about 37 million more consumers than traditional generic models that are out there – out of which more than 10 million are above 620.

First and foremost, we are a very transparent credit scoring company. We provide a lot of transparency into how our models work (and) what impacts different activities have on our models. We also have built out great support services around migration and also around governance. We do a lot to make it as easy as possible for both fintechs and lenders to make a transition.

We recently had FTI Consulting conduct a study where they went out and interviewed and tried to understand what the appetite was like in the broader market, what they were looking for. One of the common feedbacks they found was that, like other markets, they’re looking for more competition, and they’re looking for the best models that they can use to understand the impact of different types of consumers on risk.

We’ve actually seen a big uptake in VantageScore being used in general, and we’re seeing now a growing appetite in the securitization markets. We’ve seen some very large lenders transition to now offering their securities based on VantageScore.

Watch the full interview on Finovate TV.

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