Brazil’s Leading Retailer to Use Zest Software to Expand Credit to Millions of Brazilian Consumers
ZestFinance, a leading U.S. artificial intelligence software (AI) firm, announced a partnership with Via Varejo to power the credit underwriting for its carnêspoint-of-sale microfinancing. Via Varejo, a pioneer in offering microfinance to its 60 million retail customers, will use Zest machine learning software to find more good borrowers and reduce charge-offs and will leapfrog Brazil’s top banks with more advanced consumer lending technology.
“More data and better analysis can ensure more accurate loan decisions. ZestFinance’s innovation through machine learning is exactly what we’ve been looking for, and will put us in a more competitive position.”
The new AI credit model will begin testing in the second half of 2019, and roll-out will begin in early 2020. The partnership with Zest also extends to Banqi, a challenger bank subsidiary of Via Varejo aimed at the 50 million Brazilian consumers who lack a traditional financial institution.
“The digitization of processes and payment options creates entirely new avenues for innovation in how we serve our customers,” says Felipe Negrao, Executive Director of Via Varejo. “More data and better analysis can ensure more accurate loan decisions. ZestFinance’s innovation through machine learning is exactly what we’ve been looking for, and will put us in a more competitive position.”
Currently, more than 5 million shoppers use Via Varejo’s carnês, a microfinance program that allows customers to make monthly payments on purchases. Via Varejo subsidiaries Casas Bahia and Pontofrio will use Zest ML to deliver a more precise credit decision immediately, safely expanding its revenue and reducing the risk of bad loans.
“We’ve proven that machine learning works in all types of credit and in every geography. Retail is an exciting new front for us. We’re looking forward to helping Via help millions of its customers,” says Zest CEO Douglas Merrill.
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