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Financial Inclusion and Alternative Credit Scoring: Role of Big Data and Machine Learning in Fintech

This research paper analyzed whether unstructured digital data can substitute for traditional credit bureau scores with an analysis of loan-level data from a large Indian fintech firm. The researchers found that evaluating creditworthiness based on social and mobile footprints can potentially expand credit access. Variables found to significantly improve default prediction and outperform credit bureau scores include the number and types of apps installed, metrics of the applicant’s social connectivity, and measures of borrowers’ “deep social footprints” derived from call logs.