Blog | Replicating Psychometric Profiles Through Mobile Phone Data to Assess Credit Risk Abstract 

by Javier Frassetto, LenddoEFL Chief Risk & Analytics Officer

The big mass of financially underserved individuals across the globe is receiving increasingly considerable attention and led to the development of innovative solutions allowing people to use their digital profiles and personality traits to increase their financial options. On one hand, individuals with little to no credit history are empowered to choose if and when to use their own digital data to access the financial services they need. On the other hand, financial institutions across emerging markets are able to predict risk using non-traditional data sources to maximize approvals, reduce risk and, finally, improve access to financial services. However, not all alternative data sources are obtainable for every market, and historical credit repayment information is not always available to facilitate the training or recalibration of credit risk models fed by a particular data source. 

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The replication of psychometric profiles through mobile phone data shared by credit applicants enables credit risk assessment through either a psychometric or a mobile profile, alternatively without the constraint of repayment information availability, given the existence of loan performance data collected for any of these data sources for the same market. Using clustering techniques, well defined psychometric profiles are derived for individuals for whom loans were disbursed in Mexico, each associated with different credit risk levels. Afterwards, personality traits associated with these profiles, such as impulsiveness or extroversion, are replicated through phone usage data related to installed mobile applications, calendar events, call logs and phone contacts. Finally, psychometric clusters are rebuilt based on mobile phone traits. Risk sorting power of these traits is validated through loan repayment information available for a different group of credit risk applications in Mexico for whom Android data have been collected. 

In this study, it is shown that psychometric and Android data can be used alternatively to predict risk, based on specific personality traits, extending the value of alternative data for credit risk assessment to market with technological or time information access constraints. The research could open the other to a big set of non-explored solutions to keep improving access to credit reducing process friction and increasing user adoption. 


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