Behavioral Data

Blog | How mobile data improve client engagement 

Written by: Lucrecia Lopez, Data Scientist and Oscar Pobre, Risk & Analytics Director

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For most people, the smartphone is an essential part of daily life. We carry it around wherever we go, and we spend an inordinate amount of time interacting with it throughout the day. As such, it’s no surprise that the smartphone reveals quite a lot about us. Traits associated with your social network, your communication habits, and technology use are all captured by the device.

In fact, smartphone data has, by now, established itself as one of the most effective data sources for credit scoring. This has been especially valuable for the so-called thin-file segment, where applicants have little or no credit history nor other reliable sources of financial information. How you use your smartphone can now help you get a loan or credit card.

However, as useful as smartphone data has been to the credit industry, there are many other use cases for this data source. In this article, we will explore how smartphone data was used to predict an individual’s need for health insurance. The following data was obtained through an engagement with a large insurer in Southeast Asia, who wanted to determine their mobile app users that would be responsive to a health insurance offer.

Let’s now see theory in action!

 

Your phone contacts shows your organizational skills.

How contacts are labeled on a smartphone can be quite telling of your personality. When a new contact is added, there are many details you can fill-in. At a minimum, you have to complete the contact’s name and phone number. However, you can also add a number of other details, such as their email, company, address, and birthday. Having more than just names and phone numbers on your contact list indicate a higher degree of perfectionism and organization. Those traits are represented by those with a high level of awareness and attention, who want to have order and control over all the events of their lives. They plan for their future. That means that they are the ideal customer to offer an insurance product which allow them to minimize potential risks.

The chart below shows the percentage of population split by the percentage of completed contact information that they have in their phones and each group propensity  to acquire an insurance product. If it is considered that population with less than 30% of their contacts information completed as the group with lowest probability to buy, it is possible to affirm that people who complete more than 50% of their contacts’ details are more than 1.5 times likely to buy an insurance product compared to those who belong to the first group.


Your phone calendar determines your daily schedule and priorities.

How you use your smartphone calendar is another good source of insight. For example, we can see how much time you spend in meetings versus how much time you spend in social events. The habit of scheduling upcoming activities is also an indicator of how organized you are and how well you plan. We have seen that people with these traits, as measured by calendar behavior, are in fact more likely to acquire an insurance product. This is most likely driven by their focus on planning for expected (and unexpected) events.

In the chart below, people were grouped according to the number of calendar events they scheduled.  The chart shows that there is a correlation between an individual’s propensity to buy an insurance product and the number of entries in his/ her phone calendar.

 

Your mobile apps show personal interests.

Another interesting data category relates to the types of apps that you have installed on your smartphone. This is particularly insightful since your apps directly correspond to your hobbies, tastes, interests, etc. People who are keen on games usually have a lot of gaming apps installed. People who are interested in finance have apps related to banking, investments, and even blockchain. If someone has many apps related to sports, health, and healthy lifestyle, that person is likely to be someone who takes good care of himself and is a good prospect for an insurance product.

Going back to our insurance use case, the plot below shows that people with health apps installed are 30% more likely to respond to the insurance offer compared to someone without health apps.

Statistics is the data not your personal information.

We should clarify that companies that use smartphone data are just interested in statistics and the insights you can infer from them. They are not interested in knowing the phone numbers of your family and friends nor the details of your mailing address. The focus is on statistics, predictions, and associations, as they are generated by complex machine learning algorithms. 

As a final note, mobile data should be used as a tool to reach more individuals in need of financial services while further enriching insights on clients, to be able to provide the appropriate products. Financial inclusion is lagging behind digital inclusion, where 1.7 billion individuals and SMEs are still unbanked while registered unique mobile subscribers is already at 5.1 billion. LenddoEFL has been working with mobile data as basis of scoring and predictive analytics for ten years. We have proven and deployed multiple models that help financial institutions with their credit and financial decisioning, at the same time allowing thin-file clients to use their mobile data to access life improving financial services.

Reference:

https://cybersecurityventures.com/how-many-internet-users-will-the-world-have-in-2022-and-in-2030/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/570389/philippines-mobile-phone-user-penetration/

https://www.gsma.com/r/mobileeconomy/

Blog | The LenddoEFL Assessment Part 1: Using psychometrics to quantify personality traits

By: Jonathan Winkle, Manager of Behavioral Sciences, LenddoEFL

At LenddoEFL, we collect various forms of alternative data to help lenders verify identities, analyze credit risk, and better understand an individual. One of our most important tools for financial inclusion is our psychometric assessment. While some people still lack a robust digital footprint, everyone has a psychological profile that can be characterized and used for alternative credit scoring.

In this series of posts, we shed light on the science behind the LenddoEFL psychometric assessment and how we’ve pioneered an approach to measure anyone’s creditworthiness.

Psychometrics for credit assessment

LenddoEFL employs a global research team to ensure our assessment captures the most important personality traits that predict default. We deliver innovative psychometric content by combining insights from leading academics with years of in-house research and development.

Each question in our assessment is targeted to reveal psychological attributes related to creditworthiness. We quantify behaviors and attitudes such as individual outlook, self-confidence, conscientiousness, integrity, and financial decision-making in order to build an applicant’s psychometric profile. By comparing this profile to others in the applicant pool, we can better understand and predict an individual’s likelihood of default.

Psychometric example content: Financial Impulsivity

The marshmallow test asks children whether they would you like one marshmallow now or two marshmallows later, and since its advent, psychologists have recognized that the ability to delay rewards is an important predictor of later success in life.

While adults might not long for marshmallows the same way children do, a similar test can be performed using financial rewards, and research shows that people who are better at delaying rewards are less likely to default on their loans.

Drawing from this research, we ask applicants which of two options they would prefer, a smaller sooner amount of money, or a larger later amount (see image below). Asking people for their preferences across a range of monetary values and temporal delays reveals a quantitative profile of their financial impulsivity, which is indicative of their likelihood to repay debts (If you’re curious about how we deal with people trying to cheat or game the assessment, please see this blog post on our Score Confidence algorithm).

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Psychometric example content: Locus of Control

When times get tough, some people believe they can take action to overcome hardships while others believe that the challenges they face are altogether out of their hands. Those who believe their lives are governed by outside forces, an external Locus of Control, are more risk-averse and have more difficulty managing their credit.

We ask applicants to rate their agreement with a battery of statements measuring their Locus of Control, such as “My life is mostly controlled by chance events,” and “It is mostly up to luck whether or not I have many friends.” By asking these types of questions, we can precisely quantify someone’s Locus of Control along a spectrum of internal-to-external and use this data to predict default.

Conclusion

LenddoEFL delivers an innovative psychometric assessment by combining evidence from academia with active, internal research and development.  The examples above demonstrate how we quantify certain personality traits, and the myriad exercises we use in the field allow us to produce a rich psychological profile that is predictive of credit risk. In the next post we will explore the concept of metadata, which will show that how people answer psychometric questions is just as important as the answers themselves.

Blog | iDE Ghana increases access to sanitation with help of innovative credit assessment from LenddoEFL

Partnership allows Ghanaians to purchase their first toilets

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Globally, 32% of people lack access to a toilet in their homes (Source: WHO UNICEF JMP). In Ghana an astonishing 87% of people do not own a toilet. And in rural Northern Ghana, it is worse still. Two out of every five children in northern Ghana are stunted, compared to approximately 20% of children stunned nationally (Source: UNICEF).

iDE Ghana, a nonprofit that creates income and livelihood opportunities for poor rural households, wanted to improve sanitation in the region. They began by applying design thinking to understand the low rate of toilet use. It turned out that people didn’t know where to buy a toilet, and if they did, it was prohibitively expensive to buy.  People could not afford the full cost all at once, and there were no options to pay for a toilet over time, as there were for other large purchases.

"What we found was the criteria for borrowing towards non-income generating loans were ridiculous. So we set up a one stop shop for toilets and sanitation products, selling them door to door,” explained Valerie Labi, WASH Director at iDE Ghana. “And the beauty of the model is that we give our customers 6 to 18 months to pay the toilet off over time.”

This seemed like the perfect solution given the challenges to toilet purchasing uncovered, but it was still challenging. “We allowed people to pay over the course of 6 to 18 months but we required for the customer or a guarantor to prove their income with bank statements or payslips. And this was a big deterrent. No one wanted to give their bank statements to a toilet company. And it would take an average of 40 days to get through the process” Labi shared. “We realized these requirements were scaring away customers as they’d never had formal credit before. So we asked ourselves, how else could we assess creditworthiness in a more inclusive way?”

That’s when they came across LenddoEFL universal credit assessment. By collecting behavioral and psychometric data at the time of application, iDE’s commercial agents will be able to assess risk and make a decision in a day or less, cutting down the time to sale greatly. Previously, the commercial agent made multiple calls and visits to collect the required documents. By using the LenddoEFL score, iDE removes the need for a guarantor or proof of income for the best scoring customers. Low scorers will need to pay 50% of the cost of the toilet in monthly installments before receiving the toilets.

iDE’s goal is to provide 20,000 to 25,000 toilets to households in Northern Ghana. At an average of 11 people per household, this will provide life-saving sanitation for 275,000 people. And the plan is to sell toilets as part of a fast, convenient customer-driven process and at affordable rates. With the LenddoEFL assessment in place since February 2018, iDE is already receiving positive feedback for customers who enjoy the process. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting partnership.