(REUTERS) China’s No. 2 e-commerce firm JD.com Inc (JD.O) is launching a Chinese consumer credit data system as a joint venture with U.S. credit-scoring technology company ZestFinance, taking on a rival service linked to the larger Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N).

JD-ZestFinance Gaia, as the joint venture will be known, will use the U.S. firm’s machine learning technology to analyze JD.com’s online shoppers’ data and churn out a credit risk score, according to a joint press release on Friday.

The companies did not disclose details about the structure of the joint venture or the investments by the partners. But they said JD.com will invest an undisclosed sum in ZestFinance.

JD-ZestFinance Gaia and competitor Sesame Credit, part of Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial Services Group, hope to use the e-commerce sites’ vast swathes of shopping data to turn out a reliable credit risk score.

Assigning people and businesses accurate credit risk scores has been difficult in China, in part due to a lack of publicly available data and little information-sharing between financial institutions.

Creating an accurate credit profiling system could potentially be lucrative, both for making safe bets on lending to customers who can then spend more on online shopping, and by selling the profiles to third parties.

“Ultimately opaque credit markets are very hard and we’re excited to try to use our technology in that space,” said Douglas Merrill, founder and CEO of ZestFinance and a former Google Inc (GOOGL.O) chief information officer, in a telephone interview.

Information, like the cost of items bought and what time of day someone is buying products, can be combined to predict qualities such as whether a person has a job, he said.

The number of credit profiles the joint venture launches with will be “close to JD.com’s total customer base” of more than 100 million, the e-commerce company said in an email.

Although JD.com will initially be the credit scorer’s first customer, it hopes to expand its clients to include various industries and lenders, including peer-to-peer lending platforms, the company said.

《水仙谷》继投资易车、途牛等国内企业后,京东也在国外展开投资布局。腾讯科技今日获悉,京东已投资美国基于机器学习算法的大数据分析公司ZestFinance,双方还宣布成立名为JD-ZestFinanceGaia的合资公司。

ZestFinance是一家提供金融服务的科技公司,其运用机器学习算法和数据技术帮助用户做出更精准金融风控及营销决策,使得更多借贷者能够获得信用服务、放贷方能获得更高还款收益。

ZestFinance由Google前CIODoulgasMerill于2009年9月创立。ZestFinance使用机器学习的方式利用广泛数据来评估个人信用,使得整个信用评估体系更加完善。

同时,ZestFinance大数据会分析一些传统方式覆盖不到的信息,如匿名消费者的网上购物习惯。这一模型帮助企业有效预测信用风险,也可使更多消费者获得公平信贷机会。

京东打算在互联网大数据信用模型中,引入ZestFinance技术和经验,为互联网金融行业提供信用模型和技术,帮助互联网用户群、年轻消费者发掘和变现其信用价值。

与西方发达国家不同,我国个人信用体系尚不完善,有关消费者的个人信用记录并不多,为信用评估和授信带来困难。

据熟悉交易内情的京东金融高层表示,我国在信用评估方面的体系还不成熟,由于中国消费者通常没完备信用记录,个人信用难以预估,这就成为我国消费信贷的发展瓶颈,也是与发达国家普及消费信贷存在明显差距的主要原因。

上述人士称,此次与ZestFinance合作,京东金融将可以利用自身优势,结合合作伙伴的前沿数据技术,进一步完善我国的消费信贷信用评估服务,满足市场需求。

这款信用模型将率先应用于京东金融的消费金融体系,在消费金融白条上的信用技术实践只是第一步,京东还打算共享这项技术给全行业合作伙伴,共同开拓国内信用消费市场。

 

Source: Reuters, SXG