In what has been one of the toughest times for the financial services industry due Covid lockdown, ZestMoney has witnessed a 15 per cent improvement in its NPA and 6 per cent in its repayment.

The company, which is India’s first and largest AI-driven EMI financing platform, could achieve this with its early bets on cutting edge technology aiding collections when a large number of people were facing a liquidity crunch and uncertainty looming large.

“While the AI-driven debt collection model has been integral to our operations, it is all the more relevant in these times. With COVID impacting several business models, consumers are also looking for contactless mediums to avail financial services.

Our end-to-end automated lending platform was built on the simple premise that the future is digital and we see the proof in the numbers. Our collection rates continue to be the best in the business,” ZestMoney Co-Founder and CFO Priya Sharma said in a statement here.

ZestMoney Founders

“We also look at our tech capabilities as a means to empower customers. Our loan collections model is driven by technology with minimal human interface, improving the overall customer experience. 92 per cent of our customers have not received a phone call from us,” she added.

The consumer-lending fintech company has been using machine learning and AI solutions to prioritize at-risk customers for more productive attention. Advanced machine learning models were also used to predict consumer receptivity to contact. Innovative content strategy was also deployed to reach out to customers.

Traditional lenders have long relied heavily on in-person visits or tele-calling to contact customers. These channels of communication had become redundant during the lockdown. Customers are not receptive to brute-force dialling anymore. In a lockdown like scenario, one cannot operate call centers too. This also happens to be an operationally heavy model, with more manual intervention required.

The company utilises various digital mediums like email, text messaging, push notifications, Whatsapp and IVR to reach out to customers, which helps leverage the effort taken to prioritize value-at-risk first.

Based on multiple tests conducted in the last couple of years, the team is able to understand which segment of users needs what kind of medium. A very low-risk customer only needs a push reminder whereas a high-risk customer may need tele-calling at an early stage.

“This gets us higher connectivity at lower costs,” ZestMoney said.

With digital adoption expected to witness a surge, the lending industry will have to rely on advanced technology to target the right set of customers, it said, adding, the demand for reliable and seamless credit is expected to surge in the coming months.

“Only strong, tech-led innovations will help digital lenders stay relevant in the post-COVID era,” the company said.

ZestMoney, founded by Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman in 2015, is the largest and fastest-growing consumer lending fintech company in India which has the potential to meaningfully improve the lives of more than 300 million households in India, who currently have no access to credit cards or any other formal financing options because of insufficient credit history.

The company’s unique platform uses mobile technology, digital banking and Artificial Intelligence to make life more affordable to millions of Indian consumers.

ZestMoney’s innovative technology and work to make affordable digital finance accessible led to their selection as a 2020 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

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