Via Varejo selects Zest Finance’s ML solutions for Microfinancing in Brazil

Zest Finance CEO Douglas Merrill

U.S. based artificial intelligence software (AI) firm, ZestFinance has announced a partnership with Via Varejo, a Brazilian retail company. This partnership will power the credit underwriting process in the microfinancing segment for Via Varejo. Via Varejo, has provided microfinancing solutions to 60 million retail customers till date and now they will be using ZestFinance’s machine learning software to get deeper insights on their borrower’s total absorptive capacity.

Zest Finance CEO Douglas Merrill speaks on the recent partnership, “We’ve proven that machine learning works in all types of credit and in every geography. Retail is an exciting new front for us. We’re looking forward to helping Via help millions of its customers,”

Felipe Negrao, Executive Director of Via Varejo commented, “The digitization of processes and payment options creates entirely new avenues for innovation in how we serve our customers, more data and better analysis can ensure more accurate loan decisions. ZestFinance’s innovation through machine learning is exactly what we’ve been looking for and will put us in a more competitive position.”

The new AI credit model will be tested in the second half of 2019 and subsequent roll-out of the same will begin in early 2020. The partnership will not only provide ML functionalities to Via Varejo’s microfinancing segment but will also extend to Banqi, a challenger bank subsidiary of Via Varejo as well. Currently, more than 5 million shoppers use Via Varejo’s carnês, a microfinance program that allows customers to make monthly payments on purchases. Via Varejo’s subsidiaries Casas Bahia and Pontofrio will use Zest ML to deliver a more precise credit decision immediately, safely expanding its revenue and reducing the risk of bad loans.

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