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jerryking : credit_scoring   9

The joy of boring business ideas
April 11, 2018 | Financial Times | by JONATHAN MARGOLIS
Slippers, razors and even gas boilers offer ripe pickings for profit and disruption.

Simon Phelan and his online gas boiler installation company, Hometree, are “aiming to replicate the success of online estate agent Purplebricks in an equally large, albeit more boring market: boiler installations.”......Start-ups doing anything new, cute or plain off-the-wall often struggle. .....Boring may be the new interesting.......Mahabis, a carpet slippers start-up, has sold close to a million pairs of its £79 product....another boring domestic product, razors, have proved to be a lucrative market for what are essentially tech companies, such as Dollar Shave Club (bought by Unilever for $1bn) and Harry’s.....It is not just products: dull-sounding online services also seem to pay off. London start-up ClearScore, a millennial-focused fintech company which offers users free credit scoring and personal finance guides, sold to Experian last month for £275m, after just three years in business......Phelan is pursuing gas boilers, not because he was interested in them, but because he was looking for a way into the growing smart-home sector. He wants to build a slick way to modernise boiler installation, so that by the time newer, more eco-friendly home heating technologies become standard he will already have a loyal customer base. This is why Hometree has more in common with tech companies than with local plumbers.

“Where I think people go wrong in entrepreneurship is building a product, rather than a business for the future,” says Mr Phelan....Making a neglected category simple and elegant is attractive.”

“All you have to do,” he concluded, “is not to see it as a gas boiler business, but a much bigger play......Phelan’s idea that new businesses need to be strategic rather than excitable about this or that gimmicky new product is one that other entrepreneurs would do well to follow.
disruption  unglamorous  smart_homes  eco-friendly  reinvention  home_based  new_businesses  new_products  millennials  fin-tech  credit_scoring  personal_finance  boring  buying_a_business  Dollar_Shave_Club  Harry’s 
april 2018 by jerryking
How Goldman Sachs Made More Than $1 Billion With Your Credit Score - WSJ
By LIZ HOFFMAN and ANNAMARIA ANDRIOTIS
April 9, 2017

Goldman bought TransUnion , TRU -0.21% the smallest of the three main credit-reporting firms, in 2012. By the time it went public three years later, TransUnion had become a data-mining machine, gathering billions of seemingly insignificant tidbits about ordinary Americans that it analyzed and sold to lenders, insurers and others.....As Goldman and Advent dug into TransUnion’s business, they found the fastest-growing revenue was coming from the company’s dealings with online lending startups, people familiar with the investment said.

These companies, such as LendingClub Corp. and Prosper Marketplace Inc., were using information from credit bureaus to find and vet potential borrowers. They were increasingly hungry for data that could pinpoint borrowers who traditional lenders might overlook or overcharge.....TransUnion’s new owners doubled down on these clients. They recruited Jim Peck, a big-data enthusiast who had run LexisNexis Risk Solutions, as CEO. He spent his first day in the company’s data center.

TransUnion began appearing at fintech conferences. It rebranded itself with a techy, purposeful vibe, wrapping its initials, a lowercase “tu,” in an @ sign. “We’re not just a credit bureau; we’re a force for good,” chirped a 2015 video.

The company spent heavily on technology and acquisitions. It replaced its old mainframe, a relic from the 1970s, with nimbler systems that allow it to splice information in new ways. It built a new data center and started scooping up small companies with niche data sets.....One acquisition tracks public records to help with fraud enforcement related to online shopping, among other things. Another uses utility payments, cellphone billing records and other data points to identify creditworthy borrowers who lenders might have overlooked, either because they have little or no debt history or potential red flags on their traditional credit reports. ​ ​​ ​​....By the time of its IPO in 2015, TransUnion had 30 million gigabytes of data, growing at 25% a year and ranging from voter registration in India to drivers’ accident records in the U.S. The company’s IPO documents boasted that it had anticipated the arrival of online lenders and “created solutions that catered to these emerging providers.”

Goldman itself is a customer. In 2016, the Wall Street firm launched Marcus to make online personal loans of a few thousand dollars. Its main pitch to borrowers: refinance expensive credit-card debt at lower rates.

Goldman buys the names and credit information of potential borrowers from TransUnion and sends direct-mail and other advertising to them.
Goldman_Sachs  TransUnion  Advent  private_equity  credit_reporting  credit_scoring  Equifax  Experian  data  data_driven  Marcus  subprime  solution-finders 
april 2017 by jerryking
Banking Start-Ups Adopt New Tools for Lending
JAN. 18, 2015 | - NYTimes.com | By STEVE LOHR.

When bankers of the future decide whether to make a loan, they may look to see if potential customers use only capital letters when filling out forms, or at the amount of time they spend online reading terms and conditions — and not so much at credit history.

These signals about behavior — picked up by sophisticated software that can scan thousands of pieces of data about online and offline lives — are the focus of a handful of start-ups that are creating new models of lending....Earnest uses the new tools to make personal loans. Affirm, another start-up, offers alternatives to credit cards for online purchases. And another, ZestFinance, has focused on the relative niche market of payday loans.
Steve_Lohr  tools  banking  banks  massive_data_sets  start_ups  data_scientists  Earnest  Affirm  ZestFinance  Max_Levchin  consumer_finance  credit_scoring  fin-tech  financial_services  consumer_behavior  signals 
january 2015 by jerryking
Technology will hurt the banks, not kill them
October 15, 2014 | FT.com |John Gapper

Does Silicon Valley really want to blow up retail banking and create an entirely new financial system, or would it prefer to ride on the existing one?...Mr Andreessen, a partner of the venture fund Andreessen Horowitz, added in an interview with Bloomberg Markets magazine last week: “To me, it’s all about unbundling the banks. There are regulatory arbitrage opportunities every step of the way. If the regulators are going to regulate banks, then you’ll have non-bank entities that spring up to do the things that banks can’t do.”...There is no doubt that the infrastructure of retail banks is antiquated, and is built in a way that invites competition from peer-to-peer networks. Nor is there a doubt that banks make themselves vulnerable by how they price – offering core deposit services cheaply or free while squeezing customers on ancillary products such as overdrafts and currency exchange....what is the best way to compete with an industry that makes little from a capital-intensive, regulated service with formidable barriers to entry, and a lot from less protected add-ons? The question answers itself, which is why Silicon Valley focuses on payments while talking about disrupting lending....US laws made it impossible to establish a national credit union open to any customer....One growth area in UK finance has been online payday lending by companies such as Wonga, which promised to extend banking to the underserved. ... tech companies can improve on credit scoring by scanning search histories and social network data...The biggest barrier to competition is that the core business of taking in deposits and keeping them safe is not very profitable in a low-interest world....A start-up bank that has no branches and spends less on patching up legacy software might do this more efficiently – and good luck to those that penetrate the regulatory thicket and try. But it is much less risky to attach a new service to the existing banking infrastructure, and it absorbs less capital....Technology may eventually change the infrastructure of banking but it will not happen soon....“is a long-term threat that will play out over decades, not months or years”...Silicon Valley will compete at the edges, where banks make their best profits.
banks  Silicon_Valley  Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  disruption  fin-tech  start_ups  Bitcoin  financial_services  underserved  unbanked  regulators  P2P  payday_lending  credit_scoring  low-interest  branchless  capital-intensity  legacy_tech  regulatory_arbitrage  financial_system 
october 2014 by jerryking
Trust in Poor Built Consumer Empire For Israeli Brothers - WSJ.com
August 20, 2004 | WSJ | By MIRIAM JORDAN.

Credito Hispano
Trust in Poor Built Consumer Empire For Israeli Brothers
At La Curacao in Los Angeles, Newcomers Get Homey Air, Often a First Charge Card
Sending a Stereo to Guatemala
Israeli  immigrants  customer_loyalty  Hispanic_Americans  credit  credit-ratings  credit_cards  creditworthiness  credit_scoring  La_Curacao  retailers 
april 2012 by jerryking
Tracking China's Consumers - WSJ.com
MARCH 2, 2004 | WSJ | By KATHY CHEN and JAMES T. AREDDY.

Soaring Personal Debt Triggers Need for Credit-Check System.

With Chinese rushing in ever-greater numbers to buy on credit, banks and businesses are making their own dash into the credit-reporting industry.

With loans available to purchase everything from cars to homes to computers to a college education, growth in consumer lending has kept to a pace of about 50% in each of the past two years, far faster than the annual rise in total bank lending. In 2003, personal-credit lending totaled 1.56 trillion yuan, ($188.5 billion) more than 4.5 times the 2000 level. International companies are seeking to get in: China recently gave initial approval for General Motors Corp. and two other multinationals to offer auto financing, while credit-card giants such as Visa USA Inc. International and MasterCard International Inc. also are eyeing the market.

The problem is that without a national credit bureau or credit-check industry, lenders often know almost nothing about their borrowers. That has contributed to high default rates for both auto and student loans, now estimated to be as high as 30% in some areas of China, industry executives say....Now, some banks and companies are setting up their own credit-check systems, either for their own use or to sell to others.
consumer_credit  consumer_finance  China  credit  credit_cards  credit_management  credit_scoring  credit-analysis  credit-ratings 
november 2011 by jerryking
What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You? - NYTimes.com
May 12, 2009 | New York Times | By CHARLES DUHIGG. Credit card
companies are focusing on those customers most likely to honor their
debts. Credit-card companies are investing more in understanding their
customers’ lives and psyches, because they believe knowing what makes
cardholders tick will help firms differentiate those who are good risks
from those who should be weeded out.
analytics  competingonanalytics  psychology  data  data_driven  credit_cards  credit_scoring  human_psyche  market_research 
may 2009 by jerryking
How to Improve Your Credit Score for a Better Loan - WSJ.com
WSJ article on things that can be done to improve one's credit score.

Lenders look at the Beacon Score o assess creditworthiness.
credit_scoring  personal_finance  credit-ratings 
january 2009 by jerryking

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