If you chat on social networks or play computer games for a long time, you might be helping your credit score.
At least that is what one of China’s largest peer-to-peer lending sites reckons, having rated 50m Chinese consumers for creditworthiness using social networking and computer gaming data.
The data were provided by Tencent, drawn from the internet group’s millions of users. They were processed by China Rapid Finance using an algorithm that looks at frequency and amount of time spent using Tencent services, everything from WeChat, the social chat app with 600m users, to Candy Crush Saga, the smartphone game.
这些数据由互联网集团腾讯(Tencent)提供，来自其成百上千万用户。信而富(China Rapid Finance)对这些数据进行处理，所用算法考察用户使用腾讯服务的频率和时长。这些服务无所不包，从拥有6亿用户的社交聊天软件微信(WeChat)，到智能手机游戏《糖果粉碎传奇》(Candy Crush Saga)。
The criteria may seem unusual but Zane Wang, founder and chief executive officer of China Rapid Finance, says internet user behaviour is enough to establish reliable creditworthiness. Further, it is the only way to score some of the 80 per cent of Chinese people who have no credit history or access to credit.
“These are 500m Chinese consumers who are currently financially active ... are not covered by the current financial system,” said Mr Wang. “That is the gap we are trying to fill.”
Using its scoring method, China Rapid Finance has arranged 3m P2P loans in the six months since its partnership with Tencent began in February. The company declined to disclose their monetary value.
The algorithm examines how long and how frequently people use Tencent services, said Mr Wang. “The more someone uses social networking services [the more it] shows that people are concerned for their reputation, concerned for their integrity,” he said.
Internet purchasing history even buying points in an online game — was another key variable, he added.
“These criteria are different from traditional credit bureaus, but using the data we can still tell if a person will have a tendency to pay back a loan,” he said.