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SA’s Vizibiliti conquers US

A South African app was selected recently for showcasing at one of the largest technology conferences in the world.

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Viva Tech attracts more than 66 000 people and over 200 speakers, including the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and Uber, along with brands like LMVH, Verizon, and SoftBank.

Verizon selected Vizibiliti Insight as the overall winner of the Customer Experience Transformation through Digital challenge, after it had been shortlisted from 110 entries in the alternative credit scoring category.

“This is a significant milestone for us and a huge honour to have been selected out of a pool of such strong competitors, many of whom have received millions of dollars in funding,” said Courtney Bentley, CEO of Vizibiliti Insight.

Aside from winning a presentation slot at Viva Tech 2018, Vizibiliti Insight was also invited to Verizon’s New York office to collaborate with some of the top minds in the telecommunications world. Part of the first prize award was 5 000 Euros and membership credits to Verizon’s Innovation Garage offices located across the United States, in effect allowing them to open an office in New York.

Vizibiliti Insight’s alternative scoring solution enables any credit provider to provide credit safely for difficult-to-analyse customers who otherwise would be turned down for credit. Vizibiliti is also working on specialised credit scoring solutions for South African entrepreneurs often considered too high-risk for banks and other credit providers to lend to.

The aim is to support credit worthiness applications for these businesses and individuals who, although contributing to over 40% of South Africa’s GDP, would be declined without further consideration.

Asked what has differentiated it from competitors in the challenge, Bentley pointed out that its models incorporate traditional scorecards, which remain the current de facto standard. 

“This is significant because we can align the alternative credit scoring models with traditional scorecards which have a proven accuracy rate.  This further allows granular customer segmentation and predictive capabilities in predicting which applications have a high likelihood of converting to a loan being accepted with a low likelihood of default.”

But it goes further, venturing into non-traditional measures.

“We are able to incorporate transactional behaviour which would be all the financial information collected on customers. This would be everything from data usage, SIM card age, location, and demographic data, to spending patterns . We then factor in macro and micro variables impacting affordability and, finally, behavioural data which we collect, analyse and add into this model.”

So far, he says, the system has achieved an 89% accuracy rate of detecting high-risk in customers using Vizibiliti’s own proprietary scorecard. 

“The next unique factor is our ability to determine upsell and cross-sell opportunities, which in turn lead to more sales and overall growth for the enterprise. Not only do we alternatively score an individual or business but we can then predict which non-traditional customer segments are likely to accept and pay back products and services which have been recommended.”

Bentley says the American judges had a scorecard of criteria which included how scalable the business is, whether the solution can be fully customised to the US market, whether the business model is sustainable over the long-term, and whether the solution supports digital authentication. 

“I believe that our capabilities to create a fully customised bespoke solution with a cross and up-sell sales capability and being able to rapidly scale, not only in the US but globally, were key factors in our success.”

 Alternative scoring, says Bentley, is important because “many of the companies we have come across have an average decline rate of 40% sometimes more on credit submissions”. 

“We have done a lot with very little compared to our competitors who have millions of dollars in funding. We have heard that these international companies are interested to see what can be done on their own turf with a company that can deliver value quickly, with innovative ways of keeping costs to a minimum.”

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