Data and AI ‘key to the future’ of credit industry

The quality of data will be a key priority for the credit industry as the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and blockchain become integral to the sector’s future.

A Coleman Parkes survey of 155 credit management professionals working in the banking, finance and debt management sectors for Equifax examined the strategic priorities for credit management professionals in the next three years, with nearly three quarters (72 per cent) saying there is scope for future improvement of data analytics at their current companies.

The research showed that AI is the most important investment for these sector specialists in order to improve the quality of decision-making, with two thirds saying they are currently using or are planning to use AI to improve credit decisions.

When it came to the top three technology investment needs for credit businesses in the next three years, AI and machine learning were top (46 per cent), followed by mobile and 5G (44 per cent) and blockchain (42 per cent).

The study found that more than a third (36 per cent) of respondents said they wanted better data analytics to help with decisions, while nearly a third (32 per cent) said they wanted the ability to report on real-time activities and 31 per cent wanted to augment traditional analytics with contextual information.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents said that enhanced data analytics could “dramatically increase” the rate of product innovation.

Paul Heywood, chief data and analytics officer at Equifax, said: “The credit management industry is in a state of progressive flux, with improved decision-making processes and models being rapidly evolved through the implementation of technological advances.

“The quality of data will be central to credit companies’ business strategies in the coming year,” he continued. “There is an explicit understanding within the industry that investing in AI will deliver more accurate decisions and better efficiencies at an individual businesses level.”

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