Digital Fragments Explained: Using App Insights For Better and Safer Financial Products
CredoLab's Chief Data Scientist on How Banks and Consumer Lenders Can Leverage Data Analytics for Business and Social Impact
If you’ve ever completed a jigsaw, you’ll know finding the right piece at the right time can help you complete it much faster. Digital fragments are a little like this.
In the simplest sense, digital fragments are sourced from anonymous metadata to provide you with actionable insights about customers and applicants.
What digital fragments can provide
Digital fragments don’t intrude on your customers’ privacy. But, importantly, they don’t let you identify who individual customers are and what financially sensitive tasks they’re performing. And still, whether you’re a bank, lender, or fintech, they can give you high-level insights that can help you better serve your customers.
Sharper marketing segmentation
Digital fragments can be a rich source of insight for marketers looking to collaborate with product development teams to promote — and expand — more relevant offers and campaigns. For instance, digital fragments could help banks, lenders and fintech to tell whether a person is a digital banking user, a traditional banking user, or an investor.
Stronger fraud protections
But fragments are much more than a marketing tool. They can provide anti-fraud and cybersecurity teams with intelligence to fight fraud attempts. Knowing the device brand, operating system, and model can also help predict a person’s tech-savviness while also detecting how long it takes someone to fill in certain fields. For example, using autofill — and frequent copy, paste and delete behaviour could point to fraud risks.
Fragments built on respect for privacy
Clearly, the information gathered from these digital fragments can be detailed. This raises two questions. Are digital fragments compliant with privacy regulations? And are digital fragments ethical?
Credolab takes these concerns seriously and that’s why we are committed to using an anonymous approach, driven first by the opt-in consent of every single app user. We can only give info on what apps, when was it installed, and when was it last updated with this anonymous approach.
- we do not collect any Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- we do not look at activities inside other apps
- and we cannot — and would not — provide transfer or balance checks.
To monitor competition, we can provide info on whether or not a customer or applicant has the client's competitor apps installed. But nothing more.
Three ways credolab use digital fragments
At credolab, we provide a digital credit score based on a loan applicant's mobile device behaviour. When a person’s digital footprint is analysed for broader reasons than risk prediction, it can lead to additional insights for financial institutions.
We assess a loan applicant's mobile device behaviour and compare it with behaviours commonly displayed by delinquent applicants. In doing so, we can provide insight into the probability of default or a person's tendencies to not pay back a loan, a credit card, or any unsecured lending product.
On top of the credit risk score, we use the same digital smartphone footprint to source fragments that can be used as further insights, such as identifying a loan applicant's or a customer's persona and interests.
1. Insights on competitors
Using the installed apps fragment, we help lenders see what apps are installed in their customer's smartphones. Be it banking, online loan, online shopping, or even online gambling apps. Each client has their own interest. For example:
- an insurer might want to see whether an applicant uses nutrition, exercise and mental health apps
- a BNPL company might want to check the presence of competitors or payment or credit card apps
- A digital bank might want to check for competitors, other banks, wealth managers, or investing apps.
2. Insights to fight fraud
We can provide this information to clients using our software development kit (SDK) embedded in clients’ Android apps or through credolab's plug-and-play Android app. This SDK can be easily embedded and get you the digital fragments you need almost immediately.
To help prevent fraud, fragments can be used to:
- Detect any repeated loan applications using the same device, browser, or IP address
- See how often the applicant changes their income, address, or other key information in application form fields
- See whether the device is locked to one mobile carrier or open to any global network
- Predict the device’s age, and check how active the owner is based on the volume of multimedia and contacts added across time.
3. Insights for better marketing
For marketers, fragments can help segment potential customers’ digital savviness by understanding their device hardware, software, and operating system. In addition, fragments can help to further segment potential applicants based on their lifestyle behaviours, as predicted by the nature of their apps.
Credolab is the only provider able to deliver all of these insights in a way that drives results without compromising users' privacy or lenders' reputations.