Phone companies form a credit-scoring joint venture
The three telecom companies in Korea — SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ — will set up a 25-billion-won ($19-million) joint venture to enter the credit assessment business.
The mobile carriers on Thursday said that they will establish a joint venture along with Seoul Guarantee Insurance (SGI) and Korea Credit Bureau (KCB), marking the first time for Korea’s three mobile carriers to set up a joint venture together.
The combined investments of the five companies total 250 billion won. SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ will each hold 26 percent of the joint venture, while SGI and KCB, the strategic investors, will take 11 percent each.
The new company will operate a credit assessment business, utilizing communication data from the telecom companies instead of financial records.
The goal is to lower the loan threshold for borrowers with thin financial records, such as students and housewives, by providing credit scores based on communication data instead of financial records, according to the telecom companies.
Credit assessments are used for measuring a potential borrower’s solvency. Consumers apply for loans with their credit score evaluated by a debt or credit assessment companies.
Credit scores are mostly based on financial records, but can also be evaluated with other factors, such as whether the person has been paying subscription charges without delay. Lenders, especially fintech companies, have been coming up with alternative credit scoring systems using non-financial data over the past two years.
SGI, a guarantee insurer, will help support financially vulnerable consumers with guarantee services for loans, and KCB, a credit assessment company, will support the new company’s credit scoring model to successfully enter the market.
The five companies said that they have filed the application for corporate consolidation review to the Fair Trade Commission.
BY SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]