The goscore team aims to bring "fairness and transparency" to credit score assessments (Photo © goscore)
Thanks to digitalisation and the rise of FinTech, the financial world has evolved significantly. However, a good credit score is still important to have. Through transparency and fairness, goscore aims to drive value for – and educate - consumers.
A good credit score can determine many things, such as when - and if – a person can buy a home. However, the process of assessing this can often be challenging, complicated and unclear for the consumer.
Bergen-based FinTech start-up goscore aims to change this. Having created an innovative credit assessment tool, goscore uses new data sources, Open Banking, and detailed financial insights to provide “fairer credit risk assessments”.
“We provide a comprehensive overview of an individual’s personal finances, as well as feedback and calculated risks for banks”, says Maksim Hardziyenak, goscore founder. “We try to be a neutral party or middleman who has a straight-forward objective of fair evaluations”.
Maksim Hardziyenak, goscore founder (Photo © goscore)
Need for Fairness and Transparency
Traditionally, credit score assessments have been done by credit bureaus, not the banks themselves. These bureaus’ risk analyses and insights combined with banks’ compliance regulations have usually determined a person’s creditworthiness. However, these procedures often lack transparency.
Also, changes in banking laws have led to Application Programming Interfaces (API) being introduced. These are interfaces that connect banks with third-party vendors. This has opened the door for a wide range of digital services that banks can offer their customers.
In goscore’s case, APIs provide a more holistic overview of a person’s transactional history. This would allow a fairer credit assessment. This increased fairness and transparency are central to goscore’s unique selling point as a “fair human credit score provider”.
“It’s important for us to use “fair” as a keyword because we aim to be fair for both banking institutions and bank customers,” says Hardziyenak.
Value for the Customer
The aim of goscore is to not only provide consumers with their credit score, but to also drive value through actionable insights.
“Our app will provide bank customers with more than just a credit score. It will also provide information on their strengths, ways they can improve and so on. It will essentially give them a glance at how banks and other financial institutions see them and how they can paint the best picture of themselves,” says Hardziyenak.
Another service goscore provides involves loan refinancing. Serving as an intermediary, they can provide bank customers with “a more holistic and comprehensive picture of refinancing options”. In this instance, goscore’s motivation is strictly to provide “transparency and fairness”.
Another selling point is their Debt-Free Tool. During their research, the team at goscore discovered an increasing trend towards debt, especially among young adults. Through their free tool, they can provide consumers with a detailed payment plan. These plans would outline monthly payments, bills to prioritize and so on. This would result in consumers steadily climbing out of debt without the need for drastic changes or refinancing.
Value for Banks
While consumer benefit is a key objective for goscore, contributing value to banks and credit establishments is equally important.
An example of this is enabling prospective bank customers to easily transfer their data onto application forms. This would allow them to sign-up for banking services quicker, which contributes to a bank’s conversion rate.
According to Hardziyenak, this brings convenience to consumers and helps banks to onboard more applicants quicker.
Value Outside of Banking
During goscore’s initial research, Hardziyenak discovered potential applications in real estate, leading to the creation of sprove.
According to Hardziyenak, sprove is a digital solvency verification solution for apartment owners and landlords. It provides a complete overview of a prospective renter’s finances and rental history. This helps predict their ability to pay a deposit, keep up with the rent and be reliable tenants.
Much like goscore, sprove aims to drive value for both renters and landlords.
For landlords, it allows them to prioritize ideal candidates. This minimises the risk of potentially unreliable tenants and streamlines the renting process altogether.
For renters, it allows them to “stand out” as candidates, proving their ability to pay the deposit and rent on time.
“Landlords want reliable tenants. Through Sprove, they can find out not only which tenants have the money to pay but also which are most likely to pay,” says Hardziyenak.
Value During the Pandemic
Like many companies, goscore felt the effects of the global pandemic.
Just before the lockdown, goscore had several workshops and demos planned with various banks. As a result of the pandemic, “all these opportunities have been postponed to an undefined date,” says Hardziyenak.
Undeterred, goscore entered - and won - a European Commission-sponsored hackathon and presented their solution to an EU innovation network. Their solution helped those unemployed by the pandemic apply to their landlords for rent reductions.
“Hundreds of Norwegians and Europeans were able to save money while they were looking for a new job. Our users were able to get up to a 40% discount and save up to €400 every month for at least 6 months. That’s what it means to apply the technology to solve real-life issues the goscore way,” says Hardziyenak.
As a FinTech start-up, goscore’s value has been recognised. Hardziyenak believes this is an indication that the finance sector is embracing the future.
“The more recognition we get, the more it shows that the industry is accepting of this and realises the need for it. Hopefully, it will help them to understand that our product performs well”.
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