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Alternative Data in Financial Services is a Double-Edged Sword

Traditional methods of creditworthiness assessment can’t do much for the groups of the population that don't fit the scheme. As a result, inclusive initiatives by financial institutions will always hit a wall of unstretchable rules and criteria. Meanwhile, a fairly large part of the global community struggles to access financial services – there are ~2 billion financially excluded people and ~1.5 billion of those who cannot prove their identity.

Financial exclusion for those individuals is not always rooted in the lack of physical access to a developed formal financial system, but in the framework used to assess one's creditworthiness by the established system. To take on a challenge of expanding access to financial services for underprivileged, the startup community around the world took on a task of developing an alternative framework, better fitting livelihood conditions of square pegs in round holes.

As Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray noted, A limit ...

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