Our Story

We believe that credit today is unfair. Since the modern credit system was created in the 1950’s, the world has changed. Technology has changed. So should credit.

Today, 40% of Americans don’t have credit cards — or they’re forced to borrow at the whim of abusive credit companies. And, in emerging markets, billions of people don’t have credit histories, leaving them out of the system entirely.

Credit is the problem that ZestFinance was founded to solve. Our Zest Automated Machine Learning (ZAML™) Platform is transforming consumer lending — it helps companies make smarter credit decisions to expand the availability of fair and transparent credit.

The Problem with Credit

The current credit system isn't working and we know why: it's severely limited by "little data."

Fact 1
The majority of loans in the US are based on traditional credit scores, leaving tens of millions of Americans - including most millennials and small businesses - underserved by traditional financial systems.
Fact 2
Traditional credit-score systems use less than 50 data points to determine creditworthiness. That’s only a fraction of the public data available on any given person.

Today, the majority of lenders use the same approach to credit decisioning that was developed 50 years ago. That approach is predicated on the assumption that it’s hard to get large volumes of data, expensive to store it, and nearly impossible to use it.

All three assumptions are wrong. It’s no longer hard. Nor expensive. Nor impossible. Nevertheless, most lenders use very few data points to determine whether a person should receive a loan. This approach means that people who have incomplete or incorrect credit files can’t get fair credit.

Our Technology

ZestFinance is one of the fastest growing financial technology startups in the United States. Founded by Douglas Merrill, the former CIO of Google, we built the ZAML Platform to apply Google-like math to credit decisions.

ZAML is able to consume vast amounts of data to more accurately identify good borrowers — enabling higher repayment rates for lenders and lower-cost credit for consumers.

While many creditors take hours, or even days, to make credit decisions, ZAML helps clients make them — accurately — in less than 10 seconds.

Our Growing Impact

We’re using machine learning to meet the financial needs of people around the world. We license the ZAML Platform to companies across many industries to enable them to accurately predict a borrower’s ability to repay so they can, in turn, extend fair credit to more people.

We’ve also partnered with China’s largest online direct-sales company, JD.com, to expand consumer credit in China. There are more than half a billion people in China with no credit history. The lack of credit data in China makes it incredibly difficult to determine credit risk. Our platform turns shopping and other non-traditional data into credit data, creating credit histories from scratch.

We’re growing fast and we’re looking for exceptional, caring, “Zesty” people to join our team. We thrive on people voicing their ideas. Our culture is special to us – and we’re proud of it. We demonstrate our huge commitment to diversity through our actions and we offer awesome benefits. If you want to solve hard problems and make people’s lives better, come talk to us!