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Business

Startup to use online shopping histories to set credit scores

SoftBank-Mizuho joint venture will tie up with Yahoo Japan

J.Score considers a loan to a customer only if the applicant scores 600 or higher under its AI-based credit rating system.

TOKYO -- A Tokyo fintech startup will use customers' shopping records at Yahoo Japan's e-commerce sites to assess their credit scores, starting next spring.

The novel way to employ big data in fintech services, believed to be the first attempt in Japan to use personal e-commerce transaction data for personal loans, will be spearheaded by J.Score, a 50-50 joint venture between SoftBank and Mizuho Bank.

The startup uses artificial intelligence to set credit scores for its customers. It currently bases the score assessment on individuals' transaction histories with Mizuho Bank, a unit of Mizuho Financial Group, and bill payment records with SoftBank Group's mobile phone services.

The credit score, whose maximum point is 1,000, is used to set lending rates, which range from 0.9% up to 12% per year. Up to 10 million yen ($88,140) can be loaned to a qualifying customer.

Starting next spring, J.Score will also use customers' purchase histories at Yahoo Japan's online shopping and auction sites to assess their credit scores, provided that the customer gives consent. Furthermore, J.Score customers will get bonus points for their shopping at Yahoo Japan's e-commerce sites.

The tie-up will be officially announced shortly. J.Score aims to connect with more retailers and gain access to more data to improve the accuracy of its credit assessments.

Since launching its service in September, J.Score has attracted roughly 30,000 customers.

Yahoo Japan is a public listed unit of SoftBank Group.

(Nikkei)

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