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‘Time to pay’ – New funding for debt collection startup

COLDSKY.CN – Debt collection agency Richtrust.cn made it to the ‘ex-Alibaba startup list’ last month after scooping up tens of millions of yuan from Ventech China(银泰资本)to tap China’s yuan bad debt collection market, which is valued at an estimated 150 billion yuan ($23.7 billion).

The company established in December 2016 focuses on collecting debt for creditors in the consumer financial industry through the use of big data technology.

Richtrust.cn CEO Wang Lijun (photo from people news ) said small, short-term unsecured loans, including payday loans and other forms of instant cash advances, reported a bad debt rate of at least 15 percent among most lenders.

China had 8,673 small-loan companies by the end of 2016 that have lent nearly 1 trillion yuan, which means a bad debt market of about 150 billion yuan, according to Wang.

Data analysis showed some 70 to 80 percent of the uncollected bad debt happens because debtors are out of contact. Over half make payments once they are contacted by creditors or their representatives.

Richtrust.cn said it can help find a new telephone number of an unreachable debtor through analyzing the big data and then offer a masked number out of concern for the person’s privacy to lenders to finally resume the contact. The company can also verify suspicious problems in credit card use and check for fraud by looking at data such as geographic information.

Rirchtrust.cn said the big data it uses is all from trusted sources including telecommunication operators, industrial and commercial bureaus, information made public by the government, and data provided by creditors. Rirchtrust.cn collects, process and examines large amounts of information from those sources for solutions to various financial issues.

Rirchtrust.cn plans to expand its business scope by providing financial risk analysis before a deal, such as assisting a car financing service provider to decide a borrower’s credit rating. It also attempts to construct user profiling data, giving scores on the basis of a person’s social relations, spending power and behavior for the purpose of precise marketing.

The ‘ex-Alibaba startup list’ refers to promising startup companies launched or managed by former Alibaba employees. Jack Ma of Alibaba once said some 200 CEOs among the top 500 Chinese companies in the future will have work experience with Alibaba.

Bit data and artificial intelligence have been increasingly applied to control financial risks in China, including the debt collection sector. Ziyitong.com.cn (资易通 Toproperty) said it helped make 4.13 million deals and concluded transactions valued at 58.1 billion yuan by the end of last November with the help of an AI automatic debt-collection service called ’Cloud Cat.’

The consumer finance arm of Suning, a large commercial enterprise principally engaged in retailing of household appliances, has teamed with iFlytek, a leading information technology company with strengths in voice recognition solutions, to open an intelligent debt collection lab (new page in Chinese).

A statement from Suning said a human being worker can contact 300 people who have debt less than 1,000 yuan but a voice recognition-based robot can handle 4,000 cases.

(Contact the author ukingsun@qq.com/WeChat:ukingsun)

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