March 6, 2014 — Report

Approximately 64 million consumers in the United States have no credit history or lack sufficient credit history to generate a credit score, cutting off access to traditional banking services. Finding a way of getting affordable access to credit is of vital importance to the economic well-being of this population. It also represents an untapped market with the potential for big profits. So it is unsurprising that in this era of big data, information culled from Internet searches, social media, and mobile apps would be put to use
towards that goal. However, it is unclear as to whether doing so will be beneficial for the low-income consumer. These products may fill a void and provide affordable access to credit to these underserved populations or they may be a means of preying on vulnerable communities.