Phnom Penh – Dr. Sonja Kelly, Global Vice President for Research and Advocacy at Women’s World Banking, conducted a workshop on “Leveraging the Power of Data for Effective Credit Risk Assessment” for financial services providers in Cambodia, at the Hyatt Regency in Phnom Penh, on 11 August 2023. This workshop sought to build the capacity of participating financial services providers to increase the accuracy of credit risk assessments for thin-file and under-represented customers, such as low-income women, leveraging new and alternative data. The workshop also highlighted how to avoid biases to increase inclusivity and reach new markets.
According to the World Bank, two-thirds of Cambodian women and men have not borrowed from a financial institution in the past year. Without a formal credit history or collateral, accessing funds for prospective borrowers can be difficult. New data offers alternatives for financial institutions to predict the credit worthiness of these “thin file” customers.
“Data is the new gold. This reality underscores the potential for lenders to create new opportunities in Cambodia. When well-used, data can get more credit to more women more efficiently. The amount of data that exists on loan applicants is higher than it has ever been, and it is growing. Harnessing the power of this data for both business and customer objectives means employing creative new data analytics techniques and ensuring the accuracy of these models for under-represented groups,” said Dr. Kelly.
Dr. Kelly further stated that the next frontier of lending will be data-driven. Harnessing this data for accurate, effective, and fair credit scoring means building strong data science foundations. “As the volume of data we have on new customer segments grows, so should our capacity to use it,” she said.
In this interactive workshop, Women’s World Banking shared easy-to-use tools and approaches for data analysis to help financial services providers identify new business opportunities. At least 30 executives from prominent industry players, including WING Bank, Acleda Bank, Cambodian Public Bank, AMK Microfinance Institution, Phillip Bank Cambodia, Hattha Bank, and Credit Bureau Cambodia, attended the workshop.