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Discover, ZestFinance partner on AI-based credit scoring

Discover Financial Services has entered an agreement with ZestFinance, a developer of underwriting software, to create what they call the world’s biggest platform for AI-based credit scoring according to a company release.

Discover will use the Zest automated machine learning platform for a more accurate lending criteria beyond the use of traditional credit scores.

Discover and Zest said that during trials of the platform they were able to reduce default rates by incorporating more data with artificial intelligence technology.

"Banks that fail to invest in machine learning will end up fundamentally uncompetitive in a couple of years," Discover President and CEO Roger Hochschild said in the announcement.

The companies plan to put their machine learning model into service later this year. Hochschild and Zest founder and CEO Douglas Merrill will appear together to discuss the venture on April 8 at the Lendit Fintech conference in San Francisco.