Financial-Technology Firms Tap AI to Reach More Borrowers

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OppFi Inc., a 10-year-old fintech platform based in Chicago, targets U.S. households with an average of $50,000 in annual income that need extra cash for car repairs, medical bills, student loans and other expenses. Todd Schwartz, the company's chief executive, said its customers are employed and have bank accounts but are otherwise "locked out of mainstream financial services." The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team. OppFi, which made its public-market debut last summer, uses an AI model, real-time data analytics and a proprietary scoring algorithm to automate the underwriting process. It generates a credit score by analyzing a loan applicant's online shopping habits, income and employment information, among other data sources.

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