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Will networks be the new scoring tools for banking establishments?

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This is information that went unnoticed this summer, but it may well be that banking institutions will resort, in the more or less near future, to social networks to determine the profile of potential customers.

In August, Facebook filed a patent with the United Stages Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) on an algorithm that allows it, among other things, to determine the borrower's repayment capacity based on their relationships on Facebook.

Although this idea may, at first glance, seem somewhat shocking, should we only see it as drawbacks? First of all, it should be remembered that the rating criteria of a financial institution are checked by bodies with higher authority: the ACPR (Prudential Control and Resolution Authority) for France, but also the ECB (European Central Bank) for European banks in general.

These 2 organizations (to stay within French territory) will therefore have their say in the event that a banking or credit organization decides to incorporate the famous Facebook indicator into its scoring tool. Added to this is the need for the credit organization to respect a number of legal constraints which it cannot free itself from, which aim in particular at data confidentiality, a subject on which Facebook is very often singled out by its various critics.

A boon for developing countries?

Although the new Facebook tool is probably not yet usable by French and European financial organizations for the reasons explained above, can we not see it as a great tool for, in particular, developing countries?

The American firm, which has for some time launched a number of projects to connect the world, and in particular to provide an Internet connection in areas that are today completely isolated, could perhaps serve as a tool for local organizations which have too little information to establish a true profile of the borrower, often leading to a refusal on the part of the credit institution. In these countries therefore, the new Facebook tool could therefore become the first scoring tool in emerging countries, allowing the improvement of access to micro-credit in particular.

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