CredScope: putting the power of data in our hands

Lab Fellowship is back for 2018-19 – and this year’s theme is data! While we hunt for the most exciting new data-driven financial innovations that put people and planet first, we’re also looking back at some of the brilliant leaders from our previous Fellowship cohorts – and where they are now.

First up is Dr Freda Owusu – who took part in the Fellowship pilot programme in 2016 with her start-up CredScope (previously Insight Report). CredScope is an alternative, bottom-up credit reference agency that enables customers to build a credit rating through alternative data, providing a holistic credit score centred on the consumer as a person, rather than their previous credit history alone.

So, how does it work? Customers register for CredScope online and build a profile by uploading information, and supporting documents, that provide insights into their risk profile. For example, they might upload proof of their history of rent payments, regular charity donations or even qualifications they’ve received. CredScope then uses this data to generate a credit score, and connect customers with potential service providers. If further verification is required, CredScope offers this service for a fee of £10-£20.

As well as supporting more people to become financially included, CredScope offers a great business opportunity for providers – who can lose around 30% of potential low risk customers because of traditional credit profiling methods. In addition, CredScope’s online marketplace also allows customers to rate different service providers, to help other customers make the right choice for them.

Before taking part in Lab Fellowship, Freda worked as a Loan Fund Manager for 10 years, earned a PhD in Social Policy, and co-founded iHealth-Direct, a telemedicine service for health inclusion. Freda found Fellowship to be especially useful for developing her collaborative leadership and marketing skills, feeling part of an inspiring and supportive community of peers, and gaining a network of contacts working in financial inclusion. You can read more about Freda’s experience in the independent 2017 Financial Health Fellowship Evaluation.

Since taking part in the Fellowship, CredScope have secured FCA authorisation, developed the CredScope brand, and launched a new website. In 2017, they were chosen from over 80 applicants to be one of six finalists for Tech Nation’s Fintech for All competition, and were joint winners of the Diaspora Challenge for Africa competition. They are currently working on a new product for African countries called Truuscore which will be released soon.

For Lab Fellowship 2018-19, we’re looking for more brilliant innovations like CredScope that use data to make finance serve people (and planet!). Find out more and apply here.