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从卫生间看你的借贷偿还能力

更新时间:2016-10-12 11:55:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Snooping in the Bathroom to Assess Credit Risk in China
从卫生间看你的借贷偿还能力

KUNSHAN, China — Banks and other lenders typically look at borrowers’ credit histories, tax forms and other financial information to determine whether they will get paid back. In China, lenders also look at their bathrooms.

中国昆山——银行等贷款机构通常会考察借方的信用记录、税务报表以及其他财务信息,以便确认他们是否具有偿还能力。在中国,贷方还会查看他们的卫生间。

Lenders have to be creative. As the economy slows, the government wants to nurture a credit culture to get Chinese families spending instead of saving.

贷方必须具备创新精神。随着经济放缓,政府想要培育一种信用文化,推动中国家庭多消费,而不是多储蓄。

But judging creditworthiness is tricky in a country where cash reigns, fraud is rife and even the most basic details can be difficult to verify. Despite China’s size and wealth, most people have never taken out a mortgage or used a credit card, so lenders often have little reliable information about potential borrowers.

但在一个现金占据主导、欺诈屡见不鲜,甚至连最基本的细节也难以核实的国度里,判断信用可靠度是一项棘手的工作。尽管中国是一个拥有许多财富的大国,但大多数人从未获得过抵押贷款或者使用过信用卡,因此贷方手上基本没有关于潜在借款者的可靠信息。

To fill the gaps, one upstart lender, China Rapid Finance, supplements data analysis with on-the-ground spade work. The company’s investigators, in more than 90 cities, check for the number of toothbrushes or towels to determine how many people are living in a house. They look for dirty dishes in the kitchen. They take photos of a potential borrower at work to confirm employment status.

为了填补这一空白,信贷界新晋企业信而富(China Rapid Finance)以实地调查作为数据分析的补充。该公司遍布90多个城市的调查人员,会通过牙刷或者毛巾的数量来确定一套房子里住着多少人。他们会进厨房寻找脏盘子。会为潜在借款者拍摄工作照,以确认其就业状况。

A growing number of companies are trying to crack the credit code in China. The internet giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are developing credit scoring systems based on users’ online transactions and search histories. Another niche lender, Jubao Internet Technology, plugs dozens of variables into its proprietary credit formula, including whether borrowers use their social media accounts to connect with celebrities.

在中国,竭力破解信用密码的公司日益增多。互联网巨头阿里巴巴、腾讯和百度正在研发以用户的线上交易和搜索历史记录为基础的信用评分系统。另一家专注利基市场的信贷机构聚宝汇把数十种变量纳入了其专有的信用公式,其中包括借方是否会用自己的社交媒体账号与名人交流。

“This is probably the largest untapped consumer finance market globally,” said the founder and chief executive of China Rapid Finance, Zane Wang, who spent years as the head of analytics at the credit arm of Sears, the American retailer.

“这或许是全球最大的有待开发的消费金融市场,”信而富创始人兼首席执行官王征宇说。他曾在美国零售商希尔斯公司(Sears)的信用卡部门当过多年的分析主管。

Getting credit right is crucial to China’s economic plans. The government is trying to bolster consumer spending to help offset the sharp decline in the smokestack industries that previously helped power the country’s ascent. China will need to increase the use of credit to make it easier to spend, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls that come with too much debt.

用好信贷对中国的经济规划而言至关重要。以前曾为中国崛起提供动力的传统重工业陡然出现滑坡,政府正竭力拉升消费支出,以抵消其影响。中国需要加大对信贷的利用力度,好让消费变得更加便利,同时又要避免掉进负债过多的陷阱。

Shifting generational dynamics will play a big role, as China’s millennials are much more likely to use credit than their scrimping and saving parents. But lenders will also need to put the right products in their hands.

代际转换态势将起到举足轻重的作用,因为比起省吃俭用的父母,中国的千禧一代利用信贷的可能性要大得多。但贷方也需要向他们奉上适当的产品。

While the country’s wealth has swelled, the financial system has not kept pace.

尽管中国的财富在增长,但其金融系统并未保持同步。

Most consumers lack access to credit cards, loans and other traditional products offered by banks. The World Bank estimates that 79 percent of China’s population above the age of 15 have bank accounts, while only 10 percent have ever borrowed from the formal financial system.

大多数消费者都缺乏获得信用卡、贷款或者银行提供的其他传统产品的途径。世界银行(World Bank)估计,15岁以上的中国人里,拥有银行账户的占79%,但从正规的金融系统中借过钱的只有10%。

China’s banks have a modest consumer lending business. But they typically favor making loans to big state-owned companies.

中国各银行的消费信贷业务不温不火。但它们通常乐于为大型国有企业提供贷款。

Instead, online lenders are emerging as the pioneers, catering to China’s rising consumer class. Alibaba’s financial affiliate makes small loans to online shoppers and vendors on its e-commerce platforms. JD.com offers loans for small purchases and education-related expenses. Peer-to-peer lenders match investors with consumers, small businesses and other borrowers.

相反,网络信贷机构正以先锋的姿态冒出头来,迎合中国日益壮大的消费阶层的需求。阿里巴巴的金融子公司为其电子商务平台上的买家和卖家提供小额贷款。京东商城向小额购买以及与教育相关的支出提供贷款。个人对个人信贷机构把投资者与消费者、小企业以及其他借款者匹配起来。

They are trying to attract the next generation of spenders like Mao Yiting, a researcher at the local antiquities bureau in the coastal city of Haining.

它们正想方设法地吸引新一代借款者,沿海城市海宁当地文物保护管理机构的研究人员茅奕婷就是它们的目标之一。

Ms. Mao, 27, has never had a credit card or taken out a loan. But she regularly borrows small amounts of just over $90 from Huabei, a consumer lending business started by the Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. She uses the money to pay for online purchases like books, dog food, or ingredients for the dessert recipes she likes to cook.

27岁的茅奕婷从未办过信用卡或者向银行申请过贷款。但她会定期通过花呗借得少量款项——只有90美元多一点。花呗是阿里巴巴的子公司蚂蚁金服推出的消费信贷业务。她用这笔钱在网上购买书籍、狗粮,或者购买食材做她爱做的甜点。

“I always pay the debt on Huabei on time,” said Ms. Mao, who repays the money in installments. “It’s more convenient than the credit cards issued by banks.”

“我总是及时在蚂蚁花呗上还款。花呗比银行的信用卡方便多了。”会分期还款的茅奕婷说。

But online lending in China still has a Wild West aspect — for both the lender and the borrower.

但中国的网络信贷仍有蛮荒西部(Wild West)的一面——对放款者和借款者而言都是如此。

Peer-to-peer platforms have proved hugely popular in China, with outstanding loans of more than 600 billion renminbi ($90 billion), according to figures compiled by Moody’s Investors Service and Wangdaizhijia. But the industry’s reputation has been marred by scandal, like the collapse of Ezubao, which authorities called a $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme.

事实证明,个人对个人平台在中国极受欢迎,来自穆迪投资者服务公司(Moody’s Investors Service)和网贷之家的数据显示,此类平台的未偿贷款额突破了6000亿人民币(约合900亿美元)。但这个行业的声誉却因E租宝倒台之类的丑闻而蒙羞。当局称,E租宝制造了一个76亿美元的庞氏骗局。

After that, regulators have stepped up their oversight of online lenders, including setting caps on the amounts that can be borrowed. The regulators’ tightening grip is “something like a shepherd gradually herding his sheep into an increasingly narrowing pen or chute,” said Mark Natkin, the founder and managing director at Marbridge Consulting, based in Beijing.

那之后,监管机构加强了对网贷平台的监管,采取了设定贷款额度上限等举措。其收紧控制之举“有点儿像是牧羊人把羊群逐渐赶进越来越窄的羊栏或者溜道,”总部设在北京的迈博瑞咨询有限公司(Marbridge Consulting)的执行董事马克·纳特金(Mark Natkin)说道。

The lenders themselves are entering a financial black hole, with little to no credit history on potential borrowers.

至于借方自己,它们正进入一个金融黑洞,几乎不掌握潜在借款者的信用记录。

In the United States, the Big Three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — compile borrowing and repayment records to create so-called FICO scores. Financial institutions rely heavily on those scores to make lending decisions.

在美国,三大信评机构——Equinox、Experian和TransUnion——会收集借款和还款记录,给出所谓的FICO信用分数。金融机构在做贷款决策时极为依赖这些分数。

China lacks a direct equivalent. The central bank’s main database includes personal credit history data on less than a third of the country’s population.

中国缺乏与之直接对应的东西。央行的主数据库里只有该国不到三分之一人口的个人信用记录。

“Compared with the broad consumer base, there is still lots of room to go,” said Paul Wang, a co-founder and the chief executive of Happyfi.com, a Shanghai start-up that guides online lenders on risk management.

“与庞大的消费群相比,还有很大的改进空间,”乐融金融(Happyfi.com)联合创始人兼首席执行官王文阳说。乐融金融是上海一家引导网络借贷机构进行风险管理的初创企业。

Without a more complete depository of information, the industry is finding new ways to build those histories.

由于没有更为完备的信息库,这个行业正在寻找建立信用记录的新方法。

WeLab, an online lender, uses data collected on mobile phones, with the permission of users, to automatically process hundreds of details about potential borrowers’ habits, online and offline. When deciding whether to lend money, it becomes granular, like the time of a day a loan application is submitted. Those filed from 1 and 6 a.m. have a higher correlation with repayment default, according to Simon Loong, the founder and chief executive of WeLab.

网络贷款机构我来贷(Welab)在得到用户允许的情况下,利用收集自手机的数据,自动处理潜在借款者线上线下各种习惯的大量详尽信息。在决定是否放贷的时候,它会更加注重各种细节,比如贷款申请是在一天中的哪个时段提交的。我来贷的创始人兼首席执行官龙沛智称,申请如果是在凌晨1点至早上6点之间提交的,还款违约的概率就会高一些。

“Getting efficient access to cheap lending is still a fundamental way of how people improve their quality of life,” said Mr. Loong, a banking veteran whose start-up has backing from Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, and Sequoia, the Silicon Valley investor.

“拥有获得低廉信贷的有效途径,依然是人们提高生活品质的基本方法,”曾长期从事银行业的龙沛智说。他的初创企业获得了香港亿万富豪李嘉诚和硅谷红杉资本(Sequoia)的投资。

China Rapid Finance draws on transaction data and other records from dozens of internet companies, including Baidu and Tencent. The company feeds this raw data into its own algorithms to identify potential customers.

信而富会利用来自百度、腾讯等数十家互联网企业的交易数据以及其他记录。该公司用自己的算法来处理这些原始数据,进而识别出潜在客户。

Based on that information, the company first gives out small, preapproved loans to build a credit history. China Rapid recently teamed up with Tencent’s QQ messaging platform to offer loans of $75.

基于这些信息,信而富会发放预先批准的小额贷款,以便建立信用记录。它最近和腾讯的QQ通通信平台联手推出了限额为75美元(约合500元人民币)的信贷产品。

After a borrower repays several loans, the company then hands out bigger amounts. At that point, the company’s investigators step into the mix to vet borrowers further.

一个借款者还过几次款以后,该公司会增加额度。届时,公司的调查人员就会加入进来,进一步审核借款者的情况。

One applicant, the company said, wanted to borrow 100,000 renminbi for 18 months at an annual interest rate of 2.89 percent. The applicant, a 28-year-old single man from Changchun, wanted the money to renovate his home.

该公司称,曾有一名申请者想要借10万元,期限为18个月,年利率为2.89%。这是一名28岁的单身男子,来自长春,想用这笔钱翻修自己的住房。

It did not pass muster. On inspection, the company found that the applicant had stayed at what he claimed was his residence for only three days. His stated employer had no record of him.

这份申请没能通过审核。该公司在审核时发现,这名申请者在其声称的自家住宅里刚刚住了三天。他口中的雇主那里也没有他的记录。

”We need to have a mechanism to check and verify,” said Mr. Wang of China Rapid Finance. “We have to start somewhere.”

“我们需要有一个核查机制,”信而富的王征宇说。“我们必须着手去做。”

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