AI can help SMEs grow, says Aussie fintech

by Mike Wood20 May 2021

The government backing of the digital economy can help lenders to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) in lending, according to one of Australia’s leading fintechs.

Moula, who lend to small businesses, are already using AI to help make loan application decisions and commended the $1.2 billion that the Federal Government announced would be ploughed into Australia’s digital sector two weeks ago.

The announcement, which came ahead of last week’s Federal Budget, will see funding given over the next six years with the intention of supporting the tech sector as part of the Digital Economy Strategy.

A National AI Centre will be established, along with four other Digital Capability Centres, and SMEs are being encouraged to enact digital transformation, in particular AI, to help them to get ahead.

AI can be used in a wide range of businesses. Moula have used it to speed up loan turnaround times, using the data given to them by prospective SME borrowers to accelerate decision making processes and get money into small businesses faster.

"AI is transformative for business,” said Paul Pesavento, Moula's Chief Product and Data Officer. “At Moula, we've been using it to help service our SMEs clients faster, bringing our average credit decision time down from 24 hours to less than two. But we're only scratching the surface of what Australia can achieve through leveraging AI. We're proud to see the government investing in uplifting digital capabilities across Australia, so that adoption isn't concentrated just among tech companies."

Moula’s words come on the back of the endorsement from Fintech Australia, who spoke to Australian Broker last week about the confidence that swept through fintechs when the news broke.

“There’s a lot of welcome news from the Morrison Government’s Digital Strategy,” said CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy. “Overall, we believe it indicates a broader shift in their thinking about how tech and fintech sectors can stimulate the economy and lead it towards a stronger future.”