NAB boosts SME lending with AI deal

by Gerv Tacadena09 Dec 2020

NAB has inked a deal with Rich Data Corporation to co-develop a solution that will help the major utilise AI prediction to better meet its small business clients' financing needs.

Under the new arrangement, NAB and Rich Data Corp will work together to harness the latter's AI prediction and decisioning capability software, Delta, to better serve the SME sector. 

The new approach will be established in a "test and learn" environment, allowing NAB to develop a more thorough understanding of the needs of small businesses.

The deal will also see NAB utilise Delta's enhanced analytics and monitoring tools to identify portfolio risks. Further, NAB will be able to link traditional and alternative data sources to provide more accurate and transparent prediction and credit decisions, a feature which will be particularly helpful in assessing SMEs with little to no credit history or those who fall outside the traditional credit models.

Howard Silby, executive for innovation and partnerships at NAB, has no doubts the Delta platform will enable the bank to improve its lending options for SMEs.

"We remain committed to finding new ways to serve and meet the needs of our small business customers," he said.

NAB is expected to deploy the software early next year.

Ada Guan, co-founder and CEO of Rich Data Corp, expressed his hope the partnership will enable NAB to find opportunities to better support businesses that undergo substantial changes from events such as the current economic crunch. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on small businesses and its ability to access responsible credit," she said.

"It has highlighted the critical role that real-time data and AI can play in understanding the financial challenges these businesses are facing and determining the credit models that suit their needs and are easier to service."