Westpac has entered a partnership with AI company Rich Data Co (RDC) as part of broader efforts to improve the lending experience for its business customers and bankers.
The broader efforts cover the introduction of “a digital application process, smarter technology that enables faster decisions for borrowers and an expanded cash flow offering that allows complex businesses access to flexible, unsecured funding,” Westpac said.
Parts of this will be underpinned by the use of technology made by Sydney-based RDC.
Its AI platform is used to measure the “cashflow health” of a business – current and future – which is a key factor when determining whether or not to extend that business a line of credit, according to a post on Westpac Wire.
“In providing a past, present and future view of a business’s performance, AI can help bankers look through any seasonal volatility to get a more holistic view of whether it should be given credit or not,” the post states.
Westpac managing director of business lending Shane Howell said AI-led decisions will streamline lending processes.
“Integrating AI into our business lending decision-making processes will simplify and accelerate our lending practices for customers, allowing us to enhance our existing platforms and decisioning capability in a safe and controlled way,” Howell said.
He added the work provides “a deeper understanding of our customers so that we can support and provide insights as and when they need it.”
“Customers will see tangible benefits, including our two-sided digital finance application form, which allows both customers and bankers to jointly work on an application for a faster experience,” he said.
RDC also previously partnered with NAB in 2020 under a similar deal to augment and expand its small business lending capabilities.
Speaking at the time, NAB chief innovation officer Howard Silby said it would leverage RDC’s Delta platform, allowing the bank to “accelerate our lending options, leveraging alternative data and AI techniques and providing a means to assess SMEs who fall outside traditional credit models.”
Westpac’s news comes as CBA also embeds AI deeper into its operations via a partnership with H2O.ai.