Zest AI Honored in Fast Company’s 2021 Next Big Things in Tech Awards

Zest AI team

November 18, 2021

Zest AI, a leader in software for credit underwriting, today announced it has been selected as an honoree in Fast Company’s inaugural 2021 Next Big Things in Tech Awards. The awards recognize the companies and technologies that promise to redefine their industries and create a positive impact for consumers, businesses and society at large in the next five years.

Specifically, Zest AI was recognized for its Fairness Kit, a set of software applications created in response to demand from banks and credit unions looking to reduce bias from consumer lending. Zest’s patented machine learning-based solution automatically optimizes credit underwriting models for both accuracy and fairness, creating real options for the first time for lenders that want to close the racial approval rate gap in consumer credit.

“We are honored to have our fair lending efforts recognized by Fast Company for this award,” said Mike de Vere, CEO of Zest AI. “Traditionally, lenders have had to make trade-offs between accuracy in risk prediction and minimizing disparate impact. Through our technology, these lenders can make more accurate decisions and say yes to more people who might have struggled to get affordable credit. This award further endorses our mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone.”

Zest’s software helps financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, go beyond the statistical and data limitations of traditional credit scores to say yes to good borrowers who are often overlooked by legacy techniques. Zest-built models generate up to 20% increases in approval rates with no added risk, and up to 50% reductions in charge-offs by using more data and the advanced math of machine learning. Zest customers have delivered 12 million AI-powered scores to date across more than $125 billion in portfolios, and Zest-built models now originate more than $1.5 billion in loans per quarter.

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