Zest AI to Power Credit Card Underwriting for First National Bank of Omaha

Zest AI team

August 12, 2020

FNBO to Leverage Zest’s Machine Learning to Better Score Loans, Increase Profitability and Manage Risk

LOS ANGELES, August 12, 2020— Today, Zest AI, the leader in artificial intelligence (AI) software for underwriting, announced a partnership with First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), in which FNBO will be using Zest AI technology to generate faster and more profitable growth in its consumer credit card portfolio.

With Zest’s machine learning technology, FNBO will be able to make faster and more accurate underwriting decisions—approving more good loans and fewer bad ones—driving higher consumer satisfaction and supporting higher yields for its credit card partners. Zest’s team will work closely with the FNBO data science team to create the bank’s first AI-based underwriting model and provide training for building subsequent models using industry best practices.

“Zest really focused on the things that matter most to us: compliance, documentation, and rigorous monitoring of ML underwriting models,” says Mihaela Kobjerowski, Chief Consumer Credit Risk Officer, First National Bank of Omaha. “Fairness has always been a core tenet for FNBO and Zest’s technology helps us optimize our lending models for maximum accuracy and fairness, ensuring we do right by the communities we serve.”

Given the economic uncertainty as a result of Covid-19, FNBO and Zest are eager to partner together to deliver faster, more accurate decisions to approve more credit-worthy borrowers, while maintaining portfolio safety. As lenders of all shapes and sizes seek ways to meet customer needs under new constraints, FNBO sees AI-based underwriting from Zest as a key component to operating more efficiently.

FNBO expects to put its first machine learning lending model into production later this year.

“First National Bank of Omaha saw exactly how to fit the power of machine learning into its already top-flight lending process,” says Mike de Vere, CEO of Zest AI. “We look forward to helping FNBO expand credit access to more deserving consumers in the fairest possible way.”

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About First National Bank of Omaha

First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and nearly 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Zest AI

Zest AI makes the power of machine learning safe to use in credit underwriting. Lenders using Zest AI software make better decisions and better loans—increasing revenue, reducing risk, and automating compliance. Zest AI was founded in 2009 with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone and is now one of the fastest-growing fintech software companies. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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