Vouch looks at a number of explicit and implicit data points to determine what interest rate it offers a borrower using this social data, including: how “vouchers” answered survey questions, how quickly they responded to a request to vouch for a friend, response rates for vouch requests, the overall size of someone’s network, how many vouchers took the extra step to also sponsor a loan.
The idea with Vouch is to give consumers a way to receive lower interest rates on loans by having other family members and friends “vouch” for them. Explains Lee, “it’s kind of an old concept…to say that, if you’re the kind of person who’s being ignored by our current financial system, who do you turn to for help? Well, generally, your friends and family.” Lee says what’s novel about Vouch is this idea to actually plot that network and a user’s social ties as related to credit worthiness within an application like his. “If we can help map out that trust network, then maybe those would be interesting relationships to draw on for access to financial services,” he adds.