From 2015 to 2017, Sesame offered credit ratings services for China’s biggest online lenders. But their ambitions were cut short when China’s central bank stopped allowing independent companies to provide credit ratings, and required all credit ratings to be given by a new public body called Baihang.
Sesame’s business now relies on tie-ups with hundreds of other companies. When a company joins the Sesame platform, it gives Sesame some of its user data, which helps inform Sesame scores. In return, Sesame helps the companies decide how likely different users are to violate their contracts. The companies often give perks to users with a high Sesame score, such as deposit-free rentals for umbrellas, bicycles or even apartments. Ant Financial will regularly promote the discounts on the Alipay mobile payments app.