FICO announced that LIFECARD, a credit card company with more than 5.7 million accounts, is the first lender in Japan to adopt the FICO Score to enhance its credit assessment for existing customers. Calculating an appropriate and timely offer for a credit limit increase is made more accurate by reassessing customers with the FICO Score, which analyzes their credit bureau data from all their credit accounts.
LIFECARD is also using the FICO Score to realize risk and cost reduction by better evaluating credit risk eligibility.
Shinichiro Okuyama, executive officer at LIFECARD, said, “Growth in the Japanese banking market continues to be hard-won. A contracting population, ultra-low interest rates, shrinking margins and constrained demand mean that lenders need to find opportunities for innovation. To grow our share-of-wallet we needed a way to differentiate our approach to lending, and offering proactive credit limit increases and personal loan offers to our customers offered us that. Using the FICO Score, we can do this in a responsible and profitable manner.”
FICO Scores have been available for more than ten years in Japan and are based on credit data at the major credit bureaus. Until now they have only been utilized by financial institutions for loans origination.
“Numerous credit card companies in Japan are using custom risk models for originations but little else,” said Hiroshi Muramoto, country manager for Japan at FICO. “LIFECARD is being innovative in the market, using scoring to help them pursue new directions in account management. By using the FICO Score, they are able to make better decisions and be more competitive in the Japanese market.”
LIFECARD has validated their approach by measuring the FICO Score’s performance and stability. They confirmed its high level of predictive performance using more than 300,000 sample accounts
“FICO’s scoring expertise is recognized the world over,” said Dan McConaghy, president for FICO Asia-Pacific. “We are seeing its uptake in developing markets to grow lending as well as developed markets to capture more business against competitors. Customers like LIFECARD are a good example of how lenders need to harness technology to improve service and enhance differentiation. The FICO Score allows them to gain a better understanding of their client’s risk profile and tailor an offer to their individual standing and preference.”