Solution Paper: i-Score platform for managing Credit Risk & developing Early Warning Indicators

Introduction

The last few years, globalization, increased competition and the financial crisis, with the dramatic effect in almost every organization’s liquidity and financial stance, has turned Credit Risk Management as one of the most critical success factors for organizations and institutions who sell products and services around the globe on credit.

At the same time, Credit Risk Scoring Systems (CRSS) have evolved significantly, supporting or completely replacing traditional Credit Risk Management practices, especially in large banking institutions (tier-1), which are in the position to finance the extremely costly process for research & development of similar systems, utilizing proprietary technology.

Respectively, Early Warning Indicators Systems (EWIS), are usually a special category among CRSS services and represent an innovative area, since the ability to foresee and manage the risk associated with a customer account before it defaults is of immense importance for every organization.

Developing tools which can combine all the above characteristics and functionality, and at the same time are affordable to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), has become imperative for the viability and further progress and development of organizations worldwide.

i-Score Description

i-Score is a complete, user-friendly platform for managing credit risk strategies. It is the only system in the Greek market for implementing, improving, evaluating and presenting Credit risk, offering the ability for developing Early Warning indicators and producing related Reports, embedded in a common platform (credit scoring, collection and recoveries scoring models).

In addition, it allows organizations to advance their Decision-Making capabilities, and to create the most suitable Strategies.

i-Score’s biggest strength  lies in its ability to offer simulation and comparison capabilities  between various scenarios, and finding the most effective one, resulting in increased cash inflows and liquidity, and thus offering a significant competitive advantage to every organization!

With i-Score, implementing internal rules and policies, and ensuring compliance to local and international regulations has become easier than ever before. Designing and improving decisions throughout the complete Customer Life Cycle, is now a quick and clear process, as i-Score empowers users to design appropriate strategies for effective decision-making, utilizing  all available date and information.

Figure 1 Integration between i-Score & Loan Application system

Figure 1: Integration between i-Score & Loan Application system

i-Score is best suited for the following industries:

  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Construction
  • Utilities
  • Retail
  • Health
  • Oil & Gas
  • FMCG
  • Autos
  • Heavy Industries
  • Telecoms

Figure 2 Example of Customer Segmentation model

Figure 2: Example of Customer Segmentation model

 

i-Score benefits

 

i-Score Modules

1. Model Designer

Model Designer is a module supporting the creation of business rules in a user-friendly graphical environment, rendering each business unit or department, independent from the IT department!

i-Score operates in  a user-friendly graphical environment, offering trained users all the necessary tools to build logical diagrams for decision-making, without utilizing programming and coding.

Model Designer adds a layer of flexibility between i-Score and the departments responsible for analysis & management of credit risk, where business logic can be easily applied multiple times, eliminating risk.

Model Designer module provides users with significant benefits:

MODEL DESIGNER TABLE - SOLUTION PAPER

Each business user can build models from the ground up, or use existing ones from the “public library”. Depending on their access rights, users have the ability to customize and further evolve their models according to their individual needs.

2. Accelerator Model Pack

The module for designing and depicting Credit Scoring & Early Warning Indication models.

The ready-to-use general models of the Accelerator Model Pack module for the financial products that offer the most benefits to an organization are the following:

  • Origination models for granting financial products (line of credit, loans, etc)
  • Collection & Recovery Models for improving collections strategies and liquidity
  • Business models for calculating and anticipating business risk

These Generic Models are designed to cover the requirements of every organization, and are especially useful to companies which lack the critical amount of data to develop specialized models or the funds to purchase the models they need.

Figure 3 Integration between i-Score models with a Collection system

Figure 3: Integration between i-Score models with a Collection system

One of the biggest benefits of using the generic models of the Accelerator Model Pack is their low cost compared to manual work, and their availability, since the time-consuming task for accessing and implementing company-specific information is eliminated.

It is important to note that the models are perfectly aligned with the various credit rules and policies of each organization, and become part of the evaluation process of a client or account.  Along with the whole evaluation system, these models must be closely monitored for performance and accuracy, as the respective market info and data is dynamic and changes often.

3. Model & Data Sharing – Bench marking – Crowd Sourcing

It is an innovative web platform for digital distribution and comparison of credit scoring models. Along with the availability of test and production data from the Data Sharing / Benchmarking Module, it allows third-party vendors to develop:

  • Scoring Models
  • Datasets

and evaluate:

  • Scorecard Bench marking
  • User Evaluation

This service represents a digital distribution platform, similar to market-leading platforms for distributing applications and e-books, like “Google play”, the “Apple app store”, “Microsoft windows store” and “Amazon kindle store “. Each company has developed a platform supporting a proprietary operating environment, allowing registered users to develop and distribute to the public various applications, for music, books, games, everyday apps, etc.

The innovative characteristic of i-Score lies in its advanced capability to distribute credit risk models where each registered user can use them and rate them, helping the public make the right choice. This is done through a service sitting on a Private or Public Cloud, where users can register, share objects, and maintain & update models.

Figure 4 Central Dashboard of the Model Sharing & Crowd-Sourcing Module

Figure 4: Central Dashboard of the Model Sharing & Crowd-Sourcing Module

4. Data Integration Module – (DIM)

The Data Integration Module (DIM) is the central distributor of information, both internally in i-Score, and from/to third-party systems. It is responsible for collecting data from all available business sources and to load them on the i-Score database.

It is the heart and soul of the platform, supplying all the information distribution processes using every method is required, depending on each individual request.

Figure 5 Data Loading Flow Chart

Figure 5: Data Loading Flow Chart

More specifically, it receives data from all available sources and loads them on the i-Score database. This data is used in all other modules, serving all the specific requirements of the processes responsible for managing the proper functioning of all models, like checking their performance, or the development of new models (scorecards, strategic decicions, early warning indicators, etc).

The Data Integration Module, unlike the majority of similar systems in the market, has been developed in a way that it does not require IT personnel and programmers to intervene.  To achieve this, the system offers pre-installed processes for data integration with well-known core banking and ERP systems, as well as a user-friendly environment showing standard (best practices) integration processes with heterogeneous systems, for non-technical users.

5. Business Intelligence module

The ever growing needs of a highly competitive market, make it imperative for organizations to process and utilize critical business information fast, to make the right decisions. Most of the times however, the sheer volume of information that must be processed, is large and decentralized, located in various heterogeneous systems within the organization.

The BI module collects data form various other i-Score modules, enriched with information and data from the models (score, decisions, risk grade, etc.) assisting users in identifying critical issues and facilitating the decision-making process.

Among the various benefits of BI module are:

  • the following-up on critical information and indicators,
  • the friendly way of updating information
  • the availability of complicated reports and fields

Figure 6 User-friendly Report Design

Figure 6: User-friendly Report Design

i-Score: A modern homogeneous platform

Traditionally, the numerous heterogeneous IT systems of financial and commercial organizations, presented users with similar challenges. In almost every situation, companies were using various systems performing very specific functions, without a common framework and rules to govern common characteristics, like centralized access rules, common operating platform and database, homogeneous and centralized rules governing change control, etc. Hence, users who work on these systems, usually have to follow inefficient and time-consuming procedures, like logging-in and logging-out from each solution, maintaining and entering multiple passwords, and using various operating systems like Unix, Web or Windows. As a result, working and maintaining these systems is becoming increasingly costly and inefficient, and requires more experienced users.

To avoid all these hurdles, i-Score was developed from the ground up as a homogeneous platform as presented below:

  • i-Score’s architecture is state of the art, and common for all associated modules.
  • One common module manages all users and their access rights takes.
  • The platform operates under modern security rules regarding its infrastructure, functionality and usage.
  • The development platform is common for all i-Score modules.
  • Parametrization of i-Score takes place via one common module.
  • All secutiry processes for the i-Score infrastructure is common for all modules e.g. security backups, data recovery, etc.

i-Score is an integrated and complete platform with centralized management rules, easily adapted to the most demanding rules and regulations, stemming from the need for multilayer access, and the execution of complicated processes and rules found in the modern organization of today.

Champion / Challenger methodology for Choosing Optimum Strategies

Organizations are continuously looking to identify optimum strategies for risk management, segmentation or liquidity improvement. However, to replace an existing strategy (Champion) with a better and improved one (Challenger), one must test its effectiveness. The Challenger comes with minor or serious modifications to challenge the effectiveness of the Champion.

i-Score provides users, through a decision model,  with the option to decide on the final model-method that will be used for each case.

All the cases that will fall under the challenger collections strategy, will be evaluated, and based on the results, the best model will prevail and become the model of choice.

Figure 7 Segmentation based on the Champion Challenger methodology

Figure 7: Segmentation based on the Champion Challenger methodology

Conclusion

i-Score is the only system in the Greek market for implementing, optimizing, evaluating and presenting credit scoring, collection & recoveries scoring models, assisting organizations to optimize the process of decision-making and develop appropriate strategies. It has significant contribution in increasing liquidity in every organization, and facilitates the efficient monitoring of its performance. Various i-Score benefits include the following:

  • It is a powerful yet affordable decision-making tool for the SME, offering valuable competitive advantages on an international level.
  • It offers significant agility – ability to respond and adapt to the ever changing and challenging organizational needs.
  • It helps improve the success rate of business decisions, presenting similar historical data in real time.
  • It increases organizational performance through accurate forecasting and improved decision-making, drastically reducing the room for mistakes.
  • It is user-friendly, ensuring reduced learning curves, and minimum resistance from the users.
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