As reported in new Equifax research, 63 million American adults are either unbanked or underbanked. One in five adults in the U.S. lack the credit history needed to establish a credit score. Developing new ways to reach underserved, underbanked, and credit-rebuilding consumers is the basis for a new research partnership between Equifax and the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.
As part of this initiative, Scheller’s Financial Services Innovation Lab will leverage anonymized Equifax data assets to further its innovative research. Equifax data scientists will also provide hands-on data education to speed research time. The goal is to increase consumer access to credit and support growth in fintech entrepreneurship in Atlanta.
"Our purpose is to help people live their financial best. We strive to create economically healthy individuals and communities everywhere we do business,” said Christopher Yasko, senior vice president of the Equifax Data Science Lab. “Partnering with Georgia Tech enables us to work hands-on with the next generation of data scientists to create solutions that could positively impact consumers for decades to come.”
The Financial Services Innovation Lab aims to be a hub for finance education, research, and industry in the southeast United States. The lab acts as a platform to connect faculty and students across Georgia Tech with the financial services industry and fintech entrepreneurs. The fintech industry is one of Georgia’s fastest-growing sectors, and Atlanta is a major global center for financial technology. Equifax and Scheller intend to facilitate inclusive innovation in the fintech industry through university-sponsored startup accelerator programs. Equifax has sponsored doctoral dissertation research and capstone projects at Scheller since 2016.
“We appreciate having access to comprehensive alternative data sources and credit modeling experts through the Equifax Data Science Lab,” said Sudheer Chava, Alton M. Costley Chair at Scheller. Chava, a member of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank’s Special Committee on Financial Inclusion, also believes the partnership promotes inclusive innovation, a major priority for Georgia Tech and Scheller.
“We are excited to take the next step to strengthen our partnership with Equifax in conducting research to improve people’s financial lives.”