#NewsBytesExclusive: How the Russian start-up JuicyScore strategizes credit fraud prevention
With a presence in over 20 countries in just five years of starting-up, JuicyScore is a sophisticated risk management and fraud prevention solution for financial institutions. In our interaction with the company's co-founders Pavel Bolshakov and Mikhail Marchenko, we gained insight into their start-up journey, how JuicyScore stands apart, and its plans for Indian markets. Here's their story.
Both Pavel and Mikhail hold a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Lomonosov Moscow State University where they were classmates. In 2016, they co-founded JuicyScore with the idea of squeezing the proverbial juice out of non-personal data, offering end-users added security. Currently on its 13th iteration in five years, JuicyScore caters to banks, insurance companies, and lenders, usually before they onboard a client.
JuicyScore's independent assessment system scores customers based on non-personal data across four major categories—connection data, device data, software data, and behavior data. So, instead of knowing the end-user and their transaction details, JuicyScore is able to use non-personal details like mouse movement and tab switching to score customers. JuicyScore claims that its reliable behavioral scoring yields clients up to 10 times return on investment.
Pavel explained that developing JuicyScore was no mean feat (no surprises). The company has pioneered over 350 custom tests that detect if the end-user's device is real or just virtualization. Evidently, they can't shift focus to personal data since they don't have it, Pavel added.
Pavel claimed that JuicyScore's behavioral scoring and device fingerprinting technology can be used to score SMEs and larger companies when they apply for loans. However, the process is more detailed since the average SME loan is much larger and riskier than loans to individuals. In approximately 10 percent of cases, JuicyScore helps e-commerce platforms and airlines score clients, monitor repayments, and maintain balanced portfolios.
Further, Mikhail explained that JuicyScore is planning to enter the Indian market with an aim to provide class-leading services by tailoring the product for the sub-continent. He added that the company will hire top professionals from the market and will soon announce its team in India. Work is ongoing to establish a firm footing and commence operations.
In the same vein, Pavel mentioned that India is a promising market for JuicyScore since the government is actively investing in transitioning from branch-based banking to digital banking. The founders also observed this trend in other emerging markets including Vietnam and Indonesia. Moreover, the pandemic-fueled transition to digital lending in India's technologically mature and person-focused market also prompted JuicyScore to consider expanding operations here.
Laying emphasis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial markets, Mikhail highlighted that financial institutions had to restructure since more end-users were now obtaining financial services online. While the transition has helped banks and lenders reach a wider audience, this increases the likelihood of loan frauds, personal data leaks, and cyber-attacks, thus creating scope for JuicyScore's anti-fraud and risk management offerings.
JuicyScore's technology has demonstrated that personal data isn't mandatory for fraud prevention. It's an ambitious, forward-thinking company that aims to have a presence in 40 countries in the next 12 months. Although the founders have operated by bootstrapping so far, Mikhail said that JuicyScore is in the early stage of talks with unnamed investors for raising capital in Q4 2021. We wish them luck!