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Discover how China's first internet financing company uses AI and machine learning to simplify lending



Data Visionaries from PPDAI use data to:

  • Make access to consumer-to-consumer loans quick and easy
  • Use unstructured data to effectively rate credit
  • Make dreams possible for the financially underserved

China maintains the fastest-growing consumer market on earth. By most standards, this country is and has long-been at the epicenter of business, technology, and data. But it wasn't until 2007 that PPDAI embraced a data-driven strategy to make nontraditional lending possible—forever revolutionizing the way that Chinese people borrow money.

As China's first internet financing firm, PPDAI uses NetApp technology to connect investors with borrowers whose needs have not been met by traditional financial institutions, such as those who don't have access to credit cards, credit scores, or traditional bank accounts.

"We had to find a way to gauge the creditworthiness of people who have never been served by banks," said Dr. Gu Ming, Data Visionary and Chief Data Officer at PPDAI. "Before we came up with this platform, people who needed money in a hurry had to turn to their friends or families, which wasn't always possible." 

Since many hardworking Chinese people don't have credit data, PPDAI considers other unstructured data sources that are more difficult to analyze, such as mobile data, social network data, and behavior data. 

According to Dr. Ming, "The ability to use machine learning and AI to derive credit data is essential to our mission to serve the financially underserved."

Connecting investors with borrowers via mobile app

Through PPDAI's mobile app, people who need money and people who want to lend money can now find each other. Anyone can simply download the app, apply for a loan, and get the money in a matter of minutes. By using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze borrowers' online and social media activity, PPDAI can accurately assess someone's creditworthiness and determine the likelihood of whether the loan will be paid back.

"We noticed that birds of a feather tend to flock together," explained Dr. Ming. "People who pay back their loans seem to have similar social media patterns."

If there's a high likelihood that a loan will be paid back, the money is quickly deposited into an online account that can be accessed through the user's smartphone.

With their digital transformation, PPDAI has surpassed the limits of consumer lending in China. As of June 2019, the company had more than 99 million registered users—which equates to one out of every 20 people in China. With NetApp's technology, this data-driven organization have been able to help the financially underserved and lend money to everyone in China who needs it.

"NetApp's technology has been a key component of our online credit work and our explosive growth," said Dr. Ming. "We believe that using technology and data, we can do anything that is imaginable."

Learn how NetApp helps PPDAI quickly analyze unstructured data to revolutionize financial lending.

Shanghai PPDAI is the first online credit lending platform that provides a safe, simple, quick alternative to both borrowers and investors. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2017.

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