Credit is broken; And it needs a unicorn?

I easily tire of Silicon Valley fads. One is the (recent) ubiquitous use of the term unicorn to describe super-unique start-ups that become huge wins for investors. Also, my daughters trained me in a different view of unicorns.

Still, a recent TechCrunch post that used the term caught my eye. The author is predicting a new era of intelligent data that will support many unicorns. Read it here. The content I found most interesting is:

“In 10 years consumers and small businesses will place and control all their data in a repository with the expectation that the repository will make recommendations in the best interest of the customer, with full transparency, and the predictive/reactive nature of the data will yield the most accurate results, hence the best customer experience. The repository will hold credit + banking + transactional + social data (at least).

The incumbent unicorns will continue to bolt on small to medium-sized opportunities built on the natural data generated by their core businesses (e.g. Amazon Financing, QuickBooks Financing). Their limitation will be the lack of global data view of the customer, as well as customer trust.”

I disagree on one point. It isn’t necessary to wait 10 years for this development. If we take our eyes off fantasies such as launching a unicorn and instead focus on the immediate challenges for people (like the owners of small businesses) who feel the brunt of a broken credit system, we could well be on the brink of a great replacement to credit bureaus. And we better be. Another thing I’m sick of is the many years of articles on how the credit system is broken!


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