Digital Footprints as Collateral for Debt Collection

Copyfrom:Dept. of Finance Time:2020-11-30

Theme:Digital Footprints as Collateral for Debt Collection

Speaker:Zhang Bohuui

Time:2020-12-02 10:00

Address:Room 515, Mingde Main Building / Tencent Meeting


Tencent Meeting:

ID:456 452 149


We examine the role of borrowers’ digital footprints in debt collection. Using a large sample of personal loans from a fintech lender in China, we find that the information acquired by the lender through borrowers’ digital footprints can increase the repayment likelihood on delinquent loans by 18.5%. The effect can be explained by two channels: bonding borrowers’ obligations with their social networks and locating borrowers’ physical locations. Moreover, the lender is more likely to approve loan applications from borrowers with digital footprints, even though these borrowers may occasionally have a higher likelihood of delinquency. The use of digital footprints can remain legitimate under stringent privacy protection regulations and fair debt collection practices. Our findings suggest that digital footprints, as a new type of collateral, can ultimately enhance financial inclusion by facilitating the lender’s collection of delinquent loans.


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