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Sesame Credit is generated from five categories of user data: purchases made using Alipay, personal information, timely payments on bills, timely payment on credit cards, and the number of one’s friends on Alipay.
Ant Financial doesn’t provide details on how the algorithm actually works, but Alipay users can see from a pentagon-shaped diagram roughly how well they’ve done in each area.
Credit report freezes are free for identity theft victims but for those who are requesting it as a preventive measure, the fee is usually between and at each bureau and for most states.
With fraud alerts, electronic red flags are placed on credit reports at all three credit bureaus.
In an effort to prevent fraudulent actions from occurring, verification of the identity of someone who applies for credit under a name that has this red flag is supposed to be checked into more thoroughly.
After Beijing announced about three years ago that it wanted to build a “social credit system” by 2020, Chinese tech companies and local governments (paywall) alike turned to data mining to gauge creditworthiness based on a wide variety of behaviors.
In 2015 Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, was among the first to launch its own credit-rating system. 6, my Sesame Credit score stood at 669 points, up from 588 two years ago.
(I’ve reached out to Ant Financial to comment on my score and will provide an update if I hear back.)Two years ago, my middling Sesame Credit score entitled me to nothing more than a five-day VIP membership for a dating app.