Exploring Fintech Zilch Following AWS Partner Expansion

The world’s first ad-subsidised payments network (ASPN), Zilch, selects AWS to charge its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) engine

Zilch, the world’s first ad-subsidised payments network (ASPN), has extended its collaboration with leading cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate the rollout of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) innovations across its proposition. 

The announcement comes as AWS’ AWS Partner Network (APN) has added Visa to its ecosystem, streamlining access to Visa’s cloud-native fintech, financial institution and enterprise clients.

Per Zilch’s expanded partnership, it will continue to use AWS’ AI and ML services to transform how the company serves its customers and supports merchants in the future.

This includes the Amazon SageMaker service, a program for building, training and deploying ML models at scale, as well as Amazon Bedrock, AWS’ service for making high-performance foundation models from leading AI startups through a single API. 

This will enable Zilch to make quicker and more precise decisions based on data modelling and patterns, continuing to shorten development times and allowing it to double the amount of data in its models while halving build time. 

Zilch: Expanding a partnership with AWS

As an ASPN, Zilch combines payments and advertising to provide customers with flexible payment solutions for online and in-store transactions, as part of its mission to eliminate consumer credit. 

Operating a unique buy now, pay later (BNPL) model – a trend continuing to rise among consumers – Zilch has thousands of stores signed up for its services, enabling consumers to make payments over six weeks with no interest and get sign-up approval with the fintech’s affordability limits. 

Indeed, Zilch can issue affordability limits thanks to having its AI engine trained on lending data from its nearly 4 million customers. It can also use AI for fraud detection and understanding buyer intent – with models in place for tracking popular retailers and consumer demand trends. 

These capabilities are all supported by AWS’ suite of AI and ML services. Now, as an existing partner, Zilch says it is best positioned to continue leveraging AWS’ services thanks to the large volume of high-quality data held within its data lake, which is already built on AWS.

Tricia Troth, Head of Startups, UK and Ireland, at AWS, says: “We’re delighted that Zilch has selected AWS to bring the transformative potential of AI and generative AI to consumer lending. 

“With Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Bedrock, Zilch is able to deliver more accurate and  faster lending decisions, and expand its offer to more consumers across the UK and into new geographies and markets.”

Zilch: Rapid growth since establishment

Over the past four years alone, Zilch has seen tremendous growth, with its direct-to-consumer model generating over 500 million customer data sets in that time. 

The fintech went from launch to double-unicorn in just 14 months, a monumental feat making it one of the fastest-growing fintech startups ever. 

With 80,000 new customers joining Zilch every month, the company is adding 5.4 terabytes of new data every week. The fintech is able to generate a pool of even higher-quality data too, with 50% of its customer base signed up for open banking. 

By expanding its partnership with AWS, Zilch is confident it can accelerate sales in the next two years and improve customer service and lending decisions, as well as unlock deeper insight into underwriting and improve fraud detection visibility by at least 10% in near-term model performance.

Zilch Co-Founder and CEO, Philip Belamant

Philip Belamant, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zilch, adds: “Our customers use Zilch around 100 times a year, which gives us 15-18 times the data available to our closest peers. 

“The combination of our large, high-quality data sets and AWS’s AI and ML services is going to give us a very tangible competitive advantage. Zilch will be using AI to invest in increasing the productivity of our people, accelerating unit economics and creating  more value for our customers.” 

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