For BASIX, a microfinance institution, Nathan developed a customer information system that identifies the potential customers for products and services offered and evaluates the specific needs of those customers. Nathan conducted a household level survey interviewing over 4,300 households across four states. The survey gathered the following information: household assets, demographic and occupation related details, income, consumption, and use of financial instruments such as borrowing, maintaining a bank account, and insurance policies.

The system was constructed using data from the national census and data gathered through a sample survey constructed by Nathan. Nathan worked with BASIX to analyze the borrower behavior and lender response of its customers. Nathan developed questionnaires and surveyed Livelihood Service Advisors (LSAs) to understand how they evaluated loan applications. To assess which factors the LSAs consider the most important while studying a potential loan application, Nathan designed and conducted a survey to collect data across four states from 100 LSAs.

These factors were ranked and mutually exclusive and exhaustive combinations of the identified factors were created. The entire list of combinations of factors was then presented to 200 LSAs from seven states.These LSAs were asked to record the decision they would take in each of the cases.

This survey data in conjunction with borrower transaction data of over 100,000 customers – were used to develop an empirical tool that mimics the decision making process of the LSA, thereby helping the MFI reduce the time and cost of loan application processing and formalizing the loan application process.

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