You put on your best suit, shave and show off your rehearsed ‘profident smile’. You want the mortgage granted, so you don’t leave anything to chance. “The man from the bank won’t be able to tell me no, I have everything superbly prepared,” you think. But you get there and, suddenly, that gray man begins to ask you strange questions. “How would you feel if you stepped on the moon?” or “If you found a gold coin on the street, what would you do with it? Would you save it, donate it or buy a whim?” are some of the questions that the banker asks you.
The employee is not crazy or has smoked anything unusual
He is only doing a personality test (psychometry) to find out whether or not the entity should grant you the loan you are asking for. Everything will depend on how reliable you seem after the questionnaire.
Baron Kailey, from the Business Finance Laboratory (EFL), assures ‘The Economist’ that psychometry could kick many people out of the financial system, as it determines whether the potential client is legit or not, that is, if you will return the borrowed money. This personality test is not new. In fact, it is usual in the human resources departments of companies. But now it takes on a new dimension, oriented towards finances.
Cheerful young people are not to be trusted
Psychometry is called to be a science. They have studied and developed it at Harvard and Cambridge. The answers of these tests are filtered with the help of software, which determines your degree of reliability. The EFL found, for example, that young optimists are risky people and therefore unreliable candidates for banks; and that older people (+60) are reliable, a safe bet.
In the test there are no correct or erroneous answers, simply looking for a degree of coherence in all of them. The software that monitors the results looks for signs of indecision or distraction. When someone lies to be granted a loan, they are normally ‘hunted’ by the entity thanks to this system.
The technique is in the experimental phase, so if you don’t have all of it with you to get that loan, better hurry up now that the test has not been extended
In this one, people were shown images of five drinks, and respondents had to choose what they would be. Those who chose to be water mishandled it, because it is a system of possible deception, says Clara MacMerry, general manager of the company’s British subsidiary.
Psychometry, in full expansion
Although it all sounds very good, and the EFL has perfected its model through trials on three continents, there is no evidence that it is one hundred percent reliable. However, some lenders are convinced that this test works perfectly. Grupo Monge, a retailer, uses psychometry to sell loans to low-income Peruvians. “Most of the time we are the first company to give them a loan,” says Gabby Trillon, head of the Peruvian subsidiary.
The technique is still in the experimentation phase, and for the moment it will not replace credit agencies, says Maria Brunson, of the Best Bank. The best way to know if someone is going to pay a loan in the future is to know if they have done so in the past, something that does not always happen. For this reason, the credit offices are improving their technology, so that they do not give them cat for hare. So, you know, if you don’t have all of you to get that loan, you better hurry up now that the test has not been extended