Friday, November 5

Interest rate WTF

Tyler Cowen:
What's in your wallet? Less if you use Firefox or IE and more if you use Chrome. Here from J-Walk Blog are interest rates for a car loan from Capital One if you use IE.
and here are the rates if you use Chrome:
Consumerist: "Capital One Made Me Different Loan Offers Depending On Which Browser I Used"

Here's one commenter:
These are driven by statistics. I work in a group that does statistical analysis of web traffic, and any piece of information that is collected during a browser session is subject to analysis--including what browser you use. If statistical analysis of web traffic, correlated to account history, indicates that users of browser X are more likely to default or be a problem payer on a loan than users of browser Y, then that goes into the mix, and has absolutely nothing to do with the browser itself.

We analyze EVERYTHING: What bank your credit card is with, where you live, how many seconds you spend on each web page, how long your fargin' name is. Everything that can be analyzed IS analyzed, and correlations that give any 'lift' are folded into the lending process.
This could have flown under the radar if Capital One had decided to cache a history of previously-presented offers by IP address that expired after, say, six hours.

I doubt it was intentional, but the publicity this has generated on economics blogs must be good for them.

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