Burbank fintech firm ZestFinance has partnered with Via Varejo, a Brazilian consumer electronics retailer, to provide software for credit underwriting for point-of-sale microfinancing. ZestFinance will supply its machine learning software so that Via Varejo can find more good borrowers and expand its lending business without adding risk. The two companies will test the new artificial intelligence credit model in the second half of the year and roll it out fully early next year. The partnership also extends to Banqi, a digital banking subsidiary of Via Varejo aimed at 50 million Brazilian consumers lacking a traditional financial institution. ZestFinance Chief Executive Douglas Merrill said that retail was an exciting new front for the company. “We’ve proven that machine learning works in all types of credit and in every geography,” Merrill said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to helping Via help millions of its customers.” Currently, more than 5 million shoppers use Via Varejo’s microfinance program that allows customers to make monthly payments on purchases. Via Varejo subsidiaries Casas Bahia and Pontofrio will use ZestFinance software to deliver precise credit decision immediately, safely expanding its revenue and reducing the risk of bad loans.