The Creditinfo Chronicle

How alternative data can help unbanked population acquire traditional loans

By Dmitry Borodin, Head of Risk Analytics at Creditinfo Group

In societies of Digital Nomads, working from home Millennials, global migrations and emerging economies, lenders are often facing a shortage of relevant data to score and assess a big pool of population. Consequently, lenders are often unable to make decisions on so called ‘thin files’ due to a lack data. Thin file customers then remain excluded from formal finance.

Can Lenders under such circumstances, rely on alternative data such as Psychometrics, payment behavior on previous small loans, Telecom and utility data to gather initial insights on customers and their financial credibility?

Thanks to its global footprint Credintinfo have been able to gather enough data to suggest that Telecom and other alternative data sources, MFI and IL channel can help lenders predict future credit risks of thin file applicants for formal credit.

To an extent we can say that alternative data and the experience with small loans results predictive in the long term. This study presents a number of predictive characteristics from alternative data sources and their impact is evaluated across several Creditinfo markets. Particular attention is paid to Kenya, which has seen an unprecedented growth in mobile money and mobile borrowing.

Findings of Creditinfo suggest that lenders are able to convert short terms loans to traditional credit products, boost decision quality by utilizing alternative data, help customer retentions and facilitate access to banking loans for unbanked thin file individual applicants and small business owners.

Creditinfo and PT PEFINDO Biro Kredit Sign Long-Term Strategic Partnership Agreement in Indonesia

PRESS RELEASE

Creditinfo Group, the leading global credit information and fintech services provider has today announced that it has signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement with PT PEFINDO Biro Kredit (PBK) to further support financial and non-financial institutions in Indonesia. Using Creditinfo’s knowledge and experience, PBK will enhance its consultancy and analytical services to provide customers with additional value-added risk management solutions and support.

As a global supplier of credit bureaus and credit risk solutions, Creditinfo has been active in Indonesia since 2014, in a partnership with PBK. Established in 2014, PBK is the leading Private Credit Bureau in Indonesia today, serving numerous traditional financial institutions, fintech companies, and other non-traditional institutions. Since becoming operational, PBK has enriched its data coverage, improved its services and is now playing an important role in the operation of its members. The new agreement secures a further five years of collaboration between the two businesses and will focus on the delivery of services to improve financial inclusion in the region.

“We are very excited about our new, strengthened partnership with PBK. Together we have a significant opportunity to increase the level of financial inclusion in Indonesia, a country where the economy is driven by microbusinesses and SMEs,” commented Samuel White, Regional Director, Creditinfo Asia. “In close collaboration with PBK, and supported by its stakeholders, we will introduce new products and services that will help financial institutions to better assess their customers, enhance risk management capabilities and provide better services to the Indonesian market.”

This announcement marks another significant milestone for Creditinfo, which is a world leader in providing intelligent information in mature and emerging markets. Backed by international know-how and local market support, Creditinfo solutions set a high bar wherever they are implemented.

The financial inclusion conundrum in developed economies

By Stefano Stoppani – CEO, Creditinfo Group

Last month, consumer champions Which? revealed the findings of research into the state of the UK banking sector – with a somewhat bleak conclusion. The top line of the study? A third of all UK bank and building society branches have closed over the last four and half years. Of those that remain on our high streets, opening times have narrowed.

To some, this news might not be so surprising. We’ve already seen the so-called ‘death of the high street’ claim retail victims from all corners of the UK. Mass closures of this kind – whether in retail or banking – are arguably the result of the widespread digitalisation of services. We’ve all been bitten by the convenience bug. As time-poor consumers, we crave access to services and products in the easiest and cheapest way possible – and if this means managing our finances via an app from the comfort of our own homes, rather than brave queues in town centres, then so be it.

Fintech unicorns such as Revolut and Monzo have clearly upped the ante from a banking perspective – these businesses are agile, novel and attractive propositions, particularly to younger generations, in today’s digital age. With no bank branches and a lean infrastructure, the alternative they provide to traditional banks leans into a more digitally-savvy generation who is driving how we consume products and services today. Revolut’s recent partnership news with Visa will also enable the firm to expand to even more countries than it currently serves.

However, with opportunity comes risk. A lack of physical bank branches means that more vulnerable citizens, such as the less digitally- or financially-savvy, and the elderly are without access to crucial financial services. And so, this brings us to the financial inclusion conundrum in developed economies, which continues to be an issue today.

As my colleague Paul Randall outlined in an article for Global Banking and Finance Review last year, according to stats from the World Bank, a whopping 1.7 billion adults across the globe remain ‘unbanked,’ with no bank accounts and no access to formal finance. Most of the unbanked admittedly live in the developing world, in countries such as China, India or Africa. But developed economies are also still struggling to close the gap between banked and unbanked citizens.

While the UK has a good level of financial inclusion, one in four British families is now classed as low-income. What’s more, 13 million of the lowest-income individuals in the UK are financially excluded by mainstream banks and lenders. So how can we close the gap? In the first instance, traditional and established banks need to work alongside fintech ‘disruptors’ to ensure that services are accessible to all in society. This includes facilitating change in the credit lending industry, by helping banks to tap into and use new sources of data that can unlock access to services for the wider unbanked population.

At Creditinfo, we’re doing just that – using our innovative psychometric testing methods to measure the risk of potential customers who may have been overlooked for formal finance in the past, by assessing their core personality. Just like credit bureau data, where millions of raw variables are split into segments such as default, early stage and revolving arrears, or credit card performance, so personality data is split into segments in a similar way. By uniting psychological models with traditional risk analytics, lenders can reduce risk with existing customers and start new relationships with prospective customers, thereby increasing affordable access to financial services products.

Government also has a role to play in supporting more vulnerable citizens in accessing services that are arguably a basic human right today.

In March of this year, the HM Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions released a financial inclusion report that outlined its commitment ‘to building an economy where everyone, regardless of their background or income, can access the financial services and products they need.’ This involves a programme of initiatives, such as the new Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), which will ‘develop a long-term national strategy to improve people’s understanding of money, pensions and their ability to manage debt.’

While this is an encouraging step in the right direction, the proof of these initiatives will be in the progress we make together, in closing the financial inclusion gap for the improvement of all citizens’ lives and eradicating poverty as best we can.

Comment, like, share and join in the conversation here!

Coremetrix Psychometric Profiles: Do you really know your customer?

By David Kaufer (Senior research psychologist at Coremetrix)

I used to live in a small town where everyone knew everyone. I don’t live there anymore – not even in the same country or continent. I grew up and moved on, but deep inside I still have a sweet spot for this town because of the memories; memories of the countryside, my primary school, my family, neighbours, playmates, teachers and local merchants.

I used to go to the local grocery shop and take anything – be it an ice-lolly or some shampoo – without needing to pay for it immediately. I would smile at the shop owner and show him what I took. I didn’t even sign his notebook where he registered the items I took. He trusted me (especially my parents) to pay him at the end of the week. In return, they trusted him to accurately record the purchased items. We were very loyal to our local merchants and even when new and bigger shops opened, we kept going to the same shops. We knew each other, trusted each other and want to help each other. There was a special unwritten bond between us.

Many things have changed since then. The town has become a city, I have lost my hair along with the need for shampoo and many of the smaller stores have lost their battle against bigger and stronger retailers that can offer more for less money. Sometimes, it makes me sad to think of the sweet memories from the past, but at other times I enjoy the immense offering that this modern economy has brought. What hasn’t changed since then is the need for mutual trust. Trust from the side of retailers, and service and credit providers to be paid for their offerings and from the side of the customers to get these services and goods at a fair price and interest. From a business perspective, this trust can obviously be translated into income. More good customers, loyal customers, customers who will recommend products to their friends or customers that will buy other products from the same company, just as we did 30 years ago.

We don’t always have the luxury of getting to know each and every customer personally in order to build mutual trust. How can we, as a business, develop and maintain trust when we deal with hundreds of thousands of customers? How can we ensure that our customers feel unique? How can we better understand customer needs and motivations?

Coremetrix’s psychometric profiles are the solution for large-scale companies who really want to understand their customers and recreate this business-to-customer bond. Coremetrix can now help businesses segment their entire portfolio based on personality traits that underlie their customer behaviour and motivation. When intelligently and respectfully used, this knowledge will translate to actions impacting higher retention rates, acquisition of new profitable customers, and creation of effective communication channels and development of new products.

Contact us at: contact@coremetrix.com

The key to success (my humble opinion): Any lessons from credit-vibrant Iceland to small population countries?

By Reynir Finndal Grétarsson – Founder, Creditinfo Group

In 2010 I decided to go back to University and learn Anthropology. This is the discipline that deals with human behavior in wide and holistic manner. Why do humans behave as they do? After graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree, my understanding of the complex organism that is the modern human being increased just a little bit. The most important thing I learnt was that different behavior of different groups of people could be explained by what we call culture.

This is not saying much. Culture has been defined countless of time. It is a subjective term, but in short it is about what people does and how. Behind that are the motives, knowledge, values, beliefs, etc.  I believe that the most important thing for companies, which are one form of groups of people, is its culture. You might point at some of the greatest companies in the world and say that they came about because of great ideas. I would say that the initial ideas were rarely novel, but elaboration (or even plagiarism) of someone else’s ideas. Why did those groups of people succeed and not other groups with similar ideas? Sure, luck plays a role. But luck is also about being prepared when opportunity arrives. Most important is the mindset of the founders and their team in creating a culture of success. And then to add to the team people who fit into that culture.

We started a small company in Iceland in 1997. In 2002 we started expanding to other mainly smaller markets, focusing on those with high growth potential in the long term. We now have offices in 25 countries (last count). Iceland is still the most important part of the company, contributing more in revenues and profits than any other country, yet it is the smallest in population. Why?

It is firstly the culture of the country. Icelanders like new things. To start internet-based service in Iceland in 1997 was easier than in some other European countries many years later. Icelanders are usually in hurry and very demanding. They want things now. Call me biased, but to open a bank account or register a company, as examples, is easier that anywhere else, at least for locals. Iceland has the highest proportion of payments being made electronically. Cash is disappearing. Secondly, the company culture, at the heart of which lies respect and appreciation towards one’s colleagues. You don’t just give orders and expect people top follow; you explain them and are prepared to listen to reasons why things should be done differently. Of course, the boss is the boss, but he/she must be reasonable. This has the effect of improving decision-making. I have often been guided towards a better approach by my colleagues. And knowing that you will be questioned, you avoid asking for things that serve limited purpose. In short, you won’t get away with nonsense. What you ask the people to do has to serve a purpose that is in line with the overall goals of the company.

I recently read the autobiography of General Georgi Zhukov, he mentions officers who do not respect their common soldiers. He says that they are stupid as this results in the soldiers not being ready to fight as hard as they can for their officer.

I think that the reason for the tremendous success of Creditinfo Iceland is the fact that we have been fortunate in finding the right people. Not only good professionals, but also good people who respect their colleagues and in that way are in line with the most important part of the company culture.
We can say that Iceland success can be seen as the result of business intuition & social listening with perfect timing & great professionals blended together.

Last but not least: luck. Iceland was prepared for our services and you never really know beforehand if this is the case. Luck is always a factor in business, although by our professional team adapting our services to meet the changing environment, we have stayed lucky for over 20 years!

Creditinfo And Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently growing at a fast rate, and is becoming a hot subject in the industry globally. Individuals and organizations alike, are now moving towards that direction in order to increase efficiency and maximize on profits while lowering costs for themselves and their businesses.

Creditinfo has worked on an automated machine learning (ML) model generation platform, which delivers impressive levels of automation, and user-friendliness to apply state of the art artificial intelligence algorithms to the finance sector data.

Our pipeline will enable analysts to securely build and deploy highly accurate adaptive machine learning models with very limited human intervention making it a great tool for credit bureaus and financial institutions.

Our ML pipeline requires four easy steps:
– Drag and drop your dataset.
– Choose target variable.
– Build state of the art models; visualize weights of the main predictors.
– Deploy the best model.
The pipeline uses a wide spectrum of algorithms such as logistic regression, K-nearest neighbor, random forests, naive Bayes, stochastic gradient decent, linear SVC, decision trees and gradient boosted trees. The platform mainly focuses on deep learning algorithms and allows to effortlessly deploy them.

For more information on our ML model, please contact Dmitry Borodin (d.borodin@creditinfo.com)

Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation partner on first-of-its-kind Credit Risk Scorecard for Afghan SMEs

PRESS RELEASE

LONDON, UK, 26th June 2019Creditinfo Group, the leading global credit information and fintech services provider, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation to develop a Credit Risk Scorecard aimed at small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan. As the first SME credit scorecard to be developed for the Afghan market, the joint solution will not only increase profitable lending to the market, but also provide a host of societal benefits such as great wealth generation and increased employment, as a result of opening up affordable, formal credit to SMEs in the country.

As a global supplier of credit bureaus and credit risk solutions, Creditinfo has been active in Afghanistan since 2013, in partnership with the Central Bank of Afghanistan. ACGF was established in 2014, following a decade of a successful performance by its institutional predecessor Credit Guarantee Facility for Afghanistan. ACGF operates in Afghanistan with the aim of boosting financial inclusion in the Afghan market by providing credit guarantees and Technical Assistance (TA) to financial institutions with the ultimate objective of facilitating SME lending.

ACGF has been at the forefront of driving the Afghan credit industry forward for 15 years. In the challenging economic and political environment of Afghanistan, the organisation utilises its funds effectively to create wide-reaching developmental impact. Since inception ACGF has cumulatively guaranteed USD 219m of loans, supporting 5,500 SMEs. Furthermore, as per the end of 2018 estimations, 45% of all business loans in Afghanistan have been guaranteed by ACGF.

The partnership between Creditinfo and ACGF will see the development of a cutting-edge technique for assessing the credit risk of SMEs granting credit. It will also enable credit providers to extend credit to SMEs who are currently unable to access credit. The solution will be used at the point of application by SMEs for credit, and will enable lenders to make more informed decisions, and extend more credit than is currently possible.

Creditinfo brings its industry-leading Credit Risk Analytics knowledge and experience to the table, alongside its intimate knowledge of available data in Afghanistan from its work running credit bureaus in the region. ACGF will bring its vast experience dealing with several leading local credit providers to the partnership, which includes a goldmine of data, knowledge and, ultimately, end users for this product.

Mr Benjamin Riley, Senior Global Consultant, Creditinfo, commented on the partnership: “Our unique insight into the Afghan credit market, combined with our previous work with the Central Bank of Afghanistan, will help in creating a robust and reliable measure of SME credit worthiness in the country. This will have a significant positive impact on the national economy, by opening up access to more affordable and stable credit to SMEs. Creditinfo is delighted to be given the opportunity to work alongside ACGF to help the country deliver these much-needed changes.”

Mr Bernd Leidner, Chairman of Management Board, ACGF added: “Globally, SMEs are the driving force behind economic growth, generating employment opportunities and wealth. However, access to affordable and stable credit is a key factor in the success of the sector. Afghanistan is no different in this respect. For years, we have been dedicated to opening up financial access to Afghan businesses. Our next initiative, alongside our trusted partner Creditinfo, will ensure we’re providing the local market with the required tools, consultancy and advice to not just survive, but thrive.”

-ENDS-

About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Reykjavík, Iceland, Creditinfo is a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. As one of the fastest growing companies in its field, Creditinfo facilitates access to finance, through intelligent information, software and analytics solutions.

With more than 33 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the largest global presence in the field of credit risk management, with a significantly greater footprint than competitors. For decades it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to some of the largest, lenders, governments and central banks globally – all with the aim of increasing financial inclusion and generating economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com

About ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation

ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Cologne, Germany. ACGF’s mission is to improve access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan by providing credit guarantees and technical assistance to Partner Institutions (PIs) – banks, micro-finance and micro-deposit institutions. ACGF is closely supported by its local subsidiary – SME Client Support Afghanistan (SCSA) with offices in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif.

Media Contacts:

Suraj Mashru

Babel for Creditinfo Group

Suraj@Babelpr.com

+44 (0)207 199 3977

Credit Bureau: Towards a new generation of services

Translated version of the interview with Sidimohamed Abouchikhi, CEO of Creditinfo Morocco.

Source: https://financenews.press.ma/article/bourse-finances/credit-bureau-vers-une-nouvelle-generation-de-services

Image credit: Finance News.

Interview by Momar Diao

At the global level, Credit offices are open to any kind of information to assess the risk of a customer. Which is not the case yet for the Morocco. Elsewhere, data telecom operators, water and electricity suppliers give financial institutions the opportunity to better understand their customers.

Finance News weekly: How did Creditinfo Morocco perform during the first quarter of 2019? And what are your projections for the year 2019?

Sidi Abouchikhi: As we already announced previously, the number of consultations by the Credit Bureau has surpassed 2.5 million in 2018 and this upward trend continued for the first quarter of the year 2019 in alignment with our forecast.

Regarding value-added services, we recorded a high demand on our services of Monitoring, Alerting and Scoring. This trend is a reflection of the actions carried out by the financial sector to “air out” its portfolio of credits for more of risk management and to comply with regulatory, increasingly strict prerogatives with the IFRS 9 standard which came into application recently.

In terms of strategy, we note that institutions implement transformation programs in the areas of Risk management, which is likely to increase their appetites for the use of the ‘Big data’. Rightly, Creditinfo continues to support the financial system through innovative services and solutions of digitalization able to support these transformations.

F.N.H.: In Morocco, credit bureau activities are open to the water, electricity sector and the Telecom and insurance sectors. What does this mean concretely?

S.A.: The integration of this kind of so-called alternative data fits into the process of natural evolution to a Credit Bureau. At the global level, Credits offices are open to any kind of information to assess the risk of a customer. This is the case for Creditinfo that manages this data in its Credit offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For example, in West Africa, data telecom operators and suppliers of water and electricity give financial institutions the opportunity to better locate their clients in a more relevant manner, regardless of the timing .i.e: at the beginning of the granting credit or during its collection.

In Morocco, the integration of such data is a real opportunity to develop a new generation of financial products and services and, consequently, to increase financial inclusion to a large section of the population that accesses, or in a very limited way, to financing, without forgetting the TPE which are today at the heart of all policies public development and require, too, a fundraising effort on the part of the financial system by more suitable products.

F.N.H.: Is Creditinfo, today, equipped and endowed with the necessary expertise to accompany the above sectors?

S.A: As a global leader in the sector, we manage the data in 20 of our Credit offices worldwide. This kind of data is considered to be classic, despite its novelty in some countries. Creditinfo has tech solutions and proven expertise to manage data of Telecom operators and water and electricity suppliers as well as data from financial systems.

In other markets, Creditinfo uses a new generation mobile data as the metadata for mobile phones. The idea is to capture the maximum possible information to enable the creation of models with more power and predictive algorithms, paving the way for a more automated process of granting credit, cost reduction for promotion of financial inclusion.

F.N.H.: Finally, how do you manage customer risk at the level of banks and micro-credit associations?

S.A.: The culture of risk management is well established in the Moroccan banking system. Thanks to devices that control risk, the banking system is backed by rating agencies, demonstrating its resilience and ability to adapt to changes imposed by the transformation in digitization and regulation. The risk trend remains stable without significant deterioration throughout the first quarter of the year 2019. For micro-credit associations, the overall trend of risk has improved following the adoption of the report of solvency and scores provided by Creditinfo.

However, the increase in the threshold of 150.000 DH funding is to push microcredit associations to transform and equip themselves with solutions that enable a better knowledge and assessment of the customer and better management of the cycle life of the credit.

Assessing credit risk of SME’s and how credit scoring can transform SME’s

Paul Randall was recently at the Kafalah SME Financing Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and he tackled these 2 questions during the panel discussion.

What are the specific challenges of assessing credit risk of SMEs as compared to larger firms and how can fintech can help lenders address those?

“There are 3 main areas of a difference and I could summarise this by talking about the “3 P’s”: Pertinent data, Profitability and Pride. The availability of formal data in regard to the pertinent data, the profitability the cost of gathering data and pride relates to the different skill set.

For Pertinent data we can consider for large corporates that balance sheets, profit and loss financial ratios cash-flow provide a huge amount of data. When it comes to small businesses this formal information is often not available. However in the future we will see the use of open banking data, mobile wallet data, credit bureau and invoice information data like for example, Amazon who through their invoice information, are likely to be one of the biggest global lenders to SME in the future.

When we look at the Profitability for small business lending historically, we see that it has been low because of the cost of data and the relatively low volumes compared to retail. When the information is a gathered automatically and decisions are made digitally then the cost reduces and a profitability increases.

The final point perhaps I was a little bit harsh using the word “Pride” with my “3 P’s”. What I mean here is that the skill set for underwriting corporate loans is very different to that of underwriting small businesses especially when an automated process is used, so it has been important to separate the departments of corporate lending and small business lending to really be effective in this area”.

What are some of the key innovations that are seen in credit reporting and credit scoring today that have the potential to transform the SME finance space and reduce the credit gap?

“The core concept that fintech credit bureaus are supporting is data fusion. This is the process of gathering data from multiple sources and bring it together.

So where does this new data come from for SME decisions? We have data from mobile wallets so the transaction data that is made in mobile wallets in different markets can be data from open banking sources – so transactional data in the banking environment. From there we can then identify data on the internet or from mobile scraping so to bring together the information on activity that the companies are undertaking such as making news articles and traffic on their websites. At Creditinfo for example, we are working with a number of lenders and use the mobile wallet data to support SME lending in Africa.

We have information from credit bureaus that describe many aspects of SMEs. Many credit bureaus will hold information on the payment histories also the credit activity of businesses furthermore they will hold information on any collateral or guarantors or information on the directors or owners”.

Paul Randall at the Kafalah SME Financing Conference 2019

Kafalah SME Financing Conference was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where they discussed current financing for SME’s in Saudi Arabia,how to build relationships between private and public FIs, government agencies and legislative bodies that support financing, current and future finance opportunities for specific business sectors and how to increase awareness of the most current international practices for financing SMEs.

Below is an excerpt of Paul speaking during the conference.

Video courtesy of Kafalah and The World Bank.

Picture courtesy of Mazen Skaf.

Creditinfo expands regionally, stores information in Jamaica

In his interview with The Gleaner, CEO of Creditinfo Jamaica – Craig Stephen highlighted on the regional success and the goal to venture into other caribbean markets in the near future.

This vision was birthed in 2012 with the start of Creditinfo Jamaica; “to be the leading credit information bureau in the caribbean region, providing consistent and reliable credit and other information to our clients while contributing to national growth and development.”

Read the full story below.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20190417/creditinfo-expands-regionally-stores-information-jamaica

 

When challenge meets opportunity: Meet Ruby, a Creditinfo success story

The true spirit of an entrepreneur comes down to passion and determination. At Creditinfo, we meet entrepreneurs every day, and it’s our goal to support these budding business men and women with the appropriate tools, knowledge and access to finance.

Welcome to our #CreditinfoMeets series, where we profile some of the success stories enabled by our partnerships with financial institutions across the world.

First up is Ruby. After falling on difficult times, Ruby made the decision to launch her own business, and quickly realized the benefits of tracking her credit history in real time.

Here’s just a clip of Ruby’s interview, where she tells her inspirational story.

Watch on YouTube

How to use your credit score to negotiate better terms with your financial institution

Last week, a leading TV station in Kenya – Citizen TV did a story on Digital Lending Apps and their impact in Kenya. There has been a sharp rise in the number of mobile lending apps in the country and the worry is about how people are accumulating debt and borrowing from the various apps simultaneously and defaulting therefore affecting their credit score.

Watch more on of the story here:

Creditinfo reached out to the station to explain the role of CRB’s and how they benefit individuals. Everyday we strive to change the misconceptions of negative listing and try and educate on the importance of paying loans on time and the benefits of a good credit score.

See the follow up interview below:

Creditinfo Group awarded the Knowledge Prize 2019

The Association of Business and Economics has chosen Creditinfo as the Knowledge company of the year 2019.

Creditinfo Group was chosen as the Knowledge Company of the Year by the Association of Business and Economics. During the selection process, companies that have excelled in  their international markets in the recent years were considered. Other companies that also came at the top include CCP, Marel and Nox Medical.

“It is a great motivation for us at Creditinfo to receive the Knowledge Prize,” said Brynja Baldursdóttir, Managing Director of Creditinfo Lánstraust and Regional Manager of Creditinfo Group in N-Europe. “Our business is based on an Icelandic ingenuity that is now in use in 45 countries around the world, keeping pace with this journey of creating value based on knowledge.”

“I am extremely proud that Creditinfo has been awarded the Knowledge Prize 2019, and that we have been awarded repeatedly before in Iceland for growth in job creation, as well as being named as the entrepreneur of the year in 2008,” said Reynir Grétarsson, founder and chairman of Creditinfo Group.

“We are being awarded for creating a valuable business based on knowledge, know-how that we have developed and found many forms and ways to sell in great number of countries. Most people only hear of us when they are declined credit since we have their credit score data. Such awards help remind all of us of the fact that we are creating valuable services that are important for the economy and to improve peoples lives. I am proud and grateful to the entire Creditinfo Group team and what we do for our company. Each and every person in the company plays a role that is necessary for the company to run efficiently.”

“Another milestone achieved thanks to the smart work and passion of our international, multicultural and talented team of professionals worldwide. Thank you to every single one of you, you make Creditinfo thrive!”, added Stefano Stoppani, the Creditinfo Group CEO.

We at Creditinfo Group would like to say a special thank you to the Association of Business and Economics for this recognition.

Jamaicans urged to take credit scores seriously

Creditinfo Jamaica – Craig Stephen was interviewed by The Jamaica Gleaner on importance of Credit Scores

WHAT IS A GOOD SCORE?

Craig Stephen, CEO of Creditinfo Jamaica, one of three licensed credit bureaus operating in Jamaica, said anything above 600 is considered a good credit score.

He said that data collated by a credit bureau in a borrower’s credit file is used to calculate the individual’s credit score, which is determined by five major factors: payment history, debt balance, age, types of credit accounts, and the number of enquiries about the person’s credit history.

Stephen pointed out that potential borrowers must be aware that regular credit checks by financial institutions can affect their credit score.

“It can affect you negatively, especially if there are too many enquires in a short period of time,” he said.

Read the full interview here.