The Creditinfo Chronicle

“Smartphone information can be sufficient to make a credit decision”

ARTICLE – IQ MAGAZINE INTERVIEW IN LITHUANIA WITH STEFANO STOPPANI

ECONOMICS | DATA ECONOMICS

“Smartphone information can be sufficient to make a credit decision”

Millennials will eventually stop from carelessly distributing information about themselves, but accessible data have a bright side too, thinks Stefano M. Stoppani, the CEO of “Creditinfo Group”, uniting 33 credit bureaus around the world. A discussion held by IQ reporter, Vilius Petkauskas.

Recently, “The Economist” compared data to oil and affirmed that the importance of the former in the XXI century will overpower the black gold. Would you agree with such a statement?

Unfortunately, at this date you can’t pore data in a car’s fuel tank (laughing). On a more serious note, I absolutely agree with such a statement. Nevertheless, it’s not the actual data that counts, but the way it is being used. We are surrounded by personal information, that we create using various devices. For instance, by using smartphones on a daily basis we leave digital footprints, that could be used by companies for various purposes. From that perspective, data is the new oil. Nonetheless important is how we use it though.

The business that you are in charge of empowers finance companies to make decisions weather to grant credit. Do you think this is the right way to use data?

 One of the biggest challenges for our company as well as any other business managing large data quantities is to find balance between effective data use and privacy protection. Nobody wants another “Cambridge Analytica” case. Must say that we are a bit lucky in that sense, because for ages data used by financial institutions have been extremely thoroughly supervised. Especially of such companies like ours.

When I worked for the World Bank, I had the opportunity to contribute to the creation of rules and formulation of best practices for credit bureau activities. I worked with several legislators, therefore I am perfectly aware of the fact that data protection is a crucial element to any law defining our activities.

This is one of the reasons why there are so few companies in our industry – data protection is not a cheap thing and reputation in our business is absolutely crucial. The slightest mistake anywhere in the world, let’s say Cape Verde in Africa, would have a tremendous impact for our operations in other countries.

The information you operate does not only consist of financial data, does it?  

Absolutely. As of lately, a huge explosion of data has happened, hence new niches for the financial sector.
Banks can already grant credit using alternative data, not only financial, as it was the custom before.

In the countries outside of Europe, especially in Africa and Asia where there are fewer institutional banking clients, providers of small loans have become extremely popular. Such lenders can’t check a clients’ credit history in a bank, because the latter simply have none.

In order to evaluate a clients’ creditworthiness, lenders check one’s data collected via smartphone. Calls, messages and other such things are being evaluated. If we spot messages from debt collectors – it’s a bad sign. We can spot weather a person is using a smartphone for gambling or other activity of such kind.

There are up to 1500 data points that allows to evaluate quite precisely weather a person would be able to pay back a loan. Such technique can be used in Europe as well, especially for Millennials, who avoid financial institutions.

Youngsters may not have a full credit history, but that does not mean that they don’t need a credit or a credit card. Their smartphones contain plenty of information, which can help evaluate creditworthiness. That is why a part of the population that could not have access to credit in the past now have this possibility.

Talking of data usage, one can get the impression that future generations will consider data in a way that we consider smoking half a century ago. Will people demand better protection of their data, or perhaps compensation for usage of their data?

We have to admit that Millennials were quite careless in regard to their privacy and the amount of publicly available personal data. Young people used to share almost every glimpse of their lives without even thinking, sometimes getting in trouble when looking for a job, as potential employers discovered some unflattering images or else. I think that on the long run this generation will admit pushing the limits a bit too far.

Millennials’ parents – I count myself amongst them – were a bit more careful in regard to public information. We were always interested and aware of the information that was spread around about us. I think that on the long run the young generation will say “enough”.

Nevertheless, our industry is interesting in a sense that the basic principles of operation, such as trust-based bank and client communication, remain unchanged. What has changed is the amount of data available and this – to the benefit of the client. In the past, while establishing a scorecard, we only used information about the client, ones defaulting debts and alike, while now we add positive banking information, such as payments effectuated on time.

More to that, we receive information about clients’ communication with non-financial institutions, mobile-operators. This is very important in developing markets, because in some countries we have only information on clients from non-banking sources.

In the Lithuanian public space, the morality of credit scoring has often been questioned, referring to banks that pay attention to numbers rather than the individual behind them. What is your take on this?    

I like to say that numbers don’t lie. An objective assessment never lies. It would be unfair to refer to a subjective evaluation. A credit bureau has been set-up to change subjective information into objective. That is why my credit history and data about me show weather I am trustworthy in that sense or not. There is a probability though. I don’t try to affirm that we are all-knowing and never make mistakes. Our goal is to make sure that our scoring is accurate in 85-90% of cases. There might be inaccuracies, however such scoring is way more accurate than relying on a bank’s employee that a customer meets face-to-face.

I can for instance borrow a friend’s fancy car, put on a great suit, pretend I am successful and can meet financial commitments. Would you eventually trust me or my credit history?

Our job is not to make decisions on credit or any other financial product. We only setup a score, while the decision on granting a credit or not is made by the bank. In order to create a score, we use a huge amount of data. A same score for one bank can be too low, while for another bank – be just great. A credit bureau does never make a decision.

We should take a look at it from another perspective as well. While using a credit score, the granting of credit does not depend on the mood of an employee at a given day or weather one has had enough sleep. Scores also allow to avoid cases when a bank give away loans to a same person that they know well. While granting credit, the most important is not who you are, but rather weather you deserve to receive it. At the World Bank we called this a reputational collateral, when people are evaluated not according to the beauty of their house or car, but according to the history of decisions they have taken.

Let’s talk about the field that you are fond of – fintech. According to the licenses given to such companies, Lithuania ranks just under the UK. The politicians, however, start to doubt weather fast expansion does not represent a threat. What do you think of the rapid expansion of financial technologies?

I am old enough to remember the .com bubble, which exploded almost two decades ago. I think that the word fintech is used too freely. If you are not a fintech, you won’t be attractive to investors.

On the other hand, financial technologies have permitted to decrease service costs. Many new-comers have popped-up, who borrow funds using technologies which did not exist before. However, we should not forget that fintech or not, loan providers are none else but lenders.

They can become such due to cheap technology offering, allowing to avoid complex systems used by banks or other financial institutions. Such companies can often avoid strict regulations, applicable for banks, which can be a little bit unfair in regards to the latter.

If a commercial bank has to stick to dozens of strict rules while giving credit, rules shall be applied to other companies providing such or similar services. Nevertheless, market supervisors are often lagging behind technological advance and balance is therefore needed so that innovation is not killed at initial stages.

Fintech gives market dinosaurs an impulse to change. In order not to become one, we have a so called star-up Sandbox here in Lithuania and instead of competing, we provide them access to our data and resources. If they sell something, we get our share and develop products together. We don’t need to argue, we can grow together.

Creditinfo Group Expands Middle Eastern Presence with New Regional Office

PRESS RELEASE

Creditinfo opens new facility in Muscat, Oman to enhance services offered to customers in region

Muscat, Oman, 12 March 2019 – Today, Creditinfo Group, a leading provider of global credit information and fintech services, announces that it is expanding its footprint in the Middle East with the creation of Creditinfo Gulf, the organisation’s regional hub in Muscat, Oman. The new office will support current and prospective Creditinfo clients, with access to a wealth of global expertise, knowledge and technology to enhance the existing financial infrastructure in the region.

Following a recent strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Oman and the creation of the Oman Credit Bureau, Creditinfo continues its commitment to increasing financial inclusion, through further investment into the Middle East to support the national economy. The World Bank estimates that over 1.7 billion people worldwide are “unbanked”, with little to no access to formal finance. It goes on to estimate that only 15% of citizens in the Middle East have access to a bank account.

The new office in Muscat, which became fully operational in February 2019, will see a permanent and multinational team of risk management and financial specialists oversee the digital transformation of financial institutions in the region, including the development of the Oman Credit Bureau and Creditinfo’s other Middle Eastern customers. The team will share knowledge and provide fintech innovation, including the deployment of psychometric analysis and digital onboarding solutions, to increase the speed and accuracy of onboarding new customers.

Today’s announcement reinforces Creditinfo’s commitment to help businesses across a host of sectors to make better use of valuable information. With the organisation’s experience in credit risk scoring and modelling, Creditinfo will be supporting companies across the region to lend responsibly. Part of this will see Creditinfo introduce software platforms in the region such as automated decisioning tools, which allow lenders to capture data from multiple sources and build, deploy and benefit from custom decision-making parameters within seconds, rather than hours or days.

“It is an exciting time across the Gulf region, lenders are changing the way in which they operate and make decisions on an individual’s creditworthiness based on a varied base of traditional and non-traditional data.” commented Gary Brown, Head of Commercial Development – Creditinfo Gulf. “Creditinfo’s goal is to be at the forefront of facilitating access to finance in each of our markets, but also to help lenders reduce risk.”

“The Middle East is an interesting market for financial services and fintech businesses. With such a large portion of unbanked citizens in the region, the new hub will help financial institutions, governments and central banks throughout the Gulf to build and deploy new infrastructures and services to reduce this number,” commented Stefano Stoppani, CEO Creditinfo Group. “This new hub will allow our team to strengthen our offerings and capabilities within this diverse and fast-growing market.”

 Media Contacts:

Suraj Mashru

Babel for Creditinfo Group

Suraj@Babelpr.com

+44 (0)207 199 3977

UTILIZING SUBSCRIBER TRAINING TO INFORM SALES STRATEGY

CREDITINFO GUYANA

In an emerging economy where the credit reporting industry is in a fledgling state the requirement for awareness building extends beyond general consumer awareness to educating the community of potential subscribers. Given its experiences in developing the credit reporting market, Creditinfo Guyana has taken the decision that in addition to implementing a general public relations programme to also embark on an extensive ‘training’ programme for current and potential subscribers.

Our ‘training’ programme is all encompassing and comprises full subscriber engagement that includes user training and refresher training activities; CEO and Senior Management engagement and presentations; roundtables and seminars to deal with various issues including data quality; timely dispute management and general queries. These sessions also allow for the introduction of new products as well as receiving of very valuable feedback which inform our sales and other strategies.

The challenges experienced in enhancing sales, in particular sales of value-added products, has been determined to be primarily fuelled by a lack of understanding of the company and its offering as well as the scope of the credit reporting industry as a whole. Our efforts are therefore intended to facilitate (a) increased usage of fee based credit reports (b) reduced incidence of nil reports or no credit data found (c) improved quality of data shared (d) enhanced sales of value added products all with the aim of boosting total revenues.

Direct engagements with high level operatives allow for gaining of insights regarding various strategic issues and challenges for which solutions can be provided. For example, a recent outreach to a freight forwarding company that is a potential subscriber highlighted its challenges with receivables.   The company’s peculiar circumstances revolve around the issuance of a large volume of invoices payable within relatively short time frames. The opportunity is therefore presented for us to sell more than mere subscription for basic credit reports.

Additionally, if we train users to search properly then usage is likely to increase since the incidence of pulling nil reports will be reduced. Our experience in engaging users in a very interactive manner has encouraged unhindered feedback, clarification of issues they may be experiencing as well as the overall development of their understanding of the correct procedures for accessing credit reports.

Our training and direct engagements with IT Systems operators is also another key contributor as it assists in improving data quality which is necessary to inspire confidence in the value of our services and support the sale of value added products.

As a consequence of our efforts and direct engagements, subscribers are able to clarify issues and gain in-depth insights on interpreting the credit report as we have noted a reliance merely on the credit score without a full understanding of the reasons for that particular score. Another recent outreach, for example, revealed that the trend arrow and reason codes were not even considered in interpreting the credit report and score.

More importantly, the direct, one on one engagement with key personnel who utilize the system provides invaluable feedback on company policy; credit procedures as well as challenges for which new solutions can be tailored thereby creating opportunity for additional sales. In some instances, our capacity [flexibility] to respond to immediate requests for solutions is highlighted. For example, in a recent engagement with a financial institution our inability to respond to their demand for a mobile banking solution within their required time frame is likely to result in a delayed or possibly lost sale.

As subscribers become more familiar with, understand and trust our services we have seen an increasing willingness to call us to discuss possible solutions or request information which our VAPs can provide. Sales, for us, is still an uphill task but we believe that our continued systematic efforts at enhancing awareness and understanding can bear much fruit in positively impacting sales over time. Our mandate in 2019 through these engagements is therefore to build trust, inspire confidence and deliver value.

Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka strengthens financial infrastructure with Creditinfo Group

PRESS RELEASE

Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB) and CreditInfo enter into strategic partnership to enhance its credit bureau services in the country.

COLUMBO, SRI LANKA, 25th January 2019 – Creditinfo Group, a leading provider of global credit information and fintech services, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB) to provide and support a modern and enhanced credit bureau, specifically developed to strengthen the nation’s financial infrastructure.

Following an official tender process, Creditinfo was selected to provide CRIB with the technical software required to strengthen the country’s existing financial infrastructure, in line with changing trends and regulation within the global financial services sector. This includes the implementation of enhanced credit bureau solutions, automated risk management, and new credit scoring methods to develop an agile financial infrastructure.

The strategic partnership will also see Creditinfo collaborate with CRIB to offer world-class support, education, knowledge and resources to the country’s private and state-owned banks, and wider financial services providers. Alongside this knowledge sharing, the modernised and agile infrastructure, delivered by Creditinfo’s technical software, will be underpinned by new value-added services to provide the Sri Lankan financial services sector with visibility from the moment a loan application is made, right through to the final repayment.

The benefits of the partnership extend beyond the country’s financial institutions. The new credit bureau system will also provide businesses outside of the financial services sector, such as telecommunications and utilities with access to consumer credit and risk information; allowing businesses to identify which customers are credit-worthy, and those which may be likely to default on any credit payment plan. Ultimately, the partnership between CRIB and Creditinfo will enhance banking in Sri Lanka, support the growth of the local economy and raise the country’s global economic rating, creating new business opportunities within the global marketplace.

“Creditinfo’s advanced credit bureau solution is unique to the market and proven in its ability to help countries adapt their financial infrastructure in line with changes in the wider industry,” said Nandi Anthony, CEO, CRIB. “We believe this partnership will also support our objective of increasing financial inclusion and economic growth in our country. We look forward to starting the implementation and effecting long-term change, to the benefit of all citizens.”

“The strategic partnership between Creditinfo Group and CRIB creates a combined industry knowledge of almost half a century,” commented Stefano Stoppani, CEO, Creditinfo Group. “Through this strategic partnership, we are committed to supporting the country in transforming its financial infrastructure through the innovative use of technology. We’re confident and committed to supporting CRIB in achieving its financial inclusion goals and commend its forward-thinking approach to an ever-changing sector.”

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 Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka

Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB) established in 1990 was the first Credit Bureau in South Asia. CRIB, a full-file credit bureau which provides both positive and negative credit information since its inception to all regulated member lending institutions, covers 40% of the country’s adult population in its data base presently. CRIB is a private-public partnership and a an independent statutory body by law, which issues more than 40,000 credit reports to its membership on daily basis.

For more information, please visit www.crib.lk

Media Contacts:

Suraj Mashru

Babel PR for Creditinfo Group Suraj@Babelpr.com

+44 (0)207 199 3977

New insurance claims database launched in Iceland

As of January 15 2019, the four Icelandic general (non-life) insurance companies will start using a new claims database for the Icelandic Financial Services Association (SFF) run by Creditinfo. The database will be used to counter organized insurance fraud, as it has been on the increase in relation to organized crime. According to a statement by the Icelandic Police, these groups seem to have found a loop hole in insurance fraud cases in Iceland.

It is estimated that insurance fraud in Iceland can amount to billions of Krónur a year. Such instances of fraud lead to unequivocally higher expenses for the insurance companies’, and this is passed on to the public, who therefore get indirectly harmed by insurance fraud. Among the key things that can be seen in the claims base is whether the same damage has been paid out by more than one insurance company.

Information contained in the claims base is included in the updated policyholder’s terms. The claims base will record the claim reported to the insurance companies that are members of the Financial Services Association (SFF), with the exception of damages covered by life and health insurance. SFF is the operator and controller of the claims base, and Creditinfo has been hired to be the processor of the database with authority from the Data Protection Authority. The insurance companies’ customers can access information from the claims database on My Creditinfo – mitt.creditinfo.is

CREDITINFO COMBATS SYNTHETIC IDENTITY FRAUD FOR THE KENYAN MOBILE LENDING MARKET

PRESS RELEASE

According to a recent article by Mckinsey, many fraudsters are now using fictitious, synthetic IDs to draw credit. Applying for credit using a combination of real and fake, or sometimes entirely fake, information creates synthetic IDs. The act of applying for credit automatically creates a credit file at the bureau in the name of the synthetic ID, so a fraudster can now set up accounts in this name and begin to build credit.

Creditinfo has however started to combat this act of fraud in the Kenyan mobile lending space with a new Integrated anti-fraud solution, which uses advanced analytics. “The credit bureau already contains significant data which can be used to highlight potential fraudulent applications, this solution is integrated to the Instant Decision Solution which is used by many mobile lenders to optimize the lending accept-reject and limit allocation”, said Dmitry Batygin, Product Manager at Creditinfo Solutions .

Major mobile lender in Kenya making thousands requests a day said, “We started observing positive results seconds after the introduction and implementation of this check. We look forward to other rules that might be comparably powerful for our decision-making”.

Read more on the article here: 

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/fighting-back-against-synthetic-identity-fraud

Creditinfo Group wins contract with Central Bank of Oman for the Implementation & Support of Oman Credit Bureau “OCB”

PRESS RELEASE

Creditinfo joins forces with Central Bank of Oman (CBO) to implement a world class Credit Bureau in the Sultanate

London, 10th January 2019 – Creditinfo Group, the leading global credit information and fintech services provider, today announced a new strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). As part of the contract, Creditinfo Group will offer a full range of products to support the development, roll-out and management of a sophisticated and scalable credit registry system, including a modular credit reporting system with a roadmap of value-added products.

This announcement marks another significant milestone for Creditinfo, which is a world leader in providing intelligent information in mature and emerging markets. The contract with CBO will ensure that The Sultanate has the leading credit bureau in the region, with capabilities and facilities that extend far beyond those of a traditional credit bureau.

The new Bureau will be processing credit data sourced from both banks and non-banking entities like providers of leasing finance, SME sector lenders, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, utilities and government data.

We are thrilled to start this new adventure with the Central Bank of Oman and provide the full potential of intelligent information, software and analytics solutions to this project,” commented Stefano Stoppani, CEO at Creditinfo. “Backed by international know-how and local market support, the infrastructure we will deliver will set a high bar in the Omani market and the Gulf Region. We look forward to working with CBO, and to deliver these capabilities to our financial services clients globally.”

“The signing of this agreement between Central Bank of Oman and Creditinfo, a World-Class Credit Bureau & FinTech Analytics Provider- is part of CBO 2019-2021 strategy which is aligned with the National Program for Economicical Diversification. OCB once launched will become a national one-stop-shop for credit and financial information in the Sultante Said His Excellency Tahir bin Salim Al Amri, Executive President, at Central Bank of Oman.

 

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.

About Central Bank of Oman

Central Bank of Oman (CBO) is the regulatory authority for all licensed banks operating within the Sultanate of Oman and for those commercial banks incorporated in the Sultanate with operations extending to countries outside of the Sultanate.

Media Contacts:

Suraj Mashru

Babel PR for Creditinfo Group

Suraj@Babelpr.com

+44 (0)207 199 3977

PRESS RELEASE: Know your credit score to make better informed financial decisions

PRESS RELEASE

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 22, 2018

– all lending agencies are mandated by law to share all credit data with the credit bureau

– “a lender cannot pull your credit report without your consent”

– know your credit score – it prevents over-indebtedness and encourages responsible borrowing and brings stability to the financial sector

– credit bureau was established in 2013 and operates under the Credit Report Act of 2010 and the Credit Reporting [Amendment] Act of 2016

Chief Executive Officer of Creditinfo, Judy Semple-Joseph says the credit bureau, popularly known as Creditinfo (Guyana) Incorporated, is here to help citizens make informed financial decisions rather than to work against anyone. Semple-Joseph yesterday made this declaration during the Guyana Press Association’s Lunchtime Lecture at Moray House, Georgetown.

The CEO said that many people are not aware of the works of Creditinfo and would find themselves blaming the credit agency for them being denied a loan.

She reminded that all lending agencies are mandated by law to share all credit data with the credit bureau. Semple-Joseph emphasised that whatever information Creditinfo has on an individual is based on their financial behaviour over a period of time.

However, the CEO stressed that “a lender cannot pull your credit report without your consent and this is one of the key things we want to assure persons of. Yes, your information is in the database, but we would not know you unless you present your I.D. and give that lender permission, they cannot pull your credit report.”

Nevertheless, she stated that “you must have good quality data, and this has been an issue in our case. I think the advantage that we would have brought to this market in terms of data is that while there was information, it was not set up in a way that would have allowed for better decision-making and if we can commend ourselves on one thing, is that we would have been able to support our lenders in improving the quality of data that they have. Data is key, data is critical, data is like the cash flow of our institution.”

According to Semple-Joseph, credit reports on the history of an individual’s credit is accessible once requested and since the first credit report is free within a 12 month period “there is no excuse for individuals to not come and get their credit report… We need to underscore that fact that we need to pay attention, things are happening.”

Some of the advantages of knowing your credit score, according to the CEO, are having faster and broader access to credit, it prevents over-indebtedness and encourages responsible borrowing and brings stability to the financial sector.

The credit bureau was established in 2013 and operates under the Credit Report Act of 2010 and the Credit Reporting [Amendment] Act of 2016. It is an independent organisation that collects, stores and organises credit information about consumers and businesses.

Information is sourced and collected from lenders such as banks, credit unions and microfinance organisations, as well as providers of various alternative types of credit such as hire purchase companies, telecommunication companies and utility companies such as Guyana Water Inc. and Guyana Power and Light Company.

Isaiah Braithwaite.

Creditinfo inks contract with Housing Finance Kenya  

The Housing Finance Company in Kenya have introduced mobile lending this summer and chose to use Creditinfo’s Instant Decisions as the one and only decision-making tool. They chose an in-house installation back in June and then, after several weeks of consultancy and strategy design project, we have come together with the customer to the point where we have a very complex strategy with 3 different Credit Limit Allocation matrices, matching competition’s limit and limit allocation as a function of previously received loans. After successful pilot in July, August they opened it for a wider population, and just recently, in November, to the entire Kenyan population, through all channels – iOS, Android and USSD – and they had a big marketing campaign for USSD customers that had its apogees last week, starting November 18th 2018.

This is a great success story of what Creditinfo can do in terms of decision analytics, backed up by a strong, yet extremely flexible, technical tool such as Instant Decisions!

Guyana – Successes driven by One Creditinfo at Work

Creditinfo from data provider to trusted industry leaders; a case study from Guyana

Ben Riley, Global Consultant Creditinfo and David Falconer, Sales Manager Creditinfo Guyana

 

In many ways the country of Guyana is unique. Considered part of the Caribbean region even though it is on the South American mainland. The only English speaking country in South America more interested in cricket than football. On the lowest population density countries on earth (just behind Iceland) but with 30% of that population residing in the capital city of Georgetown. However in the area of Credit, Guyana is proving again that a Creditinfo Credit Bureau can by the driving force behind market development and the opening up of affordable credit to all.

Indeed since the establishment of Creditinfo Guyana in 2013 the business and industry has changed almost beyond recognition. From a market environment where is was so challenging that it required the passing of legislation to legally mandate the use of credit reporting products in the financial sector, to the present day environment marked by an open, forward looking mind-set in which Creditinfo’s core portfolio and value-added products are a perfect fit for the needs of various industry sectors.

We are delighted to announce that in October 2018 Creditinfo Guyana was able to close multiple sales deals for 3 of Creditinfo’s value added products; Monitoring, Benchmarking and IFRS.

Creditinfo’s access to market data and demonstrated expertise drove the development of highly predictive ECL (Expected Credit Loss) models for IFRS-9 reporting and compliance, which has been bought by a selection of both large and small lenders. Indeed some of the larger banks who initially thought themselves quite capable of developing their own internal models are now turning to Creditinfo for assistance as they recognise that our IFRS models are the most accurate available.

Our Benchmarking Reports which capture market specific data on a variety of performance metrics has captivated most of the mainstream lenders in the financial sector and has already been sold to a few who lost no time in adding this formidable asset to their toolkit for gaining competitive advantage in this, small but fiercely contested market.

Our Monitoring Solution has recorded significant buy-in and sale in the financial sector and is expected to drive a more profitable hands-on approach to the management of individual loan portfolios. Simply by showing potential clients actual monitoring results we have found the sales process almost becomes easy.

These successes, which will deliver steady annual recurring revenues from the value-added products themselves, have the additional benefit of delivering significantly increased revenues from the use core Credit Bureau Reports as they help drive credit in the market. A double win if you like for Creditinfo. It is important to note that these sales are not driven by mandatory legal requirements but rather by the actual choices and preference of our subscribers responding to our sales efforts. We have driven market change in Guyana and are particularly proud of this.

Most importantly though is the extent to which Creditinfo is now interwoven in the very fabric of the Guyanese credit market itself. We have evolved from being a mere data collector and aggregator who is simply a vendor of legal mandated data driven credit reports. Creditinfo Guyana is now viewed as an active partner for Credit providers. Creditinfo’s expertise, experience, knowledge and unrivalled access to market data can positively affect the daily operations and profitability of our clients. Indeed we can positively impact the entire market through our introduction of innovative, realistic and modern solutions. Creditinfo Guyana is become the respected authority in Credit whom the banks and other providers turn to for assistance.

Internally we wish to share what we believe was a very significant factor that has brought about this positive change for Creditinfo Guyana; “One Creditinfo”.

The new, increased thrust of full support in product trainings, personal site visits, and not least of all the open-door attitude which has unlocked access to some of the more experienced thinkers and planners in the group has helped transform the efforts and the approach of the local office. The direct result – hard won as it were by logging endless hours, days, weeks and months of tireless sales presentations, marketing initiatives, public relations outreaches and some really innovative out-of-the-box thinking has been rewarded by sales in not one but three different value-added product categories.

As an international company, Creditinfo has first-hand experience in many different kinds of markets, each no doubt at different levels of development. By deploying the full strength of “one Creditinfo” we can play a leading role in the development of all our markets and position Creditinfo as the trusted authority in Credit Risk.

Each and every one of Creditinfo’s markets is unique in its own way. However Guyana has shown that by working together as One Creditinfo we can drive the development of the credit industry and position ourselves as trusted partners in the industry. This not only drives financial performance for Creditinfo but improves our strategic position greatly. Guyana has proven that this is possible; let us replicate this in all our markets.

 

Consumer lenders in Latvia obliged to exchange full positive credit history via Credit Bureaus

PRESS RELEASE

Changes in Consumer Protection Law adopted by Saeima (Latvian Parliament) obliging consumer lenders to exchange positive credit information about consumer and to use this information in assessment of creditworthiness is a positive step, said “Kredītinformācijas Birojs”.

“Despite the fact that both licensed credit bureaus of Latvia are keeping the data on 95% of loans of individuals issued by banks and almost 90% of loans issued by other consumer creditors, no information was exchanged between these two groups. There was no exchange of the information between both credit bureaus either. Amendments adopted in the Consumer Protection Law and related amendments to the Law on Credit Institutions will at last eliminate these restrictions by ensuring that both groups of creditors have complete information on borrowers’ liabilities and late payments to companies of all other sectors (utilities, telecommunications, debt collection, health care, etc.). An important step has been taken to reduce the fragmentation of credit data and to ensure that information contained in credit history is complete”, tells the Chief of the Board of “Kredītinformācijas Birojs” Janis Timermanis.

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Creditinfo Estonia celebrates the 25th anniversary

Creditinfo Estonia – the oldest company in the Creditinfo Group – celebrates the 25th anniversary this year. Creditinfo Eesti AS was established in 1993 (operated under the name Krediidiinfo AS until December 2016). Many years’ experience has helped the company to become the largest and most professional Estonian supplier of credit information.

Creditinfo Estonia has been a loyal long-term partner to Estonian companies helping them to make smart and intelligent business decisions. Creditinfo Eesti AS is the Estonian market leader in the sector of information collection, processing and intermediation.

On 17th of October, Creditinfo Estonia celebrated its 25th anniversary with the clients in a client-conference: Creditinfo 2.0.43. Our goal was to look back to the eventful history, and to begin with the creation of a new version of Creditinfo Estonia for the next 25 years – Creditinfo, version 2.0.43!

The main topics of the conference covered the preview into the next years – possibilities of using alternative data solutions in credit ratings and cross-border data exchange, we talked about innovations and advances in data ecosystems and analytics. Additionally, we took a closer look into what is happening in the credit-industry in the world.

The conference was a perfect thank you gesture for all the clients, who are the roots of our success. Trust and loyalty from the clients give us the inspiration and courage to create innovative solutions impacting the business and social environment around us.

From Unemployed to Financially Empowered: Meet Dorah, Creditinfo Success Story

So many great stories on financial inclusion across the globe are left untold. So rewarding to be able to share with you at least some of those, where Creditinfo can contribute and make a difference. Watch the story of Dorah.

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Creditinfo featured by FORBES on Financial Inclusion and Innovation

How can citizens across Central and Eastern Europe access finance without a credit history? Our very own Paul Randall spoke with FORBES and Joe R. Wallen to explain. Read the full article.

 

Creditinfo Georgia has successfully passed a Registration Process by the National Bank of Georgia

Since September 3, 2018, Creditinfo Georgia is an officially registered credit information bureau by the National Bank of Georgia. Creditinfo Georgia, founded in 2005 by leading banks and Creditinfo International, is the only credit bureau operating in Georgia. Its mission is to support and assist the credit organizations in simplification and refinement of their lending process and managing credit. Creditinfo Georgia assists financial organizations by providing all necessary tools and information for credit risk management, and at the same time strives to increase financial literacy among existing or potential borrowers. Creditinfo Georgia helps National Bank of Georgia in improving credit management and lending process, by providing all necessary data, which is used by the National Bank to identify problems and weaknesses in lending sector and make information decisions for solving these problems.

National Bank accepted a road map provided by the company regarding implementation of all necessary procedures to comply to regulatory requirements. Creditinfo Georgia continues its operations and plans activities in two major direction: increasing of credit education in the country and delivering necessary instruments, information and expertise for credit risk management.