Interview with Paul Randall
Paul, why all those corporate changes and the fuss around the new Decision Analytics unit at Creditinfo?
Well, those are exciting times for the industry and for Creditinfo. Decision Analytics is right at the core of it all. The industry is changing and we are changing. The recent restructuring made our corporate structure more agile, empowering the international sales and consulting department (CIDA, as we are called right now) to bring Creditinfo sales to another level. This means that we are better prepared, better synchronized and are becoming much more aggressive in going to market as well as in dealing with our current customers and assisting them throughout their whole customer lifecycle.
To be more concrete, there are 2 main benefits that occurred after the change:
1) we are better synchronized to sell international products ourselves;
2) we can cooperate and use international synergies to better serve our local credit bureaus.
The second part is really critical for the Group. When Creditinfo is providing both decision solutions and credit bureau solutions to the same customer. Both parties will sell more of their products and we are less likely to lose either part to a competitor. I have seen this be a very effective strategy over the years working in many credit bureau. I believe that this is really important and will contribute in helping Creditinfo achieve its growth ambitions for 2020.
Most of the products sold by Decision Analytics unit today have been previously sold by Creditinfo Solutions. What products would become priority following the change, in your opinion?
The first thing I would say is that our aim is to provide solutions to our customer’s problems, for that we would normally provide a combination of a number of products.
CIDA products fall under 2 categories: the sale of credit bureau & related software and decision analytic, software & consulting products, which basically enable to turn raw data into intelligent information, such as our application processing engine for instance. I want to emphasize that we paint a bright future for our consultancy services, considering the complexity of our industry and the brilliant analytic resources we have to serve it. Yes, many of the products are created and delivered by Creditinfo Solutions, there may be other products delivered by other teams in the Group or possibly some third party solutions which are not in our repertoire at the moment.
What we envision to do, is to incorporate credit bureau data deep within an institution’s infrastructure, making of it an inseparable part of every single credit decision that is being made on the clients’ side. The more we integrate, the more barriers we build for potential competition to enter the market or for existing competitors to displace our credit bureau within a client. This is a long-term strategy to build strong relationships and gain customer loyalty. As far as priority products are concerned, well, everybody should be familiar with our CBS5 and the basic value added products that we provide, such being our monitoring or scoring service, as well as some of the newer ones: benchmarking, portfolio screening, batch processing, collateral registry service, collections system…
On the decision products our BEE decision engine, credit scores, behavioural scores, Application Processing Systems, consultancy are the core products but this is just the starting point. The key is maybe not the products by themselves, but the understanding of how we, at Decision Analytics can help our clients to cross-sell and up-sell. This is simply mandatory nowadays, but not self-evident. We need to support our customers on a daily basis, to make sure that we don’t miss opportunities and that we are the first contact they would use in case they’d have a question related to credit decisioning.
OK, so how do you go to market?
Changes are falling into place and despite the fact that we already have a strong and experienced team of consultants, analytics and sales people, we are about to grow and hire more region-specific staff, to be closer to our regional clients. We are about to have new, but experienced professionals to join us in Asia and Africa, as those are the positions that are being filled as we speak. We believe that more professional staff working closer to our international clients would help making a difference. So you will find DA staff or agents are already in Kenya, Monaco, Iceland, Singapore, Azerbaijan as well as Prague and this will continue to evolve with interviews recently in Cote d’Ivoire, Jamaica and Morocco.
How will these international CI DA experts cooperate with local offices? Will they compete or will they support? How will that work?
Creditinfo is one company and we will all be working and cooperating as a team, but with parallel objectives working in the same direction. In many of the cases it might end-up being integrated sales, which would result in a win-win situation and benefit both: the bureaus and CIDA. Let me give you an example: we were working with a major bank in Kenya on a very exciting project, consisting of implementing scoring and decision consultancy for mobile lending products. We sold our expertise via consultancy and credit scores, nevertheless, a very important part of that same sale and that solution was credit bureau data and credit bureau scores from our credit bureau in Kenya. It’s a fantastic case we hope to replicate as many times as we can.
Thank you Paul and all the best!