The Creditinfo Chronicle

Creditinfo appoints Global Sales Leader

Creditinfo appoints former Experian consultant as global sales leader

Decision analytics leader welcomes Burak Kilicoglu to growth-focused senior role

LONDON, UK, 30th March 2021Creditinfo Group, the leading global credit information and decision analytics provider, today announces that it has appointed Burak Kilicoglu as its new Director of Global Markets to guide Creditinfo’s global sales teams strategically and operationally through the company’s next phase of growth.

Burak joins Creditinfo following 15 years at Experian where he provided strategic risk management consultancy on debt management, customer management and originations for retail banking as well as telecommunications sectors. In his new role he will be based out of the company’s Monaco office and set and execute a strategic vision and roadmap for sales in collaboration with other Creditinfo executives and key stakeholders.

With over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Burak will act as a key liaison between all business unit leaders to grow the global sales team’s capabilities, keeping pace with the ever-growing and changing needs of the business.

“Creditinfo continues to grow and develop as we realize our ambitions to enable corporates, SMEs and individuals be active players in the economy” commented Paul Randall, CEO at Creditinfo Group. “We’re delighted to bring Burak onboard to help us push forward as a business and further our ability to facilitate access to finance while also reducing risk for banks. Burak has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will make him a valuable asset to our business as we embark on our next phase of growth. His appointment, coupled with our new shareholder structure, brings fresh energy, thinking and impetus to our operations and will help us to capitalize on our unique position in the market.”

Burak Kilicoglu, Director of Global Markets at Creditinfo, commented, “I’m excited to be joining Creditinfo at such an important part of its growth journey. This is a company with significant growth potential and incredible products and technology to take to market. As the fintech industry continues to grow in global markets there is a huge opportunity to help organizations gauge their risk appetite and make informed and intelligent lending decisions based on a wide range of data source and market leading analytics technology. I’m very much looking forward to leading that charge and working with Creditinfo’s sales team and senior leaders to work towards expanding our market penetration and helping our clients make informed decisions with confidence.” 

Prior to joining Experian, Burak was a VP in the European Card Services team at Bank of America, and before that held portfolio management roles at Discover Financial Services and Transamerica Retail Finance. He attended the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College where he graduated with an MBA.  He also has a MS in Industrial Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University.

This appointment follows the announcement of a new shareholder structure, with private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners as majority shareholders, and the appointment of Paul Randall as Group CEO to lead Creditinfo through a period of development and global expansion.

-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 decision analytics solutions.

With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this 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 to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

 For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com

Media Contacts:

Matt Silver

Babel Agency for Creditinfo Group

creditinfo@babelpr.com

+44 (0)7769 266 452

Creditinfo Group becomes majority shareholder of Kredītinformācijas Birojs (KIB)

LONDON, UK, March 25th, 2021 – Today, Creditinfo Group – the leading global credit information and decision analytics provider – announced that is has increased its stake in JSC “Kredītinformācijas Birojs” (KIB) to 51%, becoming the majority shareholder.  

Earlier this month, the US private equity fund Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) became the majority shareholder of Creditinfo Group. As the result of that transaction, the share capital of the KIB joint stock company was increased, with ABLV Bank selling its shares.

The other shareholders of the company, including the leading Latvian commercial banks; AS Swedbank, AS SEB banka, AS Luminor Bank, and AS Citadele banka will remain unchanged and will continue to support KIB by serving on the Supervisory Board of the joint stock company.

Jānis Timmermanis, Chairman of the Board of KIB: “This investment is an important confirmation of the company’s potential to continue to grow despite being a relatively young entity and offer lenders throughout the Baltic region modern solutions with scoring and decision capabilities while also enabling prevention of money laundering.”

Brynja Baldursdóttir, Director of Global Markets Creditinfo Nordics: “This announcement marks a significant milestone for Creditinfo and consolidates our presence in the Baltics as a leader in providing Decision-as-a-service solutions – a key component of the Credit Bureau system. With international knowledge and local market support, Creditinfo solutions are setting a high bar wherever they are implemented.”

KIB was founded in May 2013 and is the first licensed credit information bureau in Latvia. KIB helps banks and financial institutions to manage credit risk and apply best practices in risk management and credit operations. Its activities in the field of data processing are licensed and supervised by the State Data Inspectorate.

Ends.

 

About Creditinfo

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

With more than 33 credit bureaus today, Creditinfo has the largest presence in credit risk management worldwide, with significantly greater influence than competitors. For decades, it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to major lenders, governments and central banks around the world to increase financial inclusion and create economic growth by giving SMEs and individuals access to credit.

Media Contact:

Matt Silver

Babel Agency for Creditinfo Group creditinfo@babelpr.com

+44 (0)7769 266 452

Creditinfo Group announces new majority shareholder

Creditinfo welcomes Levine Leichtman Capital Partners as new majority investor

LONDON, UK, 8 March 2021 – Creditinfo Group, the leading global credit information and decision analytics provider, today announces that the private equity firm, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) has become its new majority shareholder. The firm will help Creditinfo Group to keep expanding operations and support financial institutions with a full suite of best-in-class credit risk management tools.

The announcement marks another significant milestone in Creditinfo’s growth journey, as world leader in providing decision analytics and risk mitigation solutions to lenders, central banks and SMEs continues to expand. The company’s combination of international know-how and local market support, continues to fuel demand for Creditinfo’s decision analytics solutions, which use traditional and evolving data sets to help customers take an intelligent and informed approach to risk and lending decisions.

This new shareholder composition brings new impetus and direction to the company’s growth plans while also maintaining continuity for the business, with Creditinfo founder Reynir Grétarsson retaining his board seat and a significant minority shareholding.

Well-respected industry veteran, Paul Randall – who joined Creditinfo in 2007 – will lead the company through its next phase of growth as the newly appointed Group CEO, working closely with Reynir Grétarsson and LLCP.

“This investment shows Creditinfo’s potential and commitment to enable corporates, SMEs and individuals be active players in the economy” commented Paul Randall, CEO at Creditinfo Group. “We now have a new, eager and dynamic investor on board that will help us increase market penetration and expansion. They also bring a wealth of corporate experience running international businesses that will help us further strengthen our contribution to the credit risk and fintech industry. Our unique position in both advanced and emerging markets and the mix of technology our solution can incorporate give us great hopes for the future with considerable growth potential.”

Erik Nobel, Managing Director at LLCP, commented, “We are excited to support Creditinfo’s expansion and growth through this investment. LLCP’s significant experience investing in companies around the world will enable Creditinfo to further establish its leadership in the credit risk and fintech industry and support to its international client base.”

David Cowan, Senior Managing Director at LLCP, added, “We are thrilled to partner with the Creditinfo team and look forward to supporting the Company’s strategic growth plans. We believe that Creditinfo holds a unique position within their market and are confident in their continued success.”

-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 decision analytics solutions.

With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this 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 to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com

Media Contacts:

Matt Silver

Babel Agency for Creditinfo Group creditinfo@babelpr.com

+44 (0)7769 266 452

 

About Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, LLCP is a middle-market private equity firm with a 37-year track record of investing across various targeted sectors, including franchising, professional services, education and engineered products. Since inception, LLCP has managed approximately $11.7 billion of institutional capital across 14 investment funds and has invested in over 90 portfolio companies. LLCP utilizes a differentiated Structured Private Equity investment strategy, combining debt and equity capital investments in portfolio companies.

LLCP’s global team of dedicated investment professionals is led by seven partners who have worked at LLCP for an average of 21 years. The firm currently manages approximately $7.8 billion of assets – including its most recent flagship fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners VI, L.P., which closed in 2018 with $2.5 billion of committed capital, and its most recent European fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Europe II SCSp, which closed in 2020 with €463 million of committed capital. LLCP has offices in Los Angeles, London, The Hague, Stockholm, New York, Chicago, Charlotte and Miami.

Media Contacts:

Mark Semer or Ross Lovern Kekst

CNC +1 (917) 439-3507 or +1 (917) 842-7205

More needs to be done to achieve gender parity

Independent analysis done by Creditinfo using its vast data assets showed that gender balance in the workplace is far from being achieved. Companies need to keep this top of mind when it comes to creating leadership opportunities for women as the world moves towards closing the gap on gender parity.

Analysis by Creditinfo Iceland showed that last year, women were only appointed CEOs in a quarter of new hires in Iceland. Women accounted for 25% of new hires for the position of CEO, although this was an improvement on the 20% average over the last five years. Today, women hold around 18% of the CEO positions in the 6,000 active companies, but only about 13% of them are CEOs of the 1,000 higher-turnover companies.

The FKA (Women’s Association in Business) in Iceland, has a set a goal in their “Gender Balance Scale” project that by 2027 the gender ratio will be at least 40/60 in the executive boards in Iceland. The project was established in 2017 and has helped to promote diversity and balance through greater gender equality in management positions.

If we look at the rate of change of last 10 years, it is clear that the goal will not be achieved until 2061. If the share of women in CEO positions is to reach 40% before then, the proportion of women in new hires should be between 58% and 70% by 2027. The analysis also highlights an interesting statistic; a woman is more likely to take over the CEO position if her predecessor was also a woman. That is some food for thought for the gentlemen!

Brynja Baldursdóttir, Managing Director of Creditinfo Iceland has clear views on how to drive change, she says “Given the current proportion of women in new hires, it is clear that the goal of women being at least 40% of CEOs In Iceland by 2027 will not be achieved. It may be more encouraging to focus on raising the proportion of women in new employment to at least 50% in all sectors by 2027. Managers can thus make an immediate impact and help tip the scales.”

In Lithuania gender equality still seems a remote concept according to an analysis recently conducted by Creditinfo Lithuania. At the beginning of March 2021, there were almost 100,000 company managers in Lithuania, of these, only 30% were women. Probably unsurprising the biggest gap is in the construction, manufacturing, mining and quarrying, transport and agriculture sectors. Whereas the smallest gap is in the services, hotel and restaurant businesses. Men start managing companies at just a slightly younger age than women: the average age of female managers is 47 years, and male – 46 years of age. According to the data, a total of 98,127 people worked in the position of corporate managers in Lithuania at the beginning of March, out of which 30% were women, showing the sorry state of affairs.

It is often believed that more women than men are employed in trade, but businesses in this sector are almost three times more likely to be managed by men: 27% women and 73% men.

“Although there is a bias in historically male employee dominated industries the female employee dominated industries are still majority led by males, so the logic does not hold. Across all industries the focus must be on executive management selection on merit alone,” says Jekaterina Rojaka, Creditinfo Lithunaia‘s COO.

According to a report done by the United Nations, women remain significantly underrepresented in all aspects of decision-making, and violence against women in public life is widespread. The attitude that women should not have public roles, enduring norms about gender roles and legal discrimination compound these challenges and devalue women’s contributions to decision-making, threatening sustainable development. The report recommends that in order reach equality in participation and decision-making in public life, it is necessary to implement international and national commitments and norms, including through temporary special measures, create more enabling environments and institutional systems, reduce violence against women in political life and strengthen the voices of women, who face multiple forms of discrimination.

According to another report by the UN Women, women are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, as front-line and health sector workers, as scientists, doctors and caregivers, yet they get paid 11 per cent less globally than their male counterparts. An analysis of COVID-19 task teams from 87 countries found only 3.5 per cent of them had gender parity. As a result, this year’s International Women’s Day is a rallying cry for Generation Equality, to act for an equal future for all.

Creditinfo Group

Creditinfo has a rich diversity of talent within the company. In each of our offices we have a mix of nationalities, genders, ages, cultures, sexual orientation, education among others. These differences within the Creditinfo enable the company to thrive and help us to embrace our company values of respect, innovation and no nonsense and ultimately, we create greater trust, internally and with our clients.

We strive to achieve a balance of genders within each of our 30+ markets, however we still see today a lower number of female applicants for certain roles during the recruitment process, often IT and analytical roles, which limits our options when hiring. Globally, we have 34% females and 66% male, and those percentages are also mirrored in management positions worldwide with approximately 63% male and 37% female.

With focus on International Women’s Day, we asked the Group HR & Operations Support at Creditinfo Group for her views on closing in on the gender gap.

“International Women’s Day has given us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide and to also give thought to those women who are not so fortunate. I consider myself lucky to have worked for companies throughout my career that largely support women’s equality, Creditinfo being one of those, where we celebrate and recognize efforts by the women in our company. Recently, our General Manager from Ukraine, Kateryna Danylchenko was recognized as one of the top-50 most influential women of Ukrainian Fintech and these are among some of the achievements we are always proud of. It’d be great to see a more equal split since women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone”, states Emma Camilleri, Group HR & Operations Support at Creditinfo Group.

#GenerationEquality #IWD2021

Creditinfo’s new KYC tool allows affordable background checks of international business partners

Creditinfo is the first company in Estonia to bring the shared KYC utility “Know Your Client” to the market. The tool gathers the data an entrepreneur needs to know about clients and business partners from both Estonia and international reliable databases covering the whole world.

According to the rules of the fight against money-laundering and financing of terrorism, each company is responsible for ensuring that every business transaction and cooperation agreement complies with the terms stated in the anti-money laundering law (the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act). In essence, it is the duty of a company to know their clients and business partners in case of both single transactions and longer business relationships.

“Every entrepreneur needs to check the background of the business partner because when the transaction reaches the bank, it may already be too late. The accounts may be frozen and you could end up losing the money,“ Jaanus Leemets, head of Creditinfo’s product development unit explained. “One questionable transaction, no matter how great or small sums are involved, may significantly increase the overall risk rating of the entrepreneur.”

The background checks of companies and individuals operating in Estonia has been a widely available service for years, but checking the background of international partners has been a great challenge for small and medium-sized companies. Access to reliable international databases is very expensive, and the offered solutions are often not suitable for checking single transactions or compiling detailed reports of the parties involved.

“Banks spend millions of euros a year on anti-money laundering background checks, leaving  entrepreneurs stranded since they have no resources to afford these services. The results of public search portals are also often not reliable, extensive nor up-to-date enough in their content, especially with international companies, as well as also domestic inquiries. We therefore created a tool that makes inquiries from dozens of different reliable, international databases. The new tool is affordable to small businesses as well and it is also simple to use for single inquiries.“ Leemets added.

To get the entrepreneurs started, Creditinfo offers consultations on the correct implementation of the background check and its proficiency. There is also the option of joining the KYC business school in order to understand the essence of KYC regulations, the precise duties, everyday needs of their companies, and all available options to regularly check the background of clients and business partners without spending too much time.

Media contact:

Rain Resmeldt Uusen

Marketing Manager, Creditinfo Estonia

Email: rain@creditinfo.ee

Better information for customer due diligence in Iceland

According to the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Profileration, Financial institutions are required to conduct due diligence on their customers. They have a special obligation to verify customer information. Financial institutions need to examine in detail the relationship between individuals and companies and whether the individuals in question are politically exposed.

The process of obtaining this information can be complex and time consuming, but with the help of Creditinfo it is possible to significantly ease the process so that employees can focus on more demanding tasks. Creditinfo in Iceland have a number of solutions available that can assist financial institutions with due diligence:

Company registration information

According to the guidelines from the Icelandic government against money laundering and terrorist financing, it must be verified that the individuals acting on behalf of a company are specifically authorized to act on its behalf. Using Creditinfo, it is possible to get a detailed overview of the managers of the company, its purpose, registered capital and information about board members.

Beneficial Owners

When conducting due diligence, financial institutions need to investigate the beneficial ownership of their customers. It is common for individuals to own companies through other companies. Such relationships can be complex and it can be difficult to find out exactly who the individual owners are and their individual stake at the company in question. Creditinfo can assist in obtaining detailed information about the individuals who actually own companies and how large their share is. The beneficial ownership report also contains information from the register of limited companies. Now there is also information about the beneficial owners according to the Icelandic Revenue and Customs office in the Beneficial owners report.

Monitoring

It is not sufficient to examine customer information only at the start of a business relationship. It is equally important to maintain regular monitoring of customers and their relationships. With the help of Creditinfo it is possible to monitor changes that take place in information about specific companies, e.g. submission of new annual reports, changes in the company’s board of directors or changes in ownership. Such information is necessary to keep a close eye on your customers. Now it is possible to monitor changes in beneficial owners who own more than 25% of the company in question.

Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) – Coming Soon!

Creditinfo has begun preparing a database that will include information on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) to assist companies in meeting anti-money laundering requirements. In processing the information, Creditinfo consults with the Data Protection Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Individuals who will be registered in the database will have good access to the information and will be notified of its processing.

Find out about the subscription options available at Creditinfo Iceland. Visit www.creditinfo.is for more information about our solutions and services.

This article was originally posted in Icelandic on the Creditinfo Iceland blog.

Icelandic Media in 2020 – Creditinfo Iceland

2020 was, to say the least, an eventful year. The highlight of the year was the COVID-19 epidemic, which revolutionized the entire world this year and continues to affect 2021. The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019 and the first confirmed death related to the virus was confirmed on January 11th 2020. News of the virus began to increase in Iceland as the number of infections outside China increased.

Specific mentions of the word COVID-19 was not not mentioned until the end of February last year. When the first infection was diagnosed in Iceland on 28 February, Icelandic media coverage of the virus increased significantly and reached a certain peak in mid-March, shortly after the World Health Organization declared that the spread of COVID-19 was classified as a pandemic. After that, the number of news items began to increase significantly, but at its peak, 372 news items were broadcast about COVID-19 on March 20, 2020. A total of 41,492 news items containing the word COVID were broadcast this year.

Institutions and companies in the news in 2020

As in previous years, political parties in Iceland were the institutions that received the most mentions in the Icelandic media in 2020. A total of more than 14,000 news items were broadcast about the Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) in the past year and about 12,000 news items were broadcast about the Left Greens (Vinstri-Grænir). The effect of COVID-19 can be seen when looking at the high-jumpers on the list of the institutions that were most frequently mentioned in the Icelandic media in 2020. The Directorate of Health was in third place this year among the institutions that were most in the news in 2020 but were in 37th place in 2019. The National Police Commissioners Office was in fourth place in 2020 but was in 45th place in 2019 with a total of over 11,000 news items.

When the list is narrowed down to companies it is clear that one company was particularly popular among the press. A total of 6,000 news items were broadcast about Icelandair this year, followed by Decode Genetics with about 3,100 news items. After them, it was the three commercial banks Íslandsbanki, Landsbankinn and Arion Bank that were most covered in the Icelandic media in 2020.

Would you like further information about media monitoring solutions from Creditinfo Iceland? Please contact us.

 

This article was originally posted in Icelandic on the Creditinfo Iceland blog.

Creditinfo Cookbook

Creditinfo_We_are_family

 

Cooking is the basis for relationships. 

For many, family mealtime has been lost in our over-scheduled lives. Family meals provide an opportunity to come together, strengthen ties and build better relationships. They are an opportunity to reconnect and handle the stresses of daily life – build a sense of belonging.  

Food confers the status and identity with which we distinguish ourselves from others and at the same time gives us the sense of community we seek. Those who eat as we do have a connection with us; they are as we are. 

Let’s gather around the table or on the mat and eat together this season. This book is a glimpse of the different forms of communal dining in our Creditinfo ecosystem. Whether in Iceland or Guyana – “Dinner is served!”. 

We’re about to eat, so drop what you are doing and join us. 

Download the whole Creditinfo Cookbook for offline viewing here.

Banking for the future of Sri Lanka

Interview with Thimal Perera – Deputy CEO, DFCC Bank

Our Senior Business Development Manager, Joe Bowerbank, caught up with Thimal Perera, Deputy CEO of DFCC Bank. Thimal provided a number of interesting insights into how DFCC is strategically dealing with the challenges of operating in 2020 and building a roadmap to continue delivering a first-class banking experience going forward. Thimal has worked in both local and international banks across the globe, looking after a number of different areas from SME and retail, to digital transformation amongst others. This interview focuses on digitalization and credit risk – two areas that have been hot topics for Creditinfo’s clients this year.

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Phone model, mobile internet and missed calls might determine whether you get credit

Press Release                                                                                              

Ever more personal data will in the future determine whether people can get a loan or buy goods on installment. If a person consents, before a decision is made about granting them credit they may be asked for permission to examine not just repayment of past loans but also other private information: what model of phone they have, whether they actively use mobile internet, whether they often do not answer calls. It may even be suggested that they play a real-time game whose outcome will determine whether they as a customer are creditworthy. 

While companies that give credit have typically relied only on information gathered by financial institutions, now more and more personal data will influence decision-making. Whether credit is granted, how much, and on what terms may depend on whether a customer is ready to share that information.

“There’s no doubt that personal data can only be used with the person’s consent,” Creditinfo Head of Decision Analytics for the Baltic states, Maxim Fetisov immediately stresses. “But practice shows that openly sharing additional information increases a creditor’s trust, lets them more accurately assess each customer’s trustworthiness, and even allows customers to expect more favorable credit terms.” Research conducted by Creditinfo has shown that knowledge about a customer’s personal habits gives creditors just as many insights as formal data.

A recent conference “Scoring Kitchen” by Creditinfo, which rates the creditworthiness of companies and individuals in more than 50 countries, addressed what is new in the scoring process. For example, a study was done together with telco company on how people’s financial reliability relates to their everyday behaviour. Analysis of the data revealed that even how long people use one telecom operator’s services shows which ones are financially more trustworthy: the longer someone uses the same telco’s services, the more financially reliable their loan-payment history is too. And on the contrary, customers who frequently change operators generally demonstrated a higher level of riskiness.

Those without 4G and who use mobile internet little fall into a higher-risk group

Creditinfo analyst Allan Anyona, who took part in the study, also notes that individuals who are less financially reliable tend to have more modest internet plans and rush to connect as quickly as possible to free Wi-Fi networks at home and elsewhere.

Moreover, it was observed that the more advanced the network connection a potential customer’s phone supports, the greater their creditworthiness. So customers using phones that support 4G network requirements are seen more favorably than those whose phones only work on a 2G network or do not make such information available.

Many missed calls points to a frequent debtor

Creditors get useful insights as well from data about whether a potential customer often fails to answer incoming calls. People were divided into five categories: those who fail to answer calls very often, often, an average amount, rarely, and very rarely. It turns out the most financially reliable were those in the last two groups. The riskiest customers, meanwhile, were among the people who “miss” calls more often than others.

“We assume that people experiencing financial difficulties avoid answering calls as they do not want to talk with creditors or with relatives to whom they may also be in debt,” the Creditinfo Group analyst explains.

With smart devices revealing more and more information about consumers, creditors are eager to actively look at other habits too – like the use of a mobile wallet. The more punctually a customer tops up their mobile wallet limit and the bigger their income, the higher their credit rating will be. Conversely, the smaller someone’s income is and the longer they use credit provided by a telco, the more cautiously other lenders will view them. So those people should not be surprised if they are not allowed to buy a more expensive item on installment or are refused a bigger credit limit on a payment card.

Games show how you will behave with real money

Seeking to get a more objective assessment of a customer’s creditworthiness and to automate the decision-making process, psychometric data are being used ever more actively. A future customer may be asked to play a quiz that takes 5-7 minutes. It may be a series of questions, like: how would you use an unexpected gift of €200 – would you spend it on entertainment or save it? Studies show that the customers who meet their financial obligations most responsibly tend to choose the answer ‘I would save it’ in the game, while the riskiest customers more often choose ‘I would spend it on entertainment’.

“We realize that over time skilled players learn to choose those answer that creditors view more favorably. But in calculating any individual’s rating, dozens of other factors are also assessed, like their insurance history, repayment of earlier loans, payment of utilities bills, and so on,” CEO of Creditinfo Lithuania, Aurimas Kačinskas notes.

The pandemic also altered how companies are rated – there are new factors

The CEO of Creditinfo Lithuania says the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 are also changing the rules for rating businesses. New factors have arisen that impact credit scores. For instance, a new indicator for the impact of Covid-19 has altered the current ratings of companies all over the world. It shows how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted every area of business (e.g., tourism, hotels, manufacturing, transport, etc.) and how companies’ creditworthiness relates to the geographic location of their operations, demand for the goods they produce, and possibilities for quickly recovering after restrictions and quarantine end. Businesses’ ratings are also heavily influenced by a ‘Collection’ indicator that reflects whether a company punctually settles with its creditors.

“We have no doubt that the new factors that are coming up will have an increasing significance for companies’ credit scores – in a time of economic turmoil, it’s very important for creditors to objectively assess every customer’s riskiness and make the most accurate decisions possible,” Maxim Fetisov, Head of Decision Analytics in the Baltics says.

-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 bureau and 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: 

Media Contacts:

Caterina Ponsicchi,
Marketing Director, Creditinfo Group

c.ponsicchi@creditinfo.com

Mala’a launches Credit Bureau System in Oman

Creditinfo and Mala’a’s strategic partnership started in January 2019 and since then, the teams have been developing a state of the art Credit Bureau System, connecting members, integrating with new data providers, and ensuring the system is protected to the highest security standards.

On November 18th 2020, Mala’a officially launched its state-of-the-art Credit Bureau System to the banking sector in Oman. This announcement affirms Creditinfo’s commitment in helping businesses globally make better use of information and data, along with providing the latest software solutions to enhance risk decisioning strategies. Creditinfo have over the years strengthened our partnerships with Credit Bureaus globally by delivering Creditinfo’s technology with core credit bureau systems, infrastructure expertise, operational set up, self-service platforms, alternative data, digital lending solutions among other tailored services.

Creditinfo will continue partnering with Mala’a into the next phase of our project. The teams will be ensuring we expand the membership to new sectors such as telecommunication and insurance and delivering new value-added services like Instant Decision Solutions, Mobile Lending Platforms and Portfolio Management tools. This will help lenders and organizations improve the application process and the customer experience for Oman residents.

Lenders across the GCC are changing the way in which they operate and make decisions on an individual’s creditworthiness moving to a digital based approach while harnessing traditional and non-traditional data. With Creditinfo Gulf based in Muscat now firmly installed in the region Creditinfo will remain at the forefront of facilitating access to finance in each of our markets and help lenders to reduce risk and increase profitability. We look forward to continuing assisting with cutting-edge technology in the region and helping Lenders and Telcos increase profitability without increasing the risk of new business.

Gary Brown, MD, Creditinfo Gulf.

Creditinfo West Africa Hits 20 Million Contracts

Creditinfo West Africa today marked a major milestone by hitting the 20 million contracts threshold and growing, in the regional Credit Information Bureau (BIC) making it a historic day for Creditinfo West Africa, the entire UEMOA region and Creditinfo Group.

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Six Corporate Image Improvement Tips for CFOs  

It is customary to assume that the reputation and image of a company is mostly a prerogative of the general manager and the marketing unit. Credit is also given to employees who are in direct contact with the customers, yet financial decision-makers mostly go unnoticed. In this article, I will share some ideas about the huge influence Chief Financial Officers may have on the good corporate image.

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Creditinfo IBCH (Ukraine) welcomes Kateryna Danylchenko as new GM

Kateryna has been appointed as GM of IBCH, a Credit Bureau and Analytics company in Ukraine in which Creditinfo has been a strategic investor since 2006.

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Players in Baltic Markets (Latvia, Estonia) and Iceland Measure Risk better, benefitting from Covid-19 Impact Score Developed by Creditinfo.

Credit providers need to understand how COVID crisis affected their counter-parties and customers in order to better manage risk exposure and reduce losses. Current scoring models are unable to fully answer these needs as they were developed on pre-crisis data and need time to adjust to new conditions.

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