Open Banking Solutions at Creditinfo

In 2020 Creditinfo Group decided to be part of the Open Banking initiative by starting to investigate the options of using customers’ bank account statements in their offering. The account information service is based on the PSD2 directive. For known reasons, it is not possible and acceptable to have access to customer bank account data without consent.

Creditinfo have tackled the opportunity in two different ways. In the Baltics and Iceland, the chosen route was to apply for an FSA licence to offer end-to-end customer account statements transfer from their home bank to a third party, from whom the customer applies for credit , e.g. car loan. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia namely due to the long and cost-intensive process of “passporting” CI’s Estonian license, the chosen route was collaboration with a local technical partner called Sokordia Tech.

A little bit more about above-mentioned two ways to offer Open Banking solutions in Creditinfo Group.

In 2021 Spring, Creditinfo Estonia received permission from the Financial Supervision Authority to start offering account information services in Estonia, which later in Autumn expanded to the markets of Latvia and Lithuania. Today, Creditinfo has been offering the account information service in the Baltic market for almost three years. Creditinfo have real-time access to the transaction data of customers of banks and financial institutions using a secure data transmission channel and customer consent.

In Spring 2024, Creditinfo Estonia finalised the Iceland licence application process from Estonian FSA and can officially offer account information service in Iceland.

Beside regulative and compliance part, Creditinfo also has full technical integration and capability in developing categorization when offering account informatoin service. With opportunity to access customers bank account data, the aim is to offer more transparent credit risk evaluation to customers and third parties, who find high value from the knowledge of their customers account information to make data-driven, intelligent credit and business decisions.

As mentioned above, Creditinfo also have Open Banking cooperation and partnership in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with fintech company Sokordia Tech, teaming up to capitalize on Creditinfo’s market position  whilst leveraging Sokordia Tech’s AISP and PISP licenses and Open Banking services platform to provide PSD2/Open Banking services to several financial services clients in the market.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia market, Creditinfo currently has 5 customers utilizing the Open Banking platform, processing more than 1.2 million open banking transactions per month. Depending on the specific requirements, pain points, and use case of the Client, Creditinfo  has developed a “Categorization In-a-Box” , Multi-Service platform called Transaction Analysis Service replete with 40,000 pre-installed business rules that can sit atop and work with any Open Banking Open APIs in any country. The service is comprised of 6 unique methods/services (AIS+CIS+PIS) & PDF tools via one API as detailed below:

  1. PSD2parser: extracting raw data from PSD2 bank statements
  2. PSD2tags: tag each bank transaction with one to N identifying tags
  3. PDFparser: Extracting raw data from PDF bank statements
  4. PDFtags: Tag each bank transaction with one to N identification tags
  5. 1UnitPay: Verification PSD2 payment (the advantage is that the payment is made in one step with statement extraction)
  6. Bank Account Views: Repeated viewing of bank accounts without the need for customer re-authentication

Together with our partner Sokordia Tech, we currently have Open Banking APIs and are able to provide all these services under one single API for the following countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland.

Development work on the 3rd generation of the Transaction Analysis Service is currently in development, highlighted by:

  • Deeper AI involvement in processes & rules & analysis
  • Expansion of new online data inputs into transactional analytics
  • Multi-language analytical tools
  • GUI for clients to manage and report transactional analytics themselves

For more information, please visit: www.creditinfo.com

Authors:

Seth Marks – Regional Director Central, Eastern & Southern Europe, Creditinfo Group

Ivo Vallau – Open Banking Product Manager, Creditinfo Group

 

Creditinfo appoints TransUnion veteran as new Global Chief Commercial Officer

Seasoned commercial leader, John Cannon, looks to use wealth of financial and executive leadership experience in new role to unlock new value for customers and drive Creditinfo’s international growth

London – 18 April 2024: Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has today announced the appointment of John Cannon as its Global Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). With over 25 years of experience in finance and credit bureaus, John will spearhead the strategy and execution behind Creditinfo’s solutions and products for all 30 of its credit bureaus, which are spread across 50 different countries.

John brings almost three decades of experience in leading top-performing teams, delivering pioneering solutions, and galvanising high-value market leading companies within the global financial community. A reputable industry expert, John led Transunion’s GFS business for international regions and has spent the last couple of years as an advisor to Private Equity firms in addition to helping scale early stage technology companies, most recently Xapien.

As CCO of Creditinfo, John will draw on his extensive sector knowledge and experience to leverage Creditinfo’s technology and data to push innovation forward and ensure it meets customer expectations and needs. He will play a key part in promoting financial inclusion globally and in doing so bolster Creditinfo’s international growth. In his new role, John will also be responsible for delivering the right products and services to Creditinfo’s customers to maximise value, as well as identifying new business opportunities. 

John Cannon, newly appointed Global Chief Commercial Officer at Creditinfo said: “I’m delighted to join Creditinfo, a company that is committed to enriching people’s lives through unlocking access to financial inclusion. This, and its international culture, is what drew me to the company. I look forward to working with the remarkable Creditinfo team to support the next phase of its growth journey.”

Satrajit Saha, Global CEO at Creditinfo said: “With firm roots in the global financial industry and a strong track record as a senior executive leader, John is an excellent addition to our senior leadership team. As we look to expand our global footprint and facilitate access to finance for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide, having John on board is a huge advantage, not only for our own innovation and growth but also for our customers as they turn to us to provide worldclass and transformative solutions and products.”

John will report directly to Satrajit Saha, Creditinfo’s Global CEO.

 

-END-

 

About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, 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

Official visit by the President of Iceland to Creditinfo in Georgia

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the President of Iceland, recently completed an official visit to Georgia, where he visited, among other things, the office of Creditinfo in Georgia.

The visit was intended to strengthen the relationship between Iceland and Georgia, among other things through increased cooperation in the field of climate issues and green solutions. The president was accompanied by Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate, Nótt Thorberg, director of Grænvang, and a delegation of representatives from the business community, among whom was Hrefna Ösp Sigfinnsdóttir, managing director of Creditinfo in Iceland.

During the visit, Alexander Gomiashvili, Managing Director of Creditinfo in Georgia, welcomed the group and talked about Creditinfo’s activities in Georgia together with Hrefna Ösp, who educated those present about Creditinfo’s activities internationally.

Creditinfo Group has operations in over 30 countries around the world and over 400 employees.

You can read more about the visit of the President of Iceland here.

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland together with Alexander Gomiashvili, Managing Director of Creditinfo in Georgia 
Alexander Gomiashvili, Managing Director of Creditinfo in Georgia addresses the delegation of the President of Iceland.

For more information, visit www.creditinfo.com

 

Overview: Creditinfo Estonia’s Payment Default Registry in 2023

Creditinfo Estonia’s Payment Default Register was established in 2001 by Estonian banks, being the largest and oldest register in Estonia that gathers consistent and high-quality debt information. The register of payment defaults helps Estonian entrepreneurs make the right credit decisions and enables the application of the principle of responsible lending.

The largest contributors of payment defaults continue to be from the financial sector

In 2023, a total of over 700 companies entered payment defaults in the register. The TOP entrants by activity were:

  • Credit institutions
  • Financial service providers
  •  Collection service providers
  • Telecom companies

During the entire year, more than 100,000 new payment defaults were added to the register by companies, of which 91% were private payment defaults. Payment defaults of legal entities were published in a total of nearly 9,200 cases. 

There are tens of thousands of people with payment defaults in Estonia

As of the end of 2023, there were nearly 57,000 individuals with active payment defaults.

During the liquidation of the debt, the current default is marked as closed – in 2023, there were 111,000 private individuals with a closed payment default. A closed payment default indicates that the debt has been paid, but at the same time it warns the creditor that the person has had problems paying bills in the past and this allows for a more accurate assessment of his creditworthiness. NB! In the case of private individuals, closed payment defaults are published for up to 5 years after the payment default has ended.

As of the end of 2023, there were almost 20,000 legal entities or companies-institutions with active payment defaults.

There were nearly 33,000 legal entities with closed payment defaults. NB! In the case of companies, the information provided will be published for another 7 years after the end of the default.

 There are more than 150 thousand active payment defaults in the register

By the end of 2023, there were nearly 130,000 active payment defaults in the Payment Default Register by individuals with payment defaults. The average payment default amount, or debt, of a private person is €2,514. There were almost 363,000 private individuals with payment defaults that were closed.

At the end of 2023, there were approximately 40,000 active defaults of legal entities. There were almost 65,000 closed defaults of legal entities. 

The number of valid payment defaults has increased

In total, there were nearly 171,000 active payment defaults published in the Payment Default Register. If we add to this the information on payment defaults in the closed and disputed status, the total number of payment defaults in the Payment Default Register is 600,697, which has increased by approx. 9% compared to 2022.

At the same time, the effectiveness of the Payment Failure Register is maintained. Of all payment defaults that have reached publication, one in four, or 26%, is paid immediately within the first month, and half (47%) within the first three months after publication.

The disclosure has the greatest impact on the debts of the financial sector – 36% of all defaults disclosed by banks and leasing companies are paid already within the first month and almost 63% within the first three months.

Visit www.creditinfo.ee for more information.

ICRA and Creditinfo Tanzania launch first credit rating agency for Tanzania institutions

Dar Es Salaam, 24th January 2024 – Creditinfo Tanzania, provider of credit information and risk management solutions, and ICRA (International Credit Rating Agency) have partnered to launch the ICRA Rating Agency, the first credit rating agency locally based in Tanzania.

The joint venture will provide credit rating and evaluation services to Tanzanian financial institutions, creating for the financial industry. Combined, ICRA and Creditinfo’s Tanzania team bring decades of experience and practical knowledge in credit risk management and analysis to support and improve credit assessment in Tanzania.

Adv Hassan Mansur, Local Director of ICRA Rating Agency Limited said: “We are delighted to launch Tanzania’s first credit rating agency that is fully geared towards strengthening the economy through providing credit rating services that are tailored to the African market. Our partnership with Creditinfo will provide ample opportunities and offer a competitive edge for various institutions, most especially the Tanzanian institutions in the International Market.”

Edwin Urasa, CEO of CreditInfo Tanzania said: “At Creditinfo, we are committed to sustainably growing our business and identifying ideal opportunities to build strong and profitable credit rating agencies, while helping more local citizens and businesses access finance. Our partnership with ICRA marks an important milestone for us and gives us the opportunity to improve the standards of credit assessment. Tanzania is an optimal market for us to introduce this service because of its tremendous promise for inclusive financial services. This venture will set a new standard in credit rating and promote financial health and empowerment across Tanzania.”

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About Creditinfo  

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, 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 tz.creditinfo.com

www.creditinfo.com

 

About ICRA Rating Agency

ICRA Rating Agency Limited has been accredited for being the First Ever Credit Rating Agency approved by Bank of Tanzania (Central Bank of Tanzania) to which we are the only regional central bank approved credit rating agency offering credit rating services. Our organisation also gets the special status of ecai (external credit assessment institution).

ICRA has an expert team with a combined experience of more than 25 years in Audit, Inspection, Financial Analysis, Credit Research, Banking, Compliance, AML and Certification. Our ratings significantly influence corporate and financial institutions to achieve better market standing. ICRA ratings aim to help various corporations and institutions demonstrate their financial capability.

For more information, please visit www.icrallc.com

Creditinfo Estonia’s sanctions’ monitoring solution for small businesses

With the ongoing aggression initiated by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the need to implement international sanctions has to be embedded in the daily business activities of our companies.
We know that companies – operating in the fields of activity subject to such a special obligation – must do more due diligence to mitigate the risks associated with implementing sanctions, but the processes should be somewhat similar to all of the companies operating in Estonia.

Such companies, whose daily economic activities do not deal with continuous customer background research or transaction monitoring, can sometimes be in a difficult situation where they do not have enough know-how or manpower resources to assess the risk of whether one of their customers or partners falls under the established restrictions or not.

Finding such a necessary workforce is always possible, but as you know, making such a fixed cost can sometimes be impossible according to the company’s business model. In this case, one of the options is to delegate the control of said risks outside the company or to use convenient and straightforward, but at the same time reliable services to help with this task, which are available on the market.

For these cases, Creditinfo is offering small businesses the opportunity to mitigate their risks in two ways – by delegating the checking of compliance with sanction lists for their customers and partners entirely to us or by using a straightforward and convenient solution on our e-Krediidiinfo portal – WebScreening.

The web-based service WebScreening allows you to request the entry of a person of interest to you through a convenient and comprehensive user interface, both on international sanctions (European Union and the United Nations) and watch lists (so-called local sanctions and “black lists” of various countries, in some instances, for example, wanted persons) as well as persons with a national background ( PEP) from the lists.

With additional functions, it is possible to perform user management in the portal (if the company has more than one user) or view the archive of requests made. At this point, it is good to note that the archive of performed requests is convenient to use, for example, to check the performance of the employee’s duties and prove the requests made to the supervisory authority, if necessary.

Check out the service: www.creditinfo.ee/kyc

www.creditinfo.com

Nova Credit and Creditinfo Bridge Cross-Border Credit Access for Ukrainians

NEW YORK – January 17, 2024 – Nova Credit, the leading cross-border and alternative credit analytics company, has announced a strategic collaboration with Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, to help Ukrainians gain access to the necessary financial services needed to effectively rebuild their lives abroad. The partnership is powered by Nova Credit’s Credit Passport®, the only cross-border credit solution enabling newcomers to access their foreign credit history when applying for financial products in their new home country.

Bridging this critical data gap, Nova Credit and Creditinfo are providing Ukrainian expats and refugees with the tools they need to get started on the right financial footing upon arrival.Since March 2022, the U.S., U.K., and Canada – Nova Credit’s largest partner markets – have seen a combined 840,000 Ukrainians move*, and that number is expected to grow as the Russia-Ukraine War continues. As many will seek permanent residency in these new countries, a lack of credit history will introduce an obstacle to accessing financial services as, historically, new-to-country individuals have had no way to carry over their credit history and financial identity. This presents a challenge for both new arrivals who are looking to re-establish their lives, in addition to lenders who lack the credit data needed to provide their financial services and products to this newcomer population.

With this partnership, credit data from International Bureau of Credit Histories (IBCH) Ukraine (a Creditinfo credit bureau) – one of the three main credit bureaus in Ukraine – can be instantly translated into a local-equivalent credit report and score so that lenders who use the Credit Passport® solution can assess the credit risk of new-to-country Ukrainian applicants. Nova Credit’s partners using the Credit Passport® today include American Express, HSBC, Scotiabank, and Verizon.

“Of the many credit-excluded migrant populations around the world, few are in more dire need of support than the Ukrainian people,” said Misha Esipov, co-founder and CEO of Nova Credit. “Credit access isn’t just a piece of the puzzle; it’s a lifeline for the countless Ukrainians uprooted by the chaos of war. We set out to build this partnership with Creditinfo and IBCH Ukraine from the onset of the war, and our teams have worked hard to enable this integration. Together, we’re using data to bridge a world where everyone, regardless of where they come from, has a fair shot at building a brighter future.”

“We are delighted to partner with Nova Credit to help Ukrainians arriving in the U.S. gain access to financial services and credit checks as they look to settle and rebuild their lives,” said Satrajit Saha, Global CEO of Creditinfo Group. “Among the many challenges facing Ukrainians, is finding ways to access finance. Having a positive credit history is vital to doing many things in the U.S. such as renting a property and securing a job. This is why the information we can provide through our partnership with Nova Credit is so important – it offers the data financial institutions, employers and landlords need to provide basic services to Ukrainians wanting to rebuild their lives.”

The Credit Passport® Ukraine data integration is available for deployment into any credit risk or underwriting process across the U.S., U.K., Canada, U.A.E, and Singapore. To learn more about how to get started with Credit Passport®, visit: www.novacredit.com/business/credit-passport

*Source: 380,000 into the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 250,000 into the U.K. according to UNHCR, and 210,000 into Canada under the CUAET program.

Ends.

ABOUT CREDITINFO

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, 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

ABOUT NOVA CREDIT

Nova Credit is a credit infrastructure and analytics company that enables businesses to grow responsibly by harnessing consumer credit data. The company leverages its unique set of data sources, bank-grade infrastructure and compliance framework, and proprietary credit expertise to help lenders fill the gaps that exist in traditional credit analytics. Nova Credit serves as the bridge between data and credit excellence, providing a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to give lenders across various industries – including finance, fintech, property management, telecom, and automotive – a competitive edge in the open finance era. Its cross-border credit product, Credit Passport®, cash flow underwriting product, Cash Atlas®, and income verification product, Verification of Income, are used by leading organizations like American Express, Verizon, HSBC, SoFi, Scotiabank, and Yardi. Nova Credit is backed by investors including Canapi Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst, and Index Ventures as well as executives from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citi. Learn more at https://www.novacredit.com or reach out to connect@novacredit.com.

Access to customer bank transaction data provides a basis for more intelligent business decisions

In 2021, Creditinfo Estonia received permission from the Financial Supervision Authority to start offering account information services in Estonia, which later expanded to the markets of Latvia and Lithuania. Today, they have been offering the account information service on the market for almost two years. The PSD2 directive regulates the account information service, that grants account information service provider (Creditinfo) access to the transaction data of end-customers of banks and financial institutions, using a secure data transmission channel and customer consent.

Intelligent business decisions can only be made when decision-makers have enough information when making the decision. Decisions made without comprehensive information may remain superficial or rely too much on intuition. A joint decision becomes smart by including relevant, up-to-date, appropriate and verified data for decision-making, analyzing it and drawing conclusions from it.

Companies that want to be competitive in the market and, at the same time, grow faster than the market must act consciously and operatively to take advantage of the exponentially increasing amount of data and to navigate the diverse data landscape. The word “action” means the application of well-thought-out multiple technologies, the careful selection of primary data and adaptation to large, innovative data sets that provide the company with necessary data inquiries and detail-specific analyses. The actions mentioned in the previous sentence are based on the data value chain – a framework for managing data from collection to decision-making.

Access to bank transaction data gives the financial sector and several other sectors an unlimited opportunity to use innovative data sets to improve their business processes. Data (including account data) collection, analysis, targeted use and data-driven decision-making directly relate to Creditinfo’s core business. Creditinfo has invested a lot of time and knowledge to ensure and support its customers in successfully using the account information data. Remember that the customer does not have to invest resources in implementing the necessary specific technologies and data analysis in addition to their core business to filter and acquire value from bank transaction data.

Creditinfo adds value to account data with information from other sources

Bank transaction data helps to make more intelligent and more informed decisions regarding the products, services and conditions offered to the end customer. Figuratively speaking, credit bureau data enlighten one corner of the room of a person’s financial behavior, and the information obtained from account transactions enlightens the other corner of the room of a person’s financial behaviour.

Account information, besides evaluating financial behavior, provides information about a person’s daily habits, experiences, preferences, hobbies and much more.

In summary, access to the data of the end customer’s bank transactions provides a foundation for making business decisions based on an even more extensive and significantly more diverse data set, in other words, making decisions even smarter. As a universal, comprehensive solution provider throughout the Baltics, Creditinfo is the only partner for its customers with access to credit bureau data, global KYC data, and bank account data.

Visit creditinfo.ee/en for more information.

Ivo Vallau

Open Banking Product Manager, Ceditinfo Estonia.

Creditinfo appoints Satrajit Saha as new Global CEO

Former CEO of TransUnion Europe – Satrajit Saha – brings his expertise to Creditinfo, planning to drive growth across its credit bureaus globally.

London – 29th November 2023: Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has today announced the appointment of Satrajit Saha as its Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). With over 20 years of experience in banking and credit bureau, Satrajit will drive the growth of Creditinfo and the maturity of its credit bureaus globally. He joins the company from TransUnion Europe, where he held the position of CEO for the last five years.

In his role, Satrajit will lead Creditinfo in advancing its strategic initiatives, with a particular focus on promoting financial inclusion worldwide. Drawing on his rich background in the credit information industry, spread across Asia, Africa, and Europe, he will lead the next phase of Creditinfo’s growth on a global level as it strives to become a truly global bureau and the leader for facilitating access to finance in both developed and emerging markets.

As an experienced strategic leader, Satrajit has an impressive reputation in the financial services space. At TransUnion Europe, he led the board of all TransUnion’s European owned entities. Before joining TransUnion Europe, he was Chief Business Officer at TransUnion India, where he was responsible for crafting and executing TransUnion’s CIBIL’s market strategy. He was also Cards Head, Africa Region, at Barclays Bank.

Satrajit Saha, newly appointed Global CEO at Creditinfo said: “I am honored to take on the role of Global CEO at Creditinfo, a company that is at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion. Together with the talented team at Creditinfo, we will continue to leverage innovative data sets and solutions to bridge information gaps and create opportunities to facilitate access to finance for individuals and businesses globally.”

Monty Ismail, Director at Levine Leichtman Capital Partners and Creditinfo Group Board member said: “We are delighted to welcome Satrajit “Satty” Saha as our new Global Chief Executive Officer. He is an accomplished executive with successful leadership experience relevant to our business, including his time as CEO of TransUnion UK. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Creditinfo, and we are excited to see Satty, with extensive knowledge of our key markets, take over as CEO. We are looking forward to working with Satty in continuing to expand our global footprint and unlock access to finance for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Paul Randall for his important contribution as CEO. He has been key to our success, and we are all grateful for his leadership and dedication.”

He will begin his new role as Creditinfo CEO on 1st January 2024 and will report directly to the Creditinfo Group Board.

-END-

About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, 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

Creditinfo: “The BIC reform will make it possible to take a big step towards financial inclusion.”

Reform of BICs, impact of inflation on solvency, feedback from the Checkinfo service – an overview with Sidimohamed Abouchikhi, Regional Director for Francophone Africa of Creditinfo Group, and Director of the Board of Directors of Checkinfo.

Finance News Hebdo: In this inflationary context, what assessment do you make of individuals’ and businesses’ insolvency risks?

Sidimohamed Abouchikhi: Inflation first impacted the distribution of loans after the successive increases in the critical rate (+150 bps), partially passed on to the interest rates applied by credit institutions (+53 bps). If we compare the first six months of the year 2023, we see a virtual stagnation in requests for the granting of credit, whereas usually, we have an increase between 5 and 8% (minimum), or even more than the part of individuals. For businesses, the decline in demand is mitigated when government support programs are included. To come back to your question, inflation naturally induces a reduction in purchasing power and impacts payment habits. We see this with the increase in non-payments which is undoubtedly significant but less than that observed internationally. The evolution of unpaid debts in number is more marked among individuals, whereas in terms of outstanding, the majority is among companies. All in all, we are on a return to normative levels of due payments. Not at the same level as 2019, but improving in 2020 and 2021.
FNH: After a long wait, the government has finally adopted the bill dedicated to Credit Information Bureaux. What are the main contributions of this reform?
 
Sidimohamed: The long-awaited reform of the Credit Information Bureaux (BIC) will allow better control of systemic risks and better accessibility to financing. It will also make it possible to take a big step towards financial inclusion and ensure that the BICs collect other sources of information besides traditional data. This so-called alternative data from major billers, such as telecom operators, water and electricity suppliers, insurance companies and others, will compensate for the lack of historical information on unbanked customers. The availability of this information will allow financing institutions to open up, with less apprehension, to new customers (individuals and VSMEs) who do not have a banking history but justify good payment habits. And this while reducing the use of guarantees. I remind you that of the 53% of the population with a bank account, less than 30% have access to credit. Therefore, this reform aims to widen access to financing for this population outside the circuit.
FNH: What are Creditinfo Group’s priorities in Morocco and West Africa in the short to medium term?
 
Sidimohamed: With more than 30 active credit bureaus, Creditinfo now has the most robust global presence in this sector. For over 25 years, we’ve provided credit bureau and risk management solutions and trusted business information to some of the world’s largest lenders, governments and central banks. The objective is to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing access to credit for SMEs and individuals. Creditinfo is the industry leader in Africa, with a presence in 18 countries. The company which continues to be strengthened with two new acquisitions dating back barely a month, in Uganda and Namibia.
FNH: Checkinfo, Bank Al-Maghrib’s delegate for managing the irregular check centralization service, started its activities in April 2021. What is your experience feedback to date?
 
Sidimohamed: After two years of activity, and according to the feedback from our users, we can say that Checkinfo has a significant positive impact on their cash flow and the hassles associated with collection. Indeed, it should be known that 84% of the checks checked and posted irregularly come from accounts in prohibited banking. Therefore, these people are already in banking irregularity because of bad checks or other, and continue to issue checks which, of course, will be returned unpaid. Today, Checkinfo allows its users to protect themselves against these frauds. Moreover, the efficiency rate of the service is 99.6%. Also, you should know that out of all the checks that are checked, 13% are irregular.
Article translated in English as first seen on Finance News Hebdo 

For more inofmormation visit: www.checkinfo.ma