Exploring the Evolving Landscape of Credit Bureaus in India
Crif High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, one of the four credit bureaus in India, in November, launched its first customer- specific product—online credit report and credit score. These will come with risk indicators such as low, medium and high so that the customer can understand what the score means, said Kalpana P. Pandey, chief executive officer and managing director, of the company. The bureau offers two products—credit report at and credit report and score. Pandey spoke to Mint about the evolving landscape of credit bureaus in India, and the company’s plans to service small finance banks and payments banks.
Does the launch of a customer-centric product indicate a shift in the way you view your business model?
So far, our model was only business-to-business, where we worked with banks, non-bank financial companies and micro finance institutions. Almost all the institutions that are in the lending business are our customers. But of late, awareness about credit reports and credit scores for individuals has increased. We noticed that people now want to know their credit scores before applying for loans such as home loans, personal loans and even car loans. Since there is a strong demand from the market for individual credit report and score, we felt the need to enter the business to consumer space. So, we launched our credit report. We have also launched a consumer grievance cell to rectify any discrepancies in the reports. This means you can generate queries on specific portions of the report online whenever required.
If an individual has never taken a credit, can you still give her a credit score?
In case you have never taken credit from any financial institution, we as a bureau will not have any data to give you a score on. Hence, if we don’t have data, we will give you “no hit” as a comment.
In such cases, additional non-traditional data elements can come into play in the future—we will have another score with the use of additional data for the no-hit segment. By additional data I mean information such as (financial) behaviour on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or how an individual is paying her utility bills or how she transacts on e-commerce sites. These would come into play, based on which we can take a decision. This can be possible because all these transactions leave a digital footprint. However, right now, this is in testing phase. Hence, the score that you get currently is without the use of non-traditional credit data.