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Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), a credit bureau/consumer credit company (CIC) licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (Certificate of Registration, under the Credit Information Companies Regulation Act 2005, was obtained in March 2010) is the Indian arm of Equifax Incorporated, a consumer credit reporting agency, founded in 1899 in the US with its operations currently spread across 15 countries. ECIS is a joint venture between Equifax Inc and seven Indian financial institutions namely, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime Ltd, Bank of India, Sundaram Finance Limited, Union Bank of India and Religare Finvest Limited. With around 1300 registered members, Equifax is currently headquartered in Mumbai with branch offices located in Delhi and Bengaluru.
Equifax collates information provided by its registered members for conversion into a usable format to produce Credit Information Reports (CIR) and credit scores on customers under the Credit Information Companies Regulation Act 2005. The information provided by registered members is used to determine the credit behaviour of customers and thereby, help lenders gauge the creditworthiness and repayment capacity of borrowers.Equifax uses proprietary tools which are customised to cater to specific requirements to help lenders make informed credit decisions. The credit information available in the Equifax database can be accessed by both lenders and borrowers. The lenders can, therefore, improve their asset quality while the borrowers can review their credit reports. Equifax uses specific matching algorithms and advanced techniques (search) for achieving greater accuracy.
Apart from offering traditional credit information services courtesy its consumer credit bureau which was launched in 2010, Equifax is often credited with taking leadership in providing risk scores and portfolio reviews of various microfinance institutions across the country by launching its microfinance bureau in May 2011. Equifax also offers multi bureau solutions in that data from various credit bureaus is consolidated into a single point of inquiry for simplifying procedures. Equifax offers various value added services which can be utilized through the credit lifecycle. Equifax also offers a single window interface for both data entry and credit enquiry.
The list of products and services offered by Equifax are listed below:
Consumer credit bureau performs one of the primary functions of Equifax India - provide credit information scores (numerical score between 1 and 999) and reports. Consumer bureau helps lenders zero in on the right asset product for the right consumer by timely review of the credit information. Borrowers should ensure that data related to them is reported sans errors and is up-to-date without any outdated information. Equifax’s consumer bureau has a large information base vis-a-vis credit activities of customers across India. Equifax uses latest technology and operations platform for updating and maintaining its credit information. As a result, lenders can have a holistic view of the creditworthiness of their borrowers and thereby, minimise risk. What’s more, Equifax also facilitates simpler and faster verification of the identity of customers and portfolio analysis on a regular basis. Consumer bureau performs various additional functions such as providing fraud detection triggers and Equifax Alerts as well.
The various services offered by the consumer bureau are listed below:
An Equifax Credit Information Report (CIR) is a basic consumer credit report which is created by Equifax with the use of its in-house specific algorithms and advanced search analytics for assessing a borrower's creditworthiness. In other words, a credit information report reflects the financial health of a borrower which determines whether the latter is eligible to avail of a loan. With a large consumer credit database and the use of global industry-specific technologies, Equifax is in a position to make a comprehensive assessment of borrowers’ credit profiles. Equifax charges Rs.400 for providing both a Credit Information Report and score (Charges: Rs.100, Rs.231 and Rs.69 for a report, score and delivery respectively)A Credit Information Report comprises five sections as listed below:
Equifax India portfolio review is run on specific accounts after Equifax alerts are triggered. Equifax portfolio review entails the use of predictive insight, as it were, aimed at cutting losses and generate revenue. As part of the Equifax portfolio review, over 200 different attributes may be delivered, including secured and unsecured instalment review, credit card review and score review among others.
The Equifax risk score is based on various parameters including demographic attributes to predict the likelihood of a default. Equifax risk score covers consumers with recorded credit payment history and no-hits as well.
Equifax set up a microfinance exchange in India in 2011 to rein in over-leveraging in the microfinance industry by joining hands with Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN). India is one of the largest microfinance markets in the world. Equifax uses its customized platforms to deliver specific functions as listed below:
An Equifax microfinance CIR encompasses the same parameters as that of a basic consumer information report such as contact details, credit summary, recent activities, account details and an inquiries' section.
Portfolio review includes three specific parameters - benchmarking, early warning indicators and entry strategy. Benchmarking entails comparison of various microfinance institutions in a specific region/area/dimension. Early warning indicators track receding sourcing trends in the microfinance industry while entry strategy is aimed at exploring a potential market which can be tapped by a microfinance institution.
At the time of its launch in 2011, Equifax microfinance score was reportedly considered the first-of-its-kind in India. It is aimed at predicting the possibility of a default in six months. Also, Equifax risk score facilitates better decision making (automated) sans long drawn-out procedures.
Equifax India offers a single point of inquiry for data consolidation from various credit bureaus.
Equifax offers an ID verification service (automated) to verify essential data such as Aadhaar Numbers and PAN numbers.
Equifax offers five kinds of value added services for customer retention and loyalty as listed below:
Equifax India launched a new platform called Equifax Dimensions that provides a comprehensive view of a customer’s credit profile. Featuring a set of 460 bureau variables that incorporate past 24 months data about the loans taken by the customer, approved loan amount, credit balance, outstanding, credit limit, credit utilisation, due amounts, etc., the platform enables strong credit decisions across the customer lifecycle.
The factors considered by Equifax Dimensions are said to differ from the regular credit report data thus increase the accuracy of score and model. Besides the regular bureau variables, the company also considers alternative data from Equifax that helps it to take real time decisions. The platform was first adopted by EarlySalary, a salary advance mobile app that provides short term instant loans to salaried individuals.
4 April 2018
Equifax extended the deadline to 30 June 2018 for freezing the credit reports of customers at no cost. The earlier deadline was 31 January 2018. The move ensures fractional security against identity larceny and it has nothing to do safeguard the credit reports of customers at TransUnion and Experian, the two prime credit rating agencies.
Mike Litt said “Freezing credit reports is the best option whether or not your personal details were whipped in the breach of this credit rating agency. You could save time and pressure of handing deceitful obligation on credit reports.”
Equifax commences this service on the closing day of January. The service enables customers to latch or unravel their reports at no cost. This service is as good as a freeze and is applicable only to the credit reports generated by Equifax. The prime benefit of freezing credit reports is that the financiers shall be unable to track your credit score or credit history.
1 February 2018
Equifax has released the Document Verifier solution which utilizes facial recognition technology in order to provide quicker authentication of identity for all financial product applications. This solution authenticates the applicant’s identity within a few seconds by comparing a live image of the customer along with a photo of his/her driving license or passport, both of which are captured by a webcam enabled device.
Additionally, this technology also detects potential anomalies or tampering on official documents from more than 200 countries. An enhanced ‘liveness’ detection solution detects even the smallest of movements when the applicant takes a selfie thereby ensuring that fraudsters will not be able to generate a match using a copy of the applicant’s photo.
29 March 2017