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Get answers to commonly asked questions related to the credit bureau Equifax
Equifax is one of India’s premier credit bureaus and has a global presence. In India, it is registered as Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), and is headquartered in Mumbai. It provides credit-related services like credit information reports, credit scores, business analytics and risk management for businesses. Equifax started its operations in September 2010. It has banks, non-banking financial institutions and other authorized users as its members. Members are required to report their customers’ credit activity to the credit bureaus periodically—typically on a monthly basis. This information could include their repayment history, missed or late payment, defaults, total credit limit, age and number of credit accounts, loan and credit card applications and corresponding approvals or rejections etc. Equifax collects and collates this information from its members. It is then subject to advanced statistical analysis to arrive at a credit score for the individual. The data thus processed is delivered in a readable format and provides credit information reports and other related products on individual consumers for a variety of uses beneficial to the lender.
Apart from maintaining a repository of individual credit information within the formal banking system, Equifax also works closely with Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) in India to include individuals who might not have an extensive formal credit footprint. Using latest technology and strategically placed platforms, Equifax provides the customized solutions to the Microfinance sector across the country. The kind of technology used ensures that the data provided is accurate, and the right data is provided at the right time to help lenders make the right decision. Like with the commercialized banks, member microfinance institutions are required to report to the credit bureau on a periodic basic to provide the bureau with relevant information on their customer’s credit behavior. Equifax launched its special credit bureau to address the needs of microfinance institutions in May 2011.
As a credit information company, Equifax also provides other credit related services to lenders, borrowers, businesses and consumers; services related to consumer bureau; multi-bureau solutions; value added services and verification services.
Only Equifax members are allowed to access the Equifax credit bureau, its database and allied services. Members include banks and NBFCs, and specified users. Only registered and authorized users are permitted to access data from the credit bureau. Membership is granted as per the Credit Information Companies Act of 2005. Only those members who have successfully provided the requisite verification data, data regarding borrowers, etc., to Equifax are permitted to access its services. Disclosure of information which is sensitive in nature is prohibited.
Equifax offers a variety of services to banks and other lenders who wish to gain efficiencies in time and productivity for the loan approval process.
- A comprehensive depiction of a borrower’s credit behavior in the form of a Credit Information Report (CIR), or Enhanced Credit Information Report. It includes the repayment pattern of a borrower, as well as provides identification information, address, contact details and other demographic information of the potential borrower. Lenders are able to take a call on a prospective borrower’s creditworthiness based on the data provided by the bureau.
-A dedicated consumer bureau which offers a host of solutions designed to address the needs of banks and other financial institutions. Credit information reports fall under the purview of consumer bureau.
- Access to Equifax ePORT which is a custom portal that is only available to users upon registration. It enables member institutions to view all the above information, including other services offered by Equifax.
-ID verification services, which is an automated tool for verification of consumer IDs.
-Multi-bureau solution, which integrates seamlessly into existing systems, making a single inquiry point thereby allowing a merging of data from multiple credit bureau and information sources.
-A dedicated microfinance bureau offering dedicated tools, services and products aimed at regulating and helping the Indian microfinance segment.
- Value added services to support more profitable decisions thereby driving business.
Equifax offers its members a host of value added services. Equifax applies its expertise to bring analytical solutions for a wide variety of business situations. As part of its value-added services, Equifax provides custom analytical solutions, industry diagnostics and cutting edge products relevant to the Indian financial business context.\
As part of these services, Equifax different products like credit risk and fraud management products, product and pricing design, collections solutions, portfolio management, process redesign, government and monitoring frameworks, industry diagnostics. Mostly targeted to help businesses lower their costs, these products also help improve their bottom line results and get better customer loyalty, thus improving overall business profits.
Following are some details of each of the products / tools falling under the purview of Equifax value added services:
Credit Risk and Fraud Management Products and Solutions: This product integrates the latest statistical techniques and bureau / bank specific data. This leads to more practical and constructive risk and fraud management, and helps in fraud segmentation strategies.
Product and Pricing Design: This service helps in greater, in-depth understanding of the market, leading to the right product to the right consumer at the right time. This is achieved through methodical profit optimization through complete evaluation, keeping in mind the viable price sensitivity frameworks of the consumer.
Collection Products and Solutions: This product and allied tools enables the prioritization of collector resources and collection strategies through collectability scorecard and division frameworks that align with customer’s interest and ability thereby help optimize money.
Portfolio Management: An all-inclusive service offering comprehensive valuation and consumer behavior scorecards. This leads to targeted retention to consumer’s clientele.
Governance and Monitoring Frameworks: This service is a wide-ranging monitoring toolkit, intended to evaluate overall and segment level profitability on a real-time basis.
Process Redesign solutions: This solution is designed to find that effective balance between origination efficiency, customer experience and credit effectiveness.
Industry diagnostics: This tool leverages bureau specific data and market statistics to provide insights into customer and macroeconomic trends at three levels: product, lender and geographic level.
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