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TransUnion awarded a bureau licence in Namibia

25 April 2016 TransUnion

Bringing value to both consumers and lenders

The granting of a credit bureau licence to local credit bureau TransUnion on 22rd April 2016 represents a win-win scenario for consumers and businesses alike, and reflects the growing influence of credit bureaus in financial services across Africa. 

This is according to Marcha Erni, Namibia Country Manager of TransUnion, a global leader in credit and information management solutions, who says, “the credit bureau industry is key to the sustainable development of an economy’s credit infrastructure. Across Africa, we are seeing more and more countries drive the implementation of the necessary regulatory framework to ensure greater financial inclusion that is underpinned by fair and equal access to credit information by consumers and businesses”.

The regulations empower licenced credit bureaus to receive, hold and share ‘full file’ data across the market. This essentially means the processing and transmission of more positive data and not only the ‘flat’, largely negative data of the past. Now that TransUnion Namibia has an approved operating licence, all credit/service providers will be mandated to share the data that they collect on how consumers repay their financial obligations on a monthly basis. 

TransUnion has over 100 years of credit reporting experience on the African continent and over the years has continued to evolve with an ever progressing lending landscape. “Our company exists to manage the credit information of consumers and businesses and to provide a comprehensive view of the risk associated with a lending decision”. Adds Erni. With access to more complete and multidimensional information, the solutions that we can provide to market will be far more powerful and allow lenders and consumers to make the right decisions regarding the extension and take-up of credit.

Marcha Erni says that regulations around the sharing of credit information goes very far towards helping to grow an economy. 

There are many excellent examples across Africa of how well-regulated credit can enable a country’s ease of doing business, which in turn helps to attract investment, and increase the opportunities that access to credit brings. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen more and more African countries climb the “Ease of Doing Business Index” created by the World Bank Group, in terms of its access to start-up credit for entrepreneurs; an indication of a well regulated credit industries and the positive role played by the country’s credit bureau. TransUnion aims to become an active participant in economic growth in Namibia. 

“We are excited to see the growing influence of regulations coming into this industry. We believe that it bodes well for both individuals as well as the growth of the economy.” The Namibia regulations pave the way for a change in the type of data that can be controlled by credit bureaus. “ 

It’s important to remember that individual consumers have access to their own credit profiles. This allows individuals to understand their credit history and financial reputation. “Everyone needs to keep track of their own credit obligations and we can help consumers to manage their own personal financial reputation and in turn the way lenders view their ability to pay back their loans.” Adds Erni. 

But it is not only individual consumers that will benefit from a regulated credit industry. For lenders, the value and quality of the data that a credit bureau can provide is immense. 

We are moving into a world in which lending should be responsible as well as profitable. By helping to share credit information between credit/service providers, through the credit reports and risk management solutions that we provide, we are helping to strengthen the decision processes of credit lenders. This in turn allows credit providers to review a consumer’s credit or loan application more efficiently and responsibly.   

Erni says that, “TransUnion is driven by a belief that information can help advance industry, facilitate commerce and ultimately increase the standard of living for consumers around the world. We see information differently, not just for what it is, but for what it can help people accomplish because when businesses and consumers have access to more complete and multidimensional information, they can make more informed decisions and achieve great things”.

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