Experian®, the global information services company, has signed an agreement to supply Quest Risk Solutions, a subsidiary of Quest Holdings International Ltd, with its proprietary software to establish a credit reference database and bureau service in Kenya.
Quest Risk Solutions, as one of the first private credit bureaux in Kenya, will provide valuable decision-making tools to any company or financial institution extending consumer and SME credit in Kenya. Quest will use the Experian software to offer the following services to local businesses:
· Positive and negative credit account information on individuals and SMEs (a very large segment of the Kenyan business population)
· Information on previous credit applications
Kenya’s economy has been growing steadily over the last five years. In the past two years, the economy has grown at an astounding 6.5% and it is projected that the economy will grow at 5% in 2008. Kenya has over 42 banks, numerous MFIs (Microfinance Institutions) and Saccos (Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations) and in 2007, lending of over 10 billion Kenya shillings was granted. The healthy state of the economy offers an untapped opportunity for the credit bureau business.
The donor community and Kenya’s development partners have noted that the existence of a credit bureau, credit scoring and a credit rating agency is imperative for the growth of the credit industry in Kenya. In that regard the Donor Agencies, particularly DFID are funding the mass education campaign on the value of a credit bureau in the country, through the East African Credit Bureau Association.
Commenting on the agreement, Roberto Giannantoni, Head of Credit Bureau solutions in Experian’s Decision Analytics division, said: “This operation fits our strategic objectives of expansion into exciting emerging economies around the world. Quest Holdings and its CEO, Mr Julian Kyula, have been in the forefront in the establishment of well-run and managed credit bureaus in Kenya. With an exceptional and highly experienced team sourced both locally and internationally, Quest Holdings is in a unique position to succeed in this project with the support of Experian as one of the world’s largest and most successful providers of credit bureau services and solutions for third party operators.
"Lenders need to base their decisions on relevant information about consumers, so automated and sophisticated credit information retrieval systems are key to managing credit risk. The predictiveness of decision making solutions has been enhanced by the introduction of shared credit information via credit bureaux, resulting in better risk management for lenders and improved profitability. Credit bureaux are key enablers for the growth of a nation’s consumer economy and the quality of consumer credit portfolios, whilst protecting the privacy and credit exposure of individual consumers.”
Commenting on the agreement, CEO Mr Julian Kyula, stated: “Experian is clearly the world leader in the provision of credit bureau services and meets all our needs in terms of reliability, ability, support, history of operating and launching credit bureaus in the developing world. For us, Experian is the perfect partner.
“This agreement will go a long way towards cementing our position as the leading provider of financial solutions locally. Our mission is to be the leading credit bureau in East Africa, offering unsurpassed services. We strongly believe that a well developed credit bureau will facilitate and increase the development of financial services in Kenya and the entire East African region”.