Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CREDIT REPORTS IN KENYA - METROPOL CORPORATION VS. CRB AFRICA (TRANSUNION)

Last month I made a deliberate attempt to obtain my annual free  credit report from the two licensed credit references bureaus Metropol and Transunion (Central Bank has since licensed a third – Creditinfo CRB Ltd).I did discover that it is surprisingly easy and hassle free to obtain reports from the two bureaus. 

From Metropol, I used their mobile phone based Crystobol product accessed through *433# which Metropol has been promoting the product it in the media extensively in recent times. After paying Kshs 100 to their paybill number a code was promptly sent to me which enabled me to access the report from their website. The *433# has other options including ‘Clearance certificate’ and ‘Borrow money’!

For Transunion, I downloaded the Individual Credit Report Request from their website www.crbafrica.com filled it in and sent it to them after 5p.m. By 9 am the following day, the report had been sent to my email with a note that I could obtain a clearance letter if I paid KShs2200 via MPESA pay bill. It is worth noting that the company seems to have two websites at the same time the other being transunionafrica.com. 

Both reports have similar content such as open and closed performing and non performing accounts, credit applications of up to 180 days, bounced cheques and reasons thereof and actual account balances in all the accounts. Accounts in dispute are also listed. For reasons I am yet to determine the Metropol report was up to date up to March 2015, the Transunion report was last updated in June 2014 which leaves a huge reporting gap. From my observation, it is theoretically possible to obtain a clearance report from one bureau even if listed on the other and vice versa.

The glaring difference between the two reports however is how the information is presented, the Metrolpol report seems more user friendly than Transunion. Metropol have gone further and have assigned a score to the report payment profile index. The score Metro-Score ranges from 100 (defaulter) to 900 (excellent payer) while the payment profile index ranges from M1 to M9. 
In my opinion, it would be useful if all the credit reference bureaus assigned scores for uniformity and comparison and probably do away with the need to have absolute account balances on the credit reports like happens in the developed world. 

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