The Reserve Bank of India has greenlighted a joint venture between Equifax and six Indian financial institutions to create a nationwide credit information agency.
The joint venture participants include Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime, Religare Finvest, Sundaram Finance and Union Bank of India.
Operating under the name Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), the partners promise to provide comprehensive account level information on consumers to help lenders acquire new customers, manage risk level tolerance and review and react to portfolio changes. They say ECIS will be the first to offer a suite of credit risk, acquisition and collection products.
Samir Bhatia, CEO ECIS, says: "Lenders have told us they want new ways to be able to manage their portfolios. They are striving to manage risk levels not only during the opening of new accounts but also throughout the lifecycle of the consumer's business with the bank."
Equifax head Richarrd Sherman says India offers a tremendous "growth opportunity" for the company: "Its growing economy, and its impact on global commerce, has created a need for world-class risk-management systems which our joint venture will provide."
Shares in Atlanta-based Equifax rose 40 cents to $36.49 on the news.