FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, today announced that South African credit grantors are increasingly adopting decision modeling and optimization analytics to improve their credit strategies.
In the past few months, FICO has signed three new clients - all leading retailers and banks - to its list of South African clients using the most advanced analytics to develop strategies that outperform the market.
"Retailers here compete fiercely for customers and their loyalty," said Jim Slavik, chief executive of Credit and Financial Services at Edcon, South Africa's largest retail group. "At Edcon we use the most powerful analytics to improve the performance of our strategies and give our customers the credit they need. We regard FICO as an analytic partner, and their tools for decision modeling and optimization as the gold standard."
"Nedbank's goal is to be 'World Class at Managing Risk,' " said Gavin Payne, chief risk officer for Nedbank Retail, part of Nedbank Group, South Africa's fourth-largest banking group, and the winner of The Banker's 2011 award for best bank in South Africa. "Decision modeling and optimization services from FICO take us beyond standard uses of predictive analytics, giving us a better way to make credit decisions in a demanding regulatory environment with tough competition."
Decision modeling and optimization are analytic technologies used to develop superior decision strategies. Decision modeling creates a "map" of the relationships between all variables of a decision — the data inputs, decision, results and constraints. Optimization software uses the decision model to design decision strategies that determine the ideal offer for every customer, in order to maximize profit while satisfying constraints such as regulatory requirements.
These technologies are helping Edcon, Nedbank and other businesses develop more competitive strategies in such areas as cross-selling, pricing and credit line management. The new credit management strategies can be deployed easily in FICO® TRIAD® Customer Manager and FICO® Blaze Advisor® business rules management system, both of which are in active use across the region. FICO works with PIC Solutions to advance South African lenders' customer management.
"Decision modeling and optimization replace strategy design guesswork with science," said Robin Findlay, director of FICO's operations in the Middle East and Africa. "Since the introduction of the National Credit Act, credit grantors here have the challenge of increasing revenues and profitability under stricter responsible lending guidelines. That's an ideal scenario for decision modeling and optimization. Our clients are showing great interest in using the most sophisticated analytics to design strategies that are not only compliant, but also highly competitive."
"Decision optimization is an advanced approach to credit strategy design that is new to the African market, and the early adopters are gaining competitive advantage from using this approach," stated Simon Trupp, director at PIC Solutions. "At PIC Solutions, our analytic professionals are developing these strategies in conjunction with FICO to ensure that the blend of local knowledge, advanced analytics and international experience gives our clients significant bottom-line benefits."
FICO's products for decision modeling and optimization include analytic services as well as software tools including FICO® Decision Optimizer and FICO® Xpress Optimization Suite. These tools complement FICO's services and tools for predictive analytics, including FICO® Model Builder and the FICO® Model Central™ Solution.