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Equifax India-IFC partner for Self-Help Group Credit Reporting

MUMBAI, 14 AUG, 2017– Equifax India, registered as Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited (ECIS), a global information solutions company, and International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have signed a cooperation agreement to work together to deepen coverage of Self-Help Group (SHG) member data in credit bureaus and enable banks to use this data in credit appraisals.

The agreement will promote financial inclusion and access to funds for women from lower income groups, by facilitating integration of SHG borrower data with credit bureaus. This will enable borrowers to get broader access to credit as lenders leverage this data to assess them on a more data-driven approach. The SHG movement continues to be a powerful tool for financial inclusion, and this project aims to build and strengthen credit data collection and credit bureau usage of individual SHG borrowers through a consultative approach.

For more than seven years, micro credit data from microfinance institutions and banks, through Joint Liability Group (JLG) model of lending, has been submitted to Equifax and other credit bureaus to form a rich source of credit history for microfinance borrowers.

“Deepening the coverage of SHG data in the credit bureau is a key initiative for us, and we are pleased to partner with IFC on this journey,” said Sundar Arumugam, Head of Product Management, Equifax. “The initiative will increase the number of borrower profiles in the credit bureaus and thereby help them benefit while applying for new credit facilities. This is the second time we are partnering with WBG in the area of financial inclusion. Previously, WBG had engaged with Equifax to support the broadening of Credit Information Bureau (CIB) coverage among microfinance institutions. We intend to replicate our success of credit data coverage and usage in the MFI sector and in SHG lending as well through this joint initiative.”

“Financial inclusion is a key enabler to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity, our twin goals at the World Bank Group,” said Niraj Verma, Manager – South Asia, Finance and Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group. “This initiative with Equifax will help SHG members, mostly women, with good credit history to leverage that to access capital to grow their livelihoods.”

Equifax has been at the forefront of providing analytical and insights driven solutions for financial services segments, including microfinance over the years, enabling lenders to make the right decisions in a timely manner.