Demand for credit information set to increase.
Demand for credit and business information is expected to increase on concerns from banks and larger corporates of any credit deterioration in their existing portfolios.
Recently, consumers have started to ask for their personal credit reports and scores as an indication of their overall credit standing in the eyes of the lenders, said Experian Information Services (Malaysia) CEO Dawn Lai.
But the overall demand for credit checks and scores may be impacted in the ongoing economic slowdown.
Along with cost cutting measures, many small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) that are struggling to make ends meet, may forgo the need for credit checks.
The demand for new credit applications may also come down as consumers hold back on making major purchases.
Despite the challenging business climate, Experian Malaysia is hiring eight to ten more staff on top of the current 120, for specific functions identified in its growth plan.
With Experian, a global information services company, taking a major stake in RAM Credit Information, the focus has been on accelerating growth by leveraging on Experian’s global capabilities, expertise and solutions that fit the market in Malaysia.
Among the various propositions being considered are the development of alternative scores and models which leverage on Experian Malaysia’s data assets for thin-filed (SMEs) and consumers.
Having a thin file with limited credit history, a consumer may find it difficult to get credit or loan approved.
Leveraging on Experian’s capabilities, the company also aims to offer end-to-end digital customer onboarding solutions to facilitate and support companies wanting to go digital.
This is as companies race to keep up with the new normal of staying and working from home, and in view of a digitally savvy population.
Based on data points collected especially on trade payments, comparing the period from late last year until April this year, there is an increasing trend in the longer number of days that companies take to pay off their creditors.
This is seen in industries such as food and beverage, wholesale, construction, as well as retail and manufacturing.
The trade bureau platform which was set up ten years ago, tracks data on payment aging information which shows unpaid invoice balances, not just on a blacklist of negative payments but also on the entire customer payment profile.
Through collaborations, this information sharing is together with several industry associations such as building materials, motor spare parts, hardware wholesalers and freight forwarders.
Having been through the 1997 Asian financial crisis during the start of her career, Lai finds this round of crisis, which is caused by a health crisis, to be more challenging to deal with, as it cuts across all business sectors and markets.
“It is unprecedented and comes with a much stronger intensity; already, the global economy is in recession,’’ said Lai.
This may be a time of extreme crisis but Lai does not see any need to change her management philosophy.
“It has guided me in my past ten years of leading a motivated and performing team to achieve constant business growth,’’ said Lai.
Providing a working environment where people strive for high standards and think positively, is her priority.
“I believe in hard work and place my trust in my people, and strive to keep their morale high by providing clear cut rewards to strong performers, and encouragement and guidance to the low performers,’’ she said.
Yap Leng Kuen had a respected career as a senior business editor and widely read columnist speaking plainly, for the leading local newspaper. She continues to write Plain Speaking for The Star Online.
I am delighted to share her view points and insights, here.