Experian, one of the largest credit bureaux in South Africa, and Chenosis, a cross-industry Application Programming Interface (API) marketplace, an MTN Platform Company, have joined forces to leverage data to drive financial inclusion in South Africa.
According to Experian, although there are an estimated 25 million credit-active consumers in South Africa, more than 20% of the population remains unbanked and relies on cash for their transactions. Financial inclusion plays a pivotal role in combating poverty and contributing to inclusive economic growth.
Through the partnership, Experian will access consented data from MTN’s mobile customers to establish alternative risk metrics. Incorporating information about airtime and data purchase patterns can be used to help boost a consumer’s credit score or generate a new alternative credit score allowing more consumers to gain access to credit, the group said.
It said what makes this partnership unique is the technical capabilities brought by Chenosis, which will enable real-time access via API to this alternative data.
Experian Africa CEO Ferdie Pieterse said: “Improving financial inclusion is a core focus for Experian. We are committed to increasing financial health and fair access to credit in all the markets that we operate in. From a credit bureau perspective, there are millions of ‘thin file’ consumers in South Africa – those with limited or no information on a traditional credit bureau – who find themselves excluded from mainstream finance. They often face more difficulty or high costs when applying for financial products or services”.
Chenosis CEO Saad Syed said the company was excited to support Experian’s drive to provide more access to Financial Services for traditionally underserved sectors of South Africa’s population.
“This use case exemplifies the power of APIs to facilitate consented data between parties in a secure, authorised, authenticated manner with a clear governance framework to maintain data privacy. We believe this is just the beginning of our partnership with Experian and hope to jointly build an API Ecosystem that will solve problems and create opportunities for consumers and businesses by providing a platform to exchange data and services securely via APIs.”