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IFC supports Service Developments/ Progress Made by the Egyptian Credit Bureau – I-Score

23 August 2010

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, welcomed the progress and service developments achieved by the Egyptian Credit Bureau, I-Score, since its operational launch of services in March 2008.

A team of IFC credit bureau and financial infrastructure specialists recently visited I-Score, where Mohamed Refaat, the Managing Director of I-Score, revealed the most recent developments. “I-Score reached an important milestone last month, our databases now contain over 10 million facilities on a population of 4 million customers” said Mr. Refaat.

The number of credit inquires received by I-Score is equally impressive “The bureau has received over 1.1 million inquires in less than nine months of operation” stated Refaat.

Over an extended three year engagement, IFC assisted in the development of the I-Score business plan, the tendering process for the bureau systems, and provided implementation support throughout I-Score’s development process to service launch.

“The progress I-Score has made is timely and reassuring. Credit bureaus are a key financial infrastructure component and remain high on IFC’s priorities as a means to broaden the depth and breadth of financial services for both individuals and small businesses” stated Peer Stein, IFC Manager for Financial Infrastructure and Institution Building.

IFC Financial Markets Program Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Thomas Jacobs, agreed. “I am very pleased with I-Score’s operation and what they have realized to-date. This nascent bureau is promising and serves to demonstrate to other Middle East markets that investing in a world-class credit bureau has many advantages”.
The event also shed light on I-Score’s upcoming plans to rollout value-added bureau services. “The best practice development and deployment of core bureau services at I-Score provides ample medium-term opportunity to develop new products and services including generic scoring, fraud detection, application processing, enhanced profiling, and even consultancy services” explained Refaat.

These developments are part of I-Score’s broader objectives to increase the efficiency of financial institutions, support the growth of small business, and mitigate lending risks in Egypt.

Refaat added that I-Score is continuing to work closely with its members to increase the match rate of data, Bank of Alexandria-SanPaolo match rate has increased substantially within the past two months to reach a match rate of 73%.

Following the same steps as Banque Du Caire, The National Bank for Development has also recently provided the Micro finance data to The Egyptian Credit bureau and achieved a considerably high matching rate of 78% (February 2009 data figures).

As for the future plans of I-Score, Mr. Refaat explained his future plans for the bureau to continue attracting more providers of goods and services, Telecoms and Microfinance organizations, a matter which will add to the members of The Egyptian Credit Bureau “I-Score” thus increasing the I-Score database to provide additional security to the lending process in Egypt. He also emphasized on the intention of introducing “Credit Score” by Q3 2009.

Mr. Refaat explained his intention in working closely with the Ministry of Investment to establish a new “Assets Registry” as an additional service to the Credit bureau in an effort to maximize the utilization of the exceptional Infrastructure which was built to the highest International standards.

The total records of the I-Score database as of end March 2009 have reached more than 10.7M credit facilities representing more than 4.3M Clients (consumers & SMEs).