Mumbai, April 21: Business Line
Could your post-paid mobile bill payment record help banks arrive at a decision on giving you a loan? Well, chiefs of Credit Information Bureaus think so.
The bureaus (CIBs) have initiated talks with the telecom regulator for allowing telecom companies to lodge customer bill payment history with them.
“Telecom service providers are willing to share information. However, there is a regulatory clause whereby TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) does not allow information sharing by telecom operators. We are in talks with the regulator,” said Arun Thukral, Managing Director, Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL).
CIBIL, the agency that tracks credit history of borrowers and assesses their credit worthiness, is also pursuing regulators such as electricity regulatory commissions to get access to utility bill payment information as this could prove to be an alternative source of credit history on consumers.
According to Mohan Jayaraman, Managing Director, Experian Credit Information Company of India, “We need more of full-file reporting, which gives a 360 degree view of the consumer, like in the US, UK and Europe. Today, it doesn’t get reported to the bureaus but this is great information to work with.”
Full-file reporting is any information that captures your repayment record with any entity and is given to the bureau. The repayments could be related to utility bills, lease rentals, and telecom service.
“With more mobile subscribers than bank accounts in India, this (full-file reporting) can help credit bureaus access wider range of information. We have spoken to the Reserve Bank of India in this regard,” Jayaraman said.
However, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan Mathews, said: “No operator would be willing to share customer details, unless mandated by a regulatory authority, due to the privacy issues involved. These are highly-sensitive data, as they divulge a lot of details such usage pattern and monthly spend among others.”