Mobile solution to ease access to bank customer credit rating reports

Access to loans could soon increase following the launch of mobile credit reporting system that will enable customers of financial institutions to monitor their credit rating on their mobile phones.

Access to loans could soon increase following the launch of mobile credit reporting system that will enable customers of financial institutions to monitor their credit rating on their mobile phones. The “Menyesha” (loosely translated as “inform me”) mobile technology means that people will no longer have to walk long distances to get information about their credit ranking.

The system is also tipped to solve challenges like limited information analysis on a borrower’s creditworthiness, which would influence lending decisions of financial institutions.

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Aimable Nkuranga, Transunion country director, says the 'Menyesha' mobile technology could help push the number of accepted loan applications as clients have an opportunity to monitor and improve negative rankings. / Frederic Byumvuhore

The mobile facility, which was launched in Kigali on Friday by TransUnion, a credit bureau and repository of credit information firm, will enable customers to interact with lenders online using their mobile phones.

Speaking at the launch, Chad Reimers, the in charge of strategy and planning at Transunion Africa, said such technologies help reduce the challenge of access to vital information, especially credit reports and bank transactions information, and therefore boosts financial inclusion.

According to Aimable Nkuranga, the TransUnion country director, the Menyesha platform will enable bank customers to check their credit score in real time and better understand their credit status. The system will improve service delivery and client uptake, as well as enable users to clear negative credit rating to enhance the status using a “user-friendly interface.”

Nkuranga explained that the system will benefit bank customers, lenders and the country generally, adding that they target 8,000 new clients on the mobile platform.

“With this system, borrowers will be able monitor and improve their credit rating as well as address any inaccuracies to avoid preventable loan rejections and hence increase access to finance, which will spur growth,” he said.

The system will help improve the quality of loan applications and enable them to grow their loan portfolios, he added while explaining the Menyesha system to representatives of different financial institutions who attended the launch.

Sector players speak out

According to Kibe Waringa, the country director of Access to Finance Rwanda, financial technology is the future of the financial sector. Waringa said fintech helps financial service providers to offer customers personalised and other services in a more efficient manner. Valence Kimenyi, the National Bank of Rwanda manager for financial stability monitoring, said the initiative supports efforts toward achieving financial stability and inclusion.

“Credit history has become a key instrument used by many institutions in terms of deciding whether to approve a loan or not. The process has been difficult for customers because it requires them to request for their credit reports from banks. However, with this technology it will be easier and more convenient to access credit reports,” Kimenyi said.

How it works

For one to access the system, they will need to send an SMS to 2272. They will then receive all information about their credit rating. Each SMS costs Rwf60, but one is able to get all the credit reports from all their bankers (for people with accounts in different financial institutions).

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