Experian has been exploring potential support for the microfinance sector as part of our programme of investment in innovation with a strong social purpose. Using our decision-making tools, we believe we can make the process of microlending more efficient. Following initial research, funded by the CR programme, Experian is now partnering in a new company, called Experian MicroAnalytics. Elio Vitucci, who previously headed up the Decision Analytics division at Experian, is leading the new company and has a real passion for microfinance. He explains his drive:
"Regulated, responsible access to finance is something we take for granted in developed countries. In emerging economies though, banks do not typically lend to small companies or private individuals. Microfinance tries to fill this gap, playing a particularly important role in the development of the small business sector in these emerging economies. Experian's tools and expertise in credit risk management can help support microfinance providers in their mission by making the lending process more efficient, while reducing the risk of over-indebtedness."
The microfinance sector is mainly served by a large number of relatively small-scale providers. Experian MicroAnalytics will be meeting this challenge by developing a range of packaged solutions, utilising Experian technology, which can be delivered over the internet as an on-demand software service. The focus will be on markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the sector is developing quickly.
The World Bank estimates that about two-thirds of the world's population remain unbanked and under-served by formal financial services. We believe that Experian has a valuable part to play in accelerating financial inclusion and building the capacity of the world's poor to help themselves.