Cibil to include mobile bill payment history to check credit worthiness


12 Jan 2012
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Cibil to include mobile bill payment history to check credit worthiness

NEW DELHI: Default on your mobile bill and you may soon become ineligible for a home loan or a car loan. Non-payment of telephone bills will also rule out the possibilities of getting a new credit card or even another mobile number.

Cibil, the country's credit information bureau, which tracks credit history of consumers, is taking steps to include mobile and telephone bill payment history to calculate the credit worthiness of an individual. It has already launched a pilot initiative with Vodafone's post-paid customers and is in talks with the country's largest telco by customers, Bharti Airtel, for a similar project.

It is also learnt to have approached other leading telcos for tie-ups. "Our aim is to eventually link the telecom utility payment history to the banking and financial records of customers and make it available as a Cibil record to banks and other financial institutions," Cibil managing director Arun Thukral said.

Cibil issues a numerical score out of 900, which indicates a customer's payments history of loans. This score is issued to banks that need to know financial history of a prospective borrower. The agency is now looking at adding telecom bill payments of post-paid customers, landline users and broadband subscribers as a weightage in that Cibil score.

Only 5% or about 45 million of the 900 million mobile connections in the country have a post-paid connection, but this represents the high-end customer base in the nation. The country also has about 50 million and 14 million landline and broadband customers, respectively.

Once the tie-ups with telcos are in place, Banks such as ICICI, HDFC, SBI and others may see an individual's phone bill payment history to deny or approve a car, credit card or housing loan.

"The database can also be used by a telecom service provider when issuing a post-paid number to an individual. It will lower delinquencies and improve their quality of customers," Arun Thukral added.

Vodafone confirmed the deal with Cibil and said it had entered into an agreement with the credit bureau and TransUnion Software Service Pvt Ltd, a move that would enable it to assign credit limits and improve customer service.

Prior to this, Vodafone's subscribers were provided with a pre-assigned minimum credit limit, until the full credit validation process is completed.

This, at times, restricts the customer's ability to use services beyond a point, especially data and value-added services ( VAS), the company added.

Other telcos are also set to come on board soon. "We are exploring the possibility of mutual partnership to leverage Cibil and Bharti's database for the benefit of the industry and both the organisations. Both the organisations carry rich database of consumer behavior and history which can be used for customer profiling based on financial as well as telecom spend," Bharti spokesperson told ET.

RCOM confirmed that Cibil had approached the telco with a proposal to use their database to enable the company profile our post-paid customers.

"Their credit profiling framework is intended to help telcos in early identification of defaulter and fraudsters, thereby reducing bad debts. It will also assist in assigning adequate credit limits and reducing bad debts. To make the process more effective for telcos, Cibil should consolidate information of telecom customers too. It is only then that we can start getting tangible benefits," the RCOM spokesperson added.

Bharti, RCOM, Idea Cellular and Vodafone account for a significant majority of India's post-paid users.

Source : The Economic Times

This is certainly new. Like, u fail to pay your bill once in time, its a black spot in your Cibil Rating, for at least next 3-4 months...
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