Want financial freedom? Know your credit status

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have-you-pulled-your-credit-report-yetDespite the country’s robust credit information industry, most South Africans do not know what their credit profile actually looks like.

It’s an all-too-common scene: you apply for an account at a retail store, and are taken aback when your application is declined on the grounds of bad credit. As far as you know, you’re the poster child for sound financial management – so what went wrong? Most likely, “as far as you know” is not far enough.

Sadly, even though South Africa has an incredibly strong credit information industry, many citizens are in the dark when it comes to what their credit profile actually looks like.

Earlier this month, local news site News24 cited African Bank executive Alfred Ramosedi as saying that many South Africans were “surprisingly unaware of the importance of a good credit profile”. What’s more, he said, many didn’t even know what a credit profile was – and in instances where they did know, they rarely checked their own personal credit profile.

And yet, the importance of managing your credit status – a task that begins with knowing your credit status – cannot be downplayed in today’s volatile economic climate. As Ramosedi rightly points out, many potential employers nowadays look at job applicants’ credit reports as a means of judging character and level of responsibility.

South Africa’s leading property website, Property24, lists bad credit records as the number one reason banks reject home loan applications, while car finance giant Carfin says the first thing you need to do if you’ve been declined for finance is “Find out why” – i.e. check your credit report. Step number two, says Carfin, is to improve your credit score.

No excuse

 The Credit Bureau Association points out that every single credit-active person in South Africa has a credit profile that shows how they manage their debts and accounts.

Fortunately, if you are a South African who wants to do the smart thing and familiarise yourself with your credit profile, you don’t have to climb any mountains to do so. On the contrary, our country’s credit information industry makes the process next to effortless for you. So much so, that there is really no excuse for not knowing your credit status.

On a scale of 0 to 8, South Africa ranks 7 on the World Bank’s Depth of Credit Information Index – a measure of the availability of credit information, where 8 is the highest level attainable by any country.

Additionally, according to the National Credit Act, every consumer has the right to one free credit report once in a 12-month period from the country’s main credit bureaus, namely TransUnion (formerly ITC), Experian, XDS and Compuscan.

A credit report is basically a comprehensive statement outlining your financial history and standing. It comprises information on your spending and borrowing patterns, how well you meet your financial obligations, general spending and payment trends and contact details. It also lists any judgment you may have against you, as well as any money owed to creditors.

MYpbVerify* – the most versatile personal credit check service on the Net – offers you this and more. The tool not only gives you instant online access to your personal credit report, it also allows you to customise your report with variable information.

MYpbVerify offers various pricing options to suit your needs. Depending on your status and credit history, you can choose either a Basic credit report, or a more advanced (Standard or Premium) report. The latter option includes directorship information, deeds data (properties owned), your personal Compuscan credit rating score and more.

This year, do yourself a great favour – get to know your credit status and start building a good credit profile today. Not only will you never have to fret about being turned down when applying for credit again, you will also be able to take advantage of the better repayment  terms that come with having a strong credit report.

*MYpbVerify™ is an online credit check system designed for consumers in need of quality personal credit check reports. The product offers three different credit reports, all instantly sent via email in PDF format once an order is completed. 

[REFERENCES]        

News24 – Ways to take control of credit

The Credit Bureau Association – http://www.cba.co.za/

The World Bank – Depth of Credit Information Index

Property24 – Why banks reject your home loan

Carfin – Have you been declined for vehicle finance?

 

Credit vetting – an essential key to SME success

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credit-vet

For SMEs, sound risk management via credit vetting is not only advisable, it is absolutely essential.

Wasting precious time and resources chasing down debtors for money is not only undesirable for any business, it can be downright destructive. The good news is, there is a way to avoid this – and it is inexpensive and painless. Two words: credit check.

If you are in business, you will know that cash flow is king. This is especially true in the in the small to medium enterprise (SME) environment, where finances are particularly tight. Clients that default on payments can – and inevitably do – seriously jeapordise the success of your company.

A foolproof way to protect your business – and ultimately boost its financial fitness – is through consistent credit vetting.

Credit vetting is simply the process of affirming the credit worthiness of customers in terms of financials. Checking the credit status of your clients greatly minimises uncertainty around whether your invoices will be paid, as it provides an overview of their credit rating and reveals whether there are any judgements against them, or whether they have defaulted on payments in the past.

Simple step towards success

According to Leon van der Merwe, senior business development manager at customer communications firm PBSA, the percentage of small simply overlooking this critical process is staggering.

“Simply taking the steps to check the credit status of companies and directors before doing business with them is straightforward, very affordable and it could make all the difference.”

A detailed credit application document with the correct capture information, credit vetting consent and related terms of agreement will protect the financial wellbeing of your organisation, he adds.

All of this can be easily accessed via pbVerify, a PBSA product that offers a user-friendly online credit vetting service. Specifically for small to medium sized businesses, pbVerify is connected to all major credit bureaux and credit data providers and is credible and accurate.

“Neglecting this crucial step towards managing a successful business can cost you profoundly. Having an overview of the credit worthiness of potential customers, on the other hand, will help you make better decisions, in turn saving you time, trouble and money,” concludes Van der Merwe.

For a comprehensive view of all pbVerify’s vetting solutions, please visit www.pbverify.co.za

Are cash-strapped consumers affecting your business’s credit risk?

Know your customer by investing in an online credit check, consumer trace and ID verification tool

Know your customer by investing in an online credit check, consumer trace and ID verification tool

Whether you earn a salary, run a business or are in charge of risk management services for your company – you probably know that people are increasingly strapped for cash. Even though the dreaded January has passed (where people are usually a bit more broke than usual thanks to over-spending during the holiday season), it seems like many South Africans are still struggling to keep their heads above water. Why?

According to the latest TransUnion Consumer Credit Index (CCI), consumer credit health deteriorated at a slower pace in the fouth quarter of 2013 than in the previous four quarters, but it is still under pressure. This, coupled with rising food and petrol prices (as well as the hike in interest rates that was announced towards the end of January), means it’s not surprising that people are struggling to pay their bills.

“Unsecured loan approval rates have moderated, indicating that credit grantors are generally applying a more conservative approach to mitigate their risk and have, for now at least, been able to stabilise their loan defaults. Much will depend on whether overall economic growth and pressures in the job market stabilise in 2014, and this is far from certain at this point,” commented Transunion CEO, Geoff Miller.

In order to minimize your business’ financial risk, you need to know exactly who you’re dealing with before you process a transaction or extend a line of credit, explains Leon van der Merwe, Business Development Manager at local credit check company pbVerify.

Know your customer by investing in an online credit check, consumer trace and ID verification tool

“Fin24 recently reported that in aggregate, consumers haven’t been able to reduce their credit card utilisation since 2010. If your company relies on payments from South African consumers – which most do – it would be wise to invest in a fool-proof ID verification and online credit check tool so that your employees can make sure they are dealing with clients that would be able to honour their commitment of repaying any outstanding debt, fees or bills to your company,” explained van der Merwe.

pbVerify’s online credit check system allows you to know your customer by giving you 24.7 access to current Consumer and Business credit information. Whether you need to verify the identities of consumers, do background credit checks on consumers and/or businesses, verify company and director registration detail, verify VAT registrations, verify Deeds information on properties or need to do pre-employment and academic background verifications, pbVerify does it all. The best part is that pbVerify is one of the most cost-effective solutions in South Africa, giving you the option to only pay for what you use (as well as the ability to process bulk consumer traces).

You can also, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay updated with all the news and new solutions here at pbVerify.

Author: Google

pbVerify™ launches brand new website

pbVerify Website

New pbVerify Credit Bureau System Website

Are you ready to get instant access to all the online tools your business needs for effective credit risk management? To know your customer is to know your future. With pbVerify, you now have 24/7 access to current Consumer and Business credit information.

Whether you need to verify the identities of consumers, do background credit checks on consumers and/or businesses, verify company and director registration detail, verify VAT registrations, verify Deeds information on properties or need to do pre-employment and academic background verifications, pbVerify does it all.

Renowned information systems company, Pitney Bowes SA, is proud to launch pbVerify – an all-new website platform that gives you instant, 100% free access to the popular pbVerify business risk management system.

A simple, easy –to-use, yet effective web-based system for any size company.

pbVerify for Business

Through pbVerify business, you have instant access to data from:

  1. TransUnion Credit Bureau
  2. Experian Credit Bureau
  3. Compuscan Credit Bureau
  4. XDS Credit Bureau
  5. Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)
  6. Deeds Registrar
  7. Department of Home Affairs ID verification
  8. South African Revenue Services (SARS) VAT verification
  9. REFCheck Advanced pre-employment academic verification services

MypbVerify for you personally

Our online personal credit report system, MypbVerify gives you access to your latest personal credit report and CompuScore which can be customised to include different information, depending on the info you’re looking for.

These reports include detailed information about your credit history, account payments, loans, credit bureau adverse listings, judgements and fraud indicators. The premium report also includes all your directorships at CIPC and detailed deeds information on properties you own.

Office efficiency solutions for your businesses:

Not only does pbVerify offer all the online credit risk management tools you will ever need, we now also offer specialised office software solutions to effectively manage the workflow and documents in your business.

Our Electronic document management systems, digital signature solutions and electronic forms solutions will change the way you do business by removing inefficiencies and introducing effective workflow that will immediately be visible in your bottom line profits and service delivery.

Visit our brand new website that is packed with all the information you need

We know this is a lot of information to process, so its best that you browse through our new website located at www.pbverify.co.za to find out how we can help you.

You can also, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay updated with all the news and new solutions here at pbVerify.

Author: Google

 

How the deteriorating credit health affects South Africa’s retail sector

TransUnion’s Consumer Credit Index has declined to 43.6% in the second quarter of 2013 from 43.8% in the first quarter of the year. TransUnion, which is an international leader in credit and information management, says that this drop in the Consumer Credit Index (CCI) reflects a deteriorating consumer credit health. According to TransUnion, “Credit Health” refers to the ability of consumers to service existing credit obligations within the constraints of monthly household budgets.

retail“The fall in the CCI reflects escalating consumer loan impairments and sustained growth in distressed borrowing, both indicators of rising household financial stress,” explained TransUnion in a statement to the press.

What is the Consumer Credit Index?

The CCI is a unique indicator of consumer credit health based on a 100-point scale. Deterioration in credit health is represented by an index below 50.0 and an index above 50.0 indicates improving credit health.

“Consumer credit health has now been deteriorating for four straight quarters and the risk of deterioration in the credit cycle has risen materially,” commented TransUnion Africa President, Geoff Muller.

“Credit-sensitive retail sectors need to become increasingly vigilant to the risks this trend poses to their business,” said Muller.

How pbVerify can help

pbVerify, an innovative web service, is already helping many companies in the credit-sensitive retail sector. Our consumer tracing, credit check, ID verification and business credit check tools make it quick, affordable and easy to do the thorough research that is needed before taking on new clients.

“In a tough global economy, it becomes even more important for retailers to mitigate risks. A deteriorating consumer credit health – while not permanent – shows that companies need to be more vigilant with regards to issuing credit and making sure they’re on top of all consumer repayments,” says Leon van der Merwe, Business Development Manager and Anti-Fraud specialist at pbVerify.

If you want to find out how pbVerify can help your business mitigate risks, contact us today. We’ll give you a demonstration on how our system is helping hundreds of other South African businesses.

 

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How the debt crisis is affecting SME’s and retailers

Debt Crisis looming for SME businesses in SA

Debt Crisis looming for SME businesses in SA

When it comes to mitigating risks, SME’s need to invest in a credit check and ID verification tool that can help them determine whether they are investing in a mutually beneficial partnership with potential customers and business partners. As any business owner knows, time are tough – but new research shows that things might get worse before they start getting better.

A recent debt survey done by Fin24 has shown that a mere 2.06% (647) of over 32 000 respondents have no debt. Over two thousand people participated in the survey, which also showed that almost 42% (12 522) respondents spend 80% of their income on repaying debt. Almost 2 800 people spend their whole income on debt, while 2 500 people have debt repayments which exceed their income.

These are significant stats and figures for anyone who’s trying to run a business in South Africa. Credit checks and ID verifications are beneficial for SME’s for a number of reasons, says Leon van der Merwe, Business Development Manager and Anti-Fraud specialist at pbVerify.

“Besides the high number of South African consumers who can’t actually afford to take on more debt, there’s also a risk of ID fraud,” explains van der Merwe before adding that the Fin24 survey also revealed that many people were turning to micro lenders and using their retail accounts and credit cards to simply survive.

“Over 50% of the respondents of this survey earn between R10 000 and R30 000 per month, which shows that it’s not necessarily low LSM groups who are dealing with unmanageable debts,” says van der Merwe.

Managing risk starts with doing research about new business partners and consumers. If you want a credit check and ID verification tool that will help you manage your risks, learn more about pbVerify today.

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Make smart and informed Risk Management decisions with pbVerify

pbVerify Risk Management

pbVerify Risk Management tools

Understanding risk management is essential for the success of your business, as you don’t want to enter into business deals with individuals or other businesses that have sordid financial pasts. Unfortunately, too many honest businesses fall prey to dishonest or irresponsible parties that dont’ fulfil their end of the business deal, whether it’s failure to repay a loan, defaulting on payments or being dishonest about credit histories, and this ends up hurting profits, productivity and reputation.

If you haven’t heard about pbVerify, you’re missing out on an excellent risk management tool that’s been specifically designed for businesses like yours. After registering for free, you’ll have instant access to detailed financial information, credit histories, public trace record information and more. There’s no monthly fee and you only pay per search, and we can supply you with reports on individuals, companies, closed corporations, consumers and properties in South Africa.

What type of companies need a good risk management tool like pbVerify?

  • Credit Grantors (any business selling on account). Whether your business does business with other Businesses or with consumers or both, we have the perfect solution for you. Connect your business to instant, online access to credit and registrar information from all three major credit bureaus, CIPC (previously CIPRO) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
  • Real estate companies. Fully vet potential renters and tenants when you use pbVerify. Above all else, you want to be certain that you aren’t putting your business at risk by entering into a business deal with individuals who have a history of not fulfilling their financial obligations.
  • Trace agents. Our consumer trace service is connected to more than 30 million consumer records in South Africa! If you need to locate consumers who have defaulted, this is the service for you.
  • System integrators.  If you need to verify the identity of a consumer, our widely-used system is the perfect tool to help you do so.

Whether doing business with an individual or another business, you want to do everything you can to ensure that it’s a wise choice. pbVerify allows you to make an informed decision.

To get more information about pbVerify, please visit our website today!