JOHANNESBURG and MINNEAPOLIS —January 18, 2010—TransUnion and FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, today announced that a new FICO® score for credit account originations and management, released under the TransUnion name Empirica® V4 score, is now available for South African lenders. This latest redevelopment, with the greatest predictive power in the score’s fifteen-year history, is built using the FICO 8 blueprint. It is designed to help lenders mitigate losses on existing accounts while improvingthe quality of credit assessments to promote responsible lending for new account applications in the spirit of South Africa’s National Credit Act.
Scores designed using FICO 8 analytics are expected to provide incremental improvement in predictive power compared to those built on prior FICO scoring models. For the new Empirica V4 score, this uplift in predictiveness can be up to 17 percent over prior score versions. This improvement will increase the ability of lenders to reduce losses within current portfolios and to acquire more profitable new customers.
The new FICO score in South Africa is expected to provide lenders with significant improvements in the precision of risk assessments compared to previous versions. In developing the score, FICO leveraged enhancements in TransUnion’s robust credit report data for the country, including additional installment, micro-finance and leasing reporting, to provide a more detailed and thorough picture of consumer credit usage and risk.
The score is also intended to improve lenders’ decisions on applicants with little or no prior credit history. Key features include an enhanced Expansion Risk Indicator, which refines risk assessments to help lenders extend credit to consumers who may have had limited access to credit previously.
“With the economy and regulatory environment, the nature of risk is changing in South Africa and the new Empirica V4 score better reflects those changes,” said TransUnion’s Ian Logan, executive, Credit Bureau. “Using this score in combination with other TransUnion solutions, lenders will be better equipped not only to manage their current accounts, but potentially expand their business by getting better risk evaluations on prospects.”
Among the key enhancements in the Empirica V4 score are an increase in the number of scorecard segments, resulting in greater analytical precision, and a refined performance classification system that allows for a more nuanced evaluation of a consumer’s credit behavior.
“Our new score at TransUnion leverages the enhancements we have made to FICO scores internationally through the use of our FICO 8 blueprint, tailoring them to the unique characteristics of individual markets,” said Brian Cooper, senior director of Scores for FICO. “It analyzes the full breadth and depth of TransUnion’s credit data on the market, resulting in the most powerful models yet for South Africa on both existing customers and new credit applicants.”
“We are committed to developing the most predictive scores globally, taking into consideration local needs and data to deliver solutions that address each country’s business priorities”, said Robert Duque-Ribeiro, vice president and general manager of Scores for FICO. “At a time where the South African economy is showing signs of recovery, FICO’s 15 year experience developing scores in this country, our strong local partnership with TransUnion, and the use of the FICO 8 blueprint make the new FICO score an excellent choice for helping South African lenders and consumers.”
As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people and businesses around the world by gathering, analysing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in Johannesburg and Pretoria, with global headquarters located in Chicago in the US, TransUnion is Africa's oldest and leading provider of data-based business intelligence solutions. Visit www.transunion.co.za or www.mycredit.co.za for more information.
FICO (NYSE:FICO) transforms business by making every decision count. FICO’s Decision Management solutions combine trusted advice, world-class analytics and innovative applications to give organizations the power to automate, improve and connect decisions across their business. Clients in 80 countries work with FICO to increase customer loyalty and profitability, cut fraud losses, manage credit risk, meet regulatory and competitive demands, and rapidly build market share.
Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this news release that relate to FICO or its business are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the success of the Company's Decision Management strategy and reengineering plan, the maintenance of its existing relationships and ability to create new relationships with customers and key alliance partners, its ability to continue to develop new and enhanced products and services, its ability to recruit and retain key technical and managerial personnel, competition, regulatory changes applicable to the use of consumer credit and other data, the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions, continuing material adverse developments in global economic conditions, and other risks described from time to time in FICO’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2009, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2009. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes, FICO’s results could differ materially from its expectations. FICO disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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