CRIF OMESTI Sdn Bhd - a joint investment between CRIF and OMESTI Holdings Berhad - has obtained a credit reporting agency (CRA) license in Malaysia from the Ministry of Finance Malaysia. The operation will allow CRIF to extend its global coverage to Malaysia as a licensed CRA to provide credit reports and business information services for financial institutions, corporations, and SMEs.
The joint investment between CRIF and OMESTI Holdings Berhad was formalized in late 2019. Omesti Holdings Berhad is wholly-owned by Omesti Berhad, a public listed company in Malaysia, with its proprietary solutions for digital courts technology, business register management, and banking solutions.
“The credit reporting/information space is an area that we believe holds significant potential, not just in Malaysia but across the region. We were therefore keen to increase our footprint, hence the joint investment with CRIF, where we hold a 30% direct stake at present,” says Mah Xian-Zhen, Director of CRIF OMESTI Sdn Bhd.
“As a licensed credit reporting agency in Malaysia, CRIF will deploy its business information platform technology and its state-of- the-art credit scoring and analytics to the Malaysian market, to raise the bar for business information services, and raise the market to the next level of digital transformation journey,” commented Chrystal Saw, CEO of CRIF OMESTI.
Since commencing its journey into East Asian markets in 2005, CRIF has discovered that the fragmented information framework of many of these countries are key issues to address in order to achieve financial inclusions.
“When it comes to the SME segment of the market, many business owners are refused loans based on criteria that do not necessarily explain how the business is doing. Reliable credit reporting and access to verified business information are therefore critical components of successful trade. This is especially true when it comes to cross-border transactions, where potential trading partners need to ensure they can enter into business in the firm knowledge that the information on which they are basing their decisions is accurate and verified. This requirement becomes even more vital as regional economies push to recover post-COVID-19 pandemic and strive to attract new investment,” adds Xian.
Today, CRIF is directly operating in nine Asian countries - India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and now Malaysia - with additional coverage in thirteen other countries. Apart from offering the credit information services in the country, this strategic move will also connect Malaysian businesses to the ASEAN region. Ultimately, ASEAN will be a more accessible region as a whole for trade and investment.
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to extend our operations in the Malaysian market,” said Lamberto Barbieri, CRIF Asia Managing Director. “Through our expertise in credit information and range of technology solutions, we are well placed to help drive business development in the region forward, together to the next level.”