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CRIF High Mark Empowering Customers With Next-Gen Intelligence Tech

CRIF High Mark

Credit bureaus are driving significant changes in India’s lending space and financial services sector today. In order to develop intelligent algorithms to predict customer behavior and lending patterns, these organizations are investing in sophisticated technologies and practices to add value to their clients. CRIF High Mark, one of the leading credit bureaus in the country, boasts of its extensive database to provide information and analytical solutions to banks, NBFCs, insurance companies and telecom service providers, among others.

In a recent conversation with CXOToday, Pinkesh P Ambavat, CTO & CISO, CRIF High Mark throws light on the growth and technological innovation in this segment and explains how the company is empowering its customers with next generation intelligence technologies and other best practices.

CXOToday: How do you think the overall market of credit bureaus in India is growing? What’s their position in India’s banking system?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: Indian Credit Bureaus cover data of loans and credit cards of all individuals, businesses and companies across the country. CRIF High Mark has data of nearly 1.8 billion records covering over 380 million people. All banks and NBFCs today use credit scores and credit reports to evaluate a loan application using such large databases before making a decision. Many new NBFCs and lenders are entering the market targeting a niche customer segment and innovating with new loan products. All of these factors contribute to 18-20% healthy growth of the credit market in India; the credit bureau industry has also been growing by 30-40%. CRIF High Mark supports thousands of mainly banking and NBFC clients for millions of real-time credit decisions every month. We also support insurance and telecom companies with our data and analytical solutions.

CXOToday: How is CRIF High Mark empowering its customers with next gen intelligence?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: Credit Report and Credit Score are available to clients real-time. We used to provide aggregate level industry insights for strategic decision making in data format. However that was not serving the need for real-time intelligence. We now offer a self-service business intelligence platform to enable CXOs with strategic decision making with real-time on click data. This enables CXOs in benchmarking their business against competitors as well as plan for expansion.

CXOToday: How do you think modern technologies are affecting the sector?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: Since our business is around data and analytics, technology is integral to our business. Our clients from banking, insurance and telecom space are all adopting latest technologies. Digital transformation is a very big driver for all of them which is overhauling the customer experience and even the back-end processes for them. Our clients are striving to offer instant solutions, instant decisions to the end-consumer across channels anytime of the day, anywhere. As a key partner of our clients, CRIF High Mark also therefore needs to ensure it is ready for clients.

At our end, we are looking to increasingly leverage big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Big data is helping us to process very large batches of data that is 4-5x more processing capacity. We’ve extensively deployed AI/ML to empower our credit scoring models.

CXOToday: What kind of business challenges was CRIF High Mark facing with regard to delivering credible information with the banks, instantly?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: CRIF High Mark processes many million credit scores every month. Given most of our clients are going more digital and towards automated decision making, the clients expect responses within a few seconds irrespective of the volume of transactions. One of the major challenges for us has been around planning the transaction processing infrastructure capacity. It needs to be highly available, needs to be able to process responses very fast and should be able to handle any volumes even during peak festival periods.

As a CTO, I need to achieve these business objectives but keeping my costs minimal and flexible. Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer provided us with the flexibility to increase the infrastructure on demand during peak time, allowing us to manage high volumes of transactions while maintaining the committed response times.

CXOToday: How do you think Oracle is playing role of a strategic partner and supporting the overall banking system?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: Banking in today’s world cannot be imagined without data and technology. So if you look at it, credit bureau business is all about data and technology. Whenever one speaks of large data and transaction processing for secured environment, Oracle is an implicit choice. Oracle database solutions have been very strategic to operations of banks, NBFCs and large data processors such as credit bureaus for decades, across the world.

CXOToday: What business benefits did you see after implementing Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer?

Pinkesh P Ambavat: We’ve seen four distinct advantages. Firstly, increased capacity of our infrastructure to be able to process peak volume surges during month ends or holiday seasons. Secondly, consistent processing speed for our clients was a major gain. With Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer, we were able to process 2x more real-time transactions during festive seasons. We also got a 2x better response time. Thirdly, simplicity of infrastructure management is worth mentioning. This is now supported by Oracle team in terms of patch updates and security upgrades, while maintaining a guaranteed uptime of 99.95%. Finally, pay only for what we use and get a bundled solution without having to manage different threads ourselves.

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at [email protected]