Kiwi credit check bureau Veda spreads wings in Arabian Gulf
BUSINESSDESK: Auckland-based credit check bureau Veda is chasing opportunities in the Gulf states, with the announcement of a joint venture in Dubai with Saudi Arabian business partners.
Established for more than two decades in New Zealand and Australia, Veda has been taking its proprietary software-based credit reporting and analysis systems into South East Asia, operating in Singapore and Malaysia since 2002.
Its Saudi operation has been going since 2003 and a new operation in Cambodia opened just months ago.
Managing director John Roberts says the firm will be chasing new business throughout the Greater Arab Free Trade Area.
The move follows Veda's growing involvement with World Bank efforts to bring credit reporting standards to emerging markets, following a new focus on the area after the global financial crisis.
"Post-GFC, the World Bank has been working with central banks in those countries to look at how they can bring into play proper compliance and risk assessment tools so that foreign lenders will become active in those markets," says Mr Roberts, who attributes part of Veda's success to this country's lack of a unique personal identifier system.
"That required development of sophisticated algorithms to match personal information accurately," he told BusinessDesk.
Also working for Veda was the high reliability of its systems, which have never required disaster recovery in two decades of operation, and the company's ability to build systems that are customised to local regulatory requirements and can operate bi-lingually for non-English speaking markets.
“We believe what's winning this business is the incredible stability of the platform, and we've cracked that matching algorithm technology," he said. "From what I understand, we have succeeded where others have failed."
The firm holds credit records on 70 million individuals and nine million businesses, and has more than 30,000 customers globally.
However, Mr Roberts says Veda, which is owned by Australian private equity investors, has made a strategic choice to stay out of the European and North American markets, to concentrate instead on building its Middle Eastern and Asian businesses, using Dubai and Singapore as hubs for those two areas.
The firm has two other Requests for Proposals in the pipeline in the Middle East and South East Asia.