PERC undertook pioneering field research in Colombia, working with the dominant local credit bureau and a value added service provider to measure the impacts of increased lender participation in Colombia’s credit reporting system. In many emerging markets, lenders withhold customer payment data fearing cream skimming or cherry picking by competitors—especially the multi-nationals that are perceived to be more adept at using credit data. Using millions of Colombian credit files, PERC was able to demonstrate that fully reporting credit data, and greater volumes of credit data (e.g. more participants) resulted in sustained growth in lending to the private sector and improved portfolio performance.
PERC also made the case for including non-financial payment data in credit repositories, and using this data for credit underwriting. Efforts in Colombia and elsewhere in the region garnered media attention, and resulted in increased data furnisher participation rates.