02:20 AM

Lewis Stores to leverage TransUnion’s MobileCredit for credit applications

  Johannesburg, South Africa - Leveraging TransUnion's innovative MobileCredit solution, Lewis Stores is enabling its customers to apply for credit instantaneously via their cell phones anytime, anywhere. MobileCredit allows Lewis Stores' consumers to submit an application for credit and immediately opt into a credit check by submitting key information to a SMS short code. Within a matter of seconds, successful applicants will receive a message from Lewis Stores' that indicates their credit has been approved. 

"Lewis Stores already makes use of sophisticated data and analytics in our application processes. MobileCredit takes these capabilities to the next level. For consumers, MobileCredit is convenient, allowing for consumers to apply for credit from the comfort of their own home. The major advantage of MobileCredit is that consumers can apply for credit without the potential embarrassment of being told they have been declined. While this project is in its infancy, the initial results have been very encouraging" said Brett Van Aswegen Credit Risk Director for the Lewis Group. 

The MobileCredit solution utilises advanced analytics and decisioning from TransUnion to deliver a cost-effective, reliable, secure credit application service via cellular services such as USSD, WAP and SMS.  All required application information is specified by Lewis Stores in its marketing material. For example, RSA identity number, name, surname, gross income and expenditure are mandatory fields. The solution caters for National Credit Act compliance. 

With the message in hand on their mobile device, the consumer is advised to go in store to verify their identity details and confirm acceptance of the credit offered as the message is not classified as an acceptance of contractual terms and conditions.  Applicants that are unsuccessful will be asked to visit their nearest Lewis Stores to review their credit application. 

John Fourie, Executive Director: Solution and Decisioning for TransUnion Analytic and Decision Services (ADS) in South Africa comments: "MobileCredit allows TransUnion to offer Lewis Stores an innovative solution that enables consumers to access credit in a convenient and friendly way, while in the background TransUnion's agile Decision Systems software engine automates this sophisticated process. The solution includes the use and integration of credit bureau data, customised client policy rules as defined by Lewis Stores, fraud prevention-, affordability- and risk models."

About Lewis

Lewis Group is a leading retailer of household furniture, electrical appliances and home electronics, which are mainly sold on credit to the rapidly expanding middle income market through the Lewis, Best Home and Electric, and Lifestyle Living brands.

The retail brands are supported by the financial services arm, Monarch Insurance, which provides short-term insurance to the group's credit customers. Since the first store opened in 1934 in Woodstock, Cape Town, the group has expanded to a network of 535 stores. 

This includes stores across all major metropolitan areas as well as a strong presence in rural areas in South Africa, with 49 stores in the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.

As the country's single largest retail furniture brand, the group employs 6 480 people and have a customer base of close to 700 000.

About TransUnion 

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.