NZ'S Largest Credit Bureau Signs Deal With Cambodia

AUCKLAND, 10 May 2011 - World-leading data-matching technology developed in Auckland has won credit bureau Veda Advantage a contract to build Cambodia's first credit bureau.

The company secured the contract in a global tender and negotiations have seen it become a 49 percent shareholder in the credit bureau, which is due for delivery this year.

Managing Director John Roberts says Veda competed with the world's top 10 credit bureaus to win the contract which he says was won on the quality of its intellectual property and technology platform especially its matching routines.

"This says we are globally best in class which is a huge endorsement for the work of Veda's international technology support desk working around the clock from the company's Auckland office."

The deal is initially worth $2 million but will grow annually as Cambodia's economy grows.

Co-investors in the bureau are the Association of Banks in Cambodia and the Cambodia Microfinance Association.

Mr Roberts says "Cambodia wants a credit bureau so its micro-financing sector can borrow money from the foreign banks now located in Phnom Penh. The foreign banks are happy to pump liquidity into Cambodia but only when they can assess credit risk with credit reporting data."

The Cambodian deal is the company's fourth weightless export success in the past 8 years.

In 2002 Veda Advantage sold its BureauStream software in Singapore where it entered into a joint development to build a consumer credit bureau for the Bankers Association of Singapore. This quickly became the benchmark for credit bureaus in the Asia and Middle East regions and more business followed.

It has since installed a credit bureau for the Central Bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara and for the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia. The later is the world's first bilingual Arabic language bureau.

Support for all these operations continues on a day-to-day basis from Auckland.

The company continues its work to identify further export opportunities with talks ongoing in China.

At the heart of Veda Advantage's export success is its intellectual property developed specifically for the New Zealand environment.

Because New Zealanders (unlike United States citizens) do not have a unique identity number for every person, data has to be collected from disparate sources and matched correctly. The company has developed highly accurate matching algorithms to achieve this. These are embodied in the company's BureauStream software.

Mr Roberts says "credit is critical to a growing economy and as the countries to Asia and the Middle East adopt new financial systems, more and more export opportunities will be available for Veda. This is great for the company, great for New Zealand's export returns and great for knowledge jobs in Auckland."

Veda's success overseas serves as a strong recommendation to New Zealanders that they have a world class credit bureau operating at home.

The company has invested millions of dollars in its database and technology to provide the most trusted and robust credit file data in New Zealand. It has also spent the last three years preparing for the country's move to comprehensive credit reporting in April 2012.

Mr Roberts says "Veda is an exemplar of a high technology business in New Zealand which is delivering a service not only directly to New Zealanders but to the economy in terms of export returns."

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