creditreform 150Creditreform reported consolidated revenues of EUR 547.8 million internationally (2014 EUR 556.2), and EUR 484.7 million in Germany (2014 EUR 498.7).  In spite of increased transaction volumes, Creditreform’s domestic revenue declined by 3% and its consolidated revenue declined by 1.5%.  Regrettably, since 2013 the company no longer publishes revenues by business segments.

According to its annual message to its subscribers Creditreform is increasingly focusing on e-commerce related activities:   “Using the Internet to buy something, to take out a loan or to obtain insurance is already everyday practice. And the purchase price, the loan instalment and the insurance premium are all assigned digitally – just as the entire prior process of information-provision, selection and decision-making has been affected digitally. New ways of payment break fresh ground. For Creditreform, the prospects raised by the growing extent of electronic networking have made performance and consideration in the field of trade and services a focus of attention.  

In the last fiscal year, for instance, we developed further offerings for the sphere of e-commerce. This involves incorporating ourselves into the payment systems of vendors and establishing our credit assessments and, whenever necessary, our debt collection capabilities as integral parts of the relevant work processes. After all, nearly one third of all purchases on the Internet are on account. Here, we have developed interfaces that help to minimize risks in such more anonymous transactions. We create system solutions that meet industry requirements not just in retailing but also, for example, in the area of financial services.”A CREDITREFORM 2015

Below is an abstract of commentaries on business segment performance:

Credit Reporting (Auskunft):  eCrefo provides online traders another product geared to the efficient risk assessment of business enterprises. Using Creditreform‘s Credit-Standing Index (Bonitätsindex), the online merchant sets the class boundary for an individual inquiry. In the case of a not especially large volume of purchases, coupled with just narrow margins, what counts is a rapid and assured examination of the identity and creditworthiness of a purchaser at the electronic point of sale. Before this, the merchant has laid down the cut-off thresholds in the credit-standing index grid, and this permits an immediate, date-related risk appraisal in terms of black or white. And the address, obtained via individual address fields – but ideally via the unique Crefonumber – is validated and completed … or otherwise designated as „unknown“. Not least important: the ease of integration in automated supply and payment processes helps to save time and money.

On BIG data Creditreform stresses its strength in debt collection and access to some 2.3 million business accounts receivable, and nearly 35 million documents are currently incorporated in the evaluation, producing an aggregate volume of about EUR 52 billion.  That is a huge stock – and a great help in setting payment targets appropriately, clearing out customer portfolios and optimizing liquidity management.

Creditreform Debt Collection:  Professional working capital management cannot function without an external debt collection service. This is why Creditreform continues to register growth in this area.  In just the important core segment of not legally enforceable debts, our order volume rose year-on-year by about 8 %.  Important factors for the receivables management of our clients – alongside competitive terms for efficient debt recovery processes and customer-oriented communication – are the specific advantages offered by Creditreform‘s decentralized organization, such as the deployment of our debt collection field service (CAD) or the scope for talking directly to debtors at all Creditreform locations. One prerequisite for acceptance is focusing professionally on client specific needs. This includes, for instance, implementing the compliance requirements of an increasingly sophisticated clientele. Where the protection and safety of sensitive personal data are concerned, such requirements are no longer confined just to banks and insurers.

Creditreform Boniversum (Consumer Credit Information):  2015 was one of the strongest years and it was above all e-commerce which lifted inquiry figures by over 30 % year-on-year, and thus far higher than the industry average.  Boniversum acquired numerous new clients, including some sizeable ones, especially from the fields of tourism, e-commerce and online pharmacies.  Boniversum continues to work hard on product design and is this year planning to launch new industry scores. In the marketplace, Boniversum is perceived as a competent partner for analysis and advisory issues.  Demand for support regarding analytical concerns grew in 2015, and the trend in 2016 remains upward.

The new computer center which went into operation at the beginning of 2015 is functioning robustly and reliably even under maximum load. The system handsomely mastered the acid test of Christmas business, when inquiries were well in the six-digit range every day. The CTC software and the computer center ran smoothly and continuously, with response times that were all within the terms of the service level agreements with clients.  The shift to the ISO-certified computer center provider in Hamburg was an important step, enabling Boniversum to guarantee technically trouble free operations at a high level.

Creditreform Ratings AG: For more than 15 years, Creditreform Rating AG has been storing and analyzing company-related facts and figures from financial statements, balance-sheets and commercial reports in its own databases. This provides a comprehensive overall picture of business in Germany, on the basis of which the Creditreform Rating specialists can analyze customer-specific portfolios.  Today, the knowledge and experience gained in this way are put to efficient and high-quality use by our Credit Services unit in the ongoing development of customer scoring and rating models.

Comments concerning Data Protection and Privacy:  The EU‘s General Data Protection Regulation, which was passed in 2016 and comes into force in 2018, will create an assured legal environment for consumers, but also for small business-people and the self-employed. Requests for information fundamentally remain legitimate vis-à-vis the claims of the person about whom information is being sought, and applications for deletion, for instance in the case of negative reports, have to be substantiated. At the same time, scoring, as a procedure for categorizing credit-status, will continue to be equally admissible in all the countries concerned.

Source:  Creditreform Annual Report