At the 8th WCCRC, a once every two year event, organized by the European Credit Bureau Association (ACCIS) and the US based Consumer Data Information Association (CDIA), the Iceland based Creditinfo and Experian Asia Pacific offered a review of ‘SME credit reporting: the state of the art’ signaling the importance of the topic for consumer credit bureaus.  While this particular discussion did not reveal anything new, the German based Schufa (credit bureau) offered a more substantive view how to manage SME reporting and related issues such as privacy, data protection, relationship with regulators and financial literacy.

The crux of the matter seems to be that consumer credit bureaus hold much more data on small business owners, than what commercial credit information companies may have in their databases.  Thus traditional commercial credit reporting companies will be at a disadvantage when competing with consumer credit bureaus in the SME segment, unless they find a way to have access to consumer credit reporting data.  There are obstacles associated with such a data interchange.  First of all consumer credit bureaus are closed user groups serving the financial services sector only.  Secondly, privacy legislation often prevents the use of consumer credit information in commercial credit reporting applications.

Perhaps this explains why the market for commercial credit information is shrinking, while the market for consumer credit information is growing.