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New Customers and a Dunia Credit Bureau of Sorts

Each new customer was assigned a Dunia customer identification number (CIN) when onboarded. In the UAE, there was no identification number comparable to a U.S. Social Security number that could be used to gather data on each person. The government had introduced an Emirates ID number, but it was still a relatively new concept in 2012. The lack of a viable credit bureau put pressure on Dunia executives to generate their own reliable statistics to help them quantify decisions on product offerings and customer value. The data to generate these statistics were kept in Dunia’s data warehouse (DWH). This included static demographic data (such as age and income) captured at the time of acquisition and performance data, which was refreshed dynamically.

Each customer’s CIN would be the same on all products he or she purchased, thus providing Dunia with reliable and consistent customer data. Accurate data was the key ingredient for Dunia’s “customer-centric” approach. Customer centricity was at the core of Dunia. The entire organization was structured around fulfilling the needs of the customer. Processes, people, and business functions were designed with each customer segment in mind. In contrast to a product-centric approach, Dunia’s customer-centric approach identified the various life stage and lifestyle needs of the customer and aimed to fulfill them using customized financial solutions. Once a customer demonstrated acceptable usage patterns and history, Dunia would consider increasing the credit granted to the customer.

All behavioral and demographic data available were captured, addressing the five Cs of credit (capacity, character, capital, collateral, and covenant) and collected within the DWH. The DWH was a multipurpose database that captured all categories of data from Dunia’s several systems. These individual systems running at Dunia were chosen or designed with painstaking detail by the IT team. The DWH was completely homegrown by the Strategic Analytics Unit team and a key tool in its business. The various IT systems from front and back offices—including customer relationship management (CRM), the application processing system, the loan system, the credit card system, and the collection system—fed data into the DWH daily. As part of each system’s batch update process, daily output files were produced and stored in the DWH. As a management information system (MIS), the DWH was used for list management, business analytics, statistical scoring, propensity modeling, test-versus-control design and tracking, business KPI generation, sales productivity analysis, incentive management, and limit increases.

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