“If the economy is the body, then credit is the blood that keeps the
Shahid Charania, Equifax’s Managing Director for Emerging
Markets, describes the basic importance of credit. He leads a team
that is working to bring more access to credit to India’s 1.4
billion people in the form of microfinance.
Microfinance is financial services, such as small loans,
provided to low-income individuals or groups who are typically
excluded from traditional banking.
Equifax has helped over 62 million people in India secure
microfinance loans. Many of them are women.
show that microfinance loans, such as Rural Community Development
Programs (RCDP), are an effective tool that can contribute to the
development of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship.
As illustrated in the figure below¹, microfinance loans can
lead to women having more control over their savings, household
expenses, even marriage decisions and other social empowerment elements.
Microfinancing not only works for the betterment of women
but also affects the wellbeing of those women’s entire families by
supporting them in enhancing their family earnings.
Earlier in 2023, Equifax launched the Household
Combined Credit Report for the Microfinance Segment. The report
eases the processes of Microfinance loan underwriting by enabling
easier assessment of the credit capacity of an applicant based on
Previously, lenders could only view the reported income and
aggregated equated monthly installments (EMI) obligations of
individuals. To make assessments at the household level, lenders still
needed to pull multiple reports for each household member and
aggregate them to understand the household position. With this
product, the manual process faced by lenders on a day-to-day basis is
addressed, providing a holistic solution to aid Microfinance credit decisioning.
"The solution is designed to help Microfinance lenders
responsibly expand consumer access to credit by providing a more
comprehensive financial view of a total household for a fuller picture
of credit history and risk," said Shahid Charania, Managing
Director Emerging Markets.
He further added - "This unique product is designed to
significantly save bandwidth for our clients and provide a seamless
With a single inquiry, lenders can extract a comprehensive
report of the household, which includes the applicant and up to five
household members. Applicant details will be pulled via a hard
inquiry, while household member information will be pulled through a
soft enquiry. The result is a detailed report summarizing household
income, total household EMI obligations, and the credit exposure of
each member of the household - including income, total credit exposure
and default indicators.
Watch how Equifax is working to open the doors for the
country’s population to live their financial best.
¹ Khursheed, A.
Exploring the role of microfinance in women’s empowerment and
entrepreneurial development: a qualitative study. Futur Bus J 8,
57 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43093-022-00172-2