The stagnation of the credit market in Brazil has prompted credit information services company Experian to invest in technology innovation to reinvest its business in the country.
In Brazil, Experian is the result of a merger with local credit analysis firm Serasa, acquired in 2007. Things are quite different now as the Serasa acquisition happened during the borrowing peak in Brazil: with the current credit slowdown in the country, the firm has been forced to look into other ways of generating revenue.
Technology has played a key role in this reinvention of sorts: Brazil is home to one of its three global DataLabs, facilities that concentrate on data asset evaluation and acquisition as well as new product prototyping.
Since launching a year ago, the Brazilian lab has focused on projects such as Pólis, a platform that analyzes the dynamics of cities. The system can help decision-making processes of businesses such as choosing locations of new points of sale based on their target audience.
The system is also able to analyze data from sources such as the media and other partners to predict events such as floods or concentrations of people in protests. The system then sends notifications to users in nearby areas via mobile. These users could be customers of insurance companies, for example.
In addition, the firm's Brazilian lab has worked on fraud prevention platforms, with the creation of buying probabilities based on the spending histories of consumers and small businesses. Individual profiles are updated daily with new transactions so that, when a purchase outside of the pattern is identified, consumers and businesses are immediately issued with a warning of possible fraud.
Experian Brazil is also working on social media monitoring, with tools that analyze text and images posted on social networks to ascertain how a particular company is positioned in terms of reputation when compared with competitors, for example. This is hoped to help businesses win more customers, improve their corporate image and respond to complaints more efficiently.
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Experian employs 17,000 workers globally and posted sales of $4.8bn last year. In addition to São Paulo, the company has data analytics labs in London and San Diego.