On 6 April, there was news that South Africa's first black-owned credit bureau was opening for business. Managing director of Xpert Decision Systems (XDS), Vivian Pather, said as a black-owned company XDS would have certain advantages over competitors, many of which were foreign-owned and viewed with distrust by "previously disadvantaged individuals and the unions in particular". It said it wanted to open the market to more consumers who currently battle to qualify for credit due to lack of banking and credit history.
The company, would start operating in May, once it received membership of the Consumer Credit Association. Pather said the company was already busy collecting data, and was forming relationships with banks and large retailers that use credit bureaus to run checks on potential customers. XDS already operates in Ghana and Uganda.
Consumer Fair will be interested to see just how differently a black-owned credit bureau will deal with customers.