Uganda's first ever credit score launched

Johannesburg, 13 Dec 2011

Compuscan was proud to launch Uganda's first credit bureau-based scorecard, CompuScore, on 8 December 2011. The event took place at the Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala, and was attended by the governor: Bank of Uganda, as well as by several CEOs and bank officials of regulated financial sector institutions in Uganda. Various members of the broader financial sector stakeholder community were also in attendance.

As a reputable international credit bureau, headquartered in South Africa, Compuscan believes that credit scoring and credit automation are fast becoming the best methods to increase wallet spend responsibly with a customer, in a quick and reliable way.

Since being selected by Bank of Uganda to establish Uganda's first credit reference bureau, it has been Compuscan's goal to bring credit scoring fundamentals to the country. In light of this, Compuscan is very proud to have achieved this milestone.

According to Mike Malan, Managing Director of Compuscan Uganda, credit scoring tools and technologies enable a lender to acutely maximise lending to good or credit-worthy customers and swiftly identify high-risk customers through statistical methodologies of understanding how borrowers have previously paid. These credit scoring models are then used to predict likely outcomes of applicant borrowers meeting future repayment commitments.

CompuScore was developed in conjunction with ScoreSharp, an innovative risk management consultancy with whom Compuscan recently merged, and the Ugandan credit scorecard development is a true testament to the value of this partnership. Compuscan is exceptionally proud of the immense time and effort ScoreSharp invested in the creation of this outstanding product, which is sure to yet again revolutionise the lending industry of Uganda.

The Ugandan CompuScore was developed to predict the probability of a serious default event (ie, 90+ days past due, doubtful/loss or write-off) occurring within 12 months of an account opening. During the development of the scorecard, all data on loan applications and loan repayments stored by Compuscan was used to model how people are likely to handle new debt or manage existing debt obligations. Two models have been developed for the Uganda CompuScore, to cater for both the customer who has borrowed previously, and for the new-to-book customer who has never borrowed before (or whose data has not been made available).

Paul Andrews, Director of ScoreSharp and Principal Analyst, discussed the breakdown of the predictiveness of the models and stated: “CompuScore Uganda is remarkably strong as a first generation scorecard.” He attributes this to the richness of data that is being reported to the credit bureau. Without good quality, data credit scoring cannot occur, and cannot be used as a key pillar to fast track credit issuance. But with the correct principles and data foundations, such as those that have been put in place in Uganda, credit issuance is not only fast-tracked - but strengthened. Andrews continued to say: “These risk models are very predictive, and with the correct ongoing attention to data quality, they will continue to be very predictive.”

According to Malan, the next stage will be to ensure that each financial institution in Uganda can maximise its risk offerings with more focused strategies by using credit scores to their advantage. Credit scores are more than a credit tool to measure risk; they are a way for lenders to grant credit quickly, objectively and within a controlled appetite for risk.

To maximise the benefits of implementing CompuScore, Compuscan will undertake a detailed customised calibration project with each credit provider, whereby the performance of the score suite on a credit granter's own customers can be measured and suitable strategies defined. Compuscan looks forward to working with its customers during this process, and to the immense benefits that the scorecard will hold for them.

For more information on Compuscan or CompuScore, please contact us on or call +256 (0)41 434 7563. Alternatively, you can visit our Web site



In 2006, Compuscan was selected exclusively for three years by the Central Bank of Uganda to provide credit bureau, risk and identification services to the consumer, SME and commercial needs of the regulated banking sector.

In addition to the credit bureau, Compuscan is responsible for delivering a biometric ID numbering system within the financial sector, and for the collection of data from all of the participating institutions (including banks, micro deposit-taking institutions and credit associations) to build the credit bureau.

Until now, there was no unique way of identifying a borrower in Uganda. Some checks and balances were in place, such as a photograph and a friend signing that they know you, but impersonation was very easily achieved.

Compuscan's system, more commonly referred to as the Financial Card System (FCS), requires that each borrower has their fingerprints and photograph information taken at the time of loan application. In the case of a commercial entity, a borrower (being the company) will get a number and each 'signatory' that is authorised to act on behalf of the company will be issued with their own card, in the company capacity. These individuals will also have their own individual cards. Compuscan is responsible for generating a unique identification number that is associated with each set of fingerprints, or legal entity details as the case may be. The number and the print image will then be stored on a smart chip embedded in a smart card and returned to the borrower.

Editorial contacts

Tina-Louise Buttner
(+27) 21 888 6127