Australasian information brokers widen data net

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Information broker Citec Confirm, a division of Queensland IT outsourcer Citec, has struck a three-year services deal with New Zealand-based credit check agency Baycorp Advantage.

Information broker Citec Confirm, a division of Queensland IT outsourcer Citec, has struck a three-year services deal with New Zealand-based credit check agency Baycorp Advantage.

Baycorp Advantage -- a credit referencing, debt recovery, background checking and loan origination agency -- has agreed to share data with Citec Confirm, a move that will broaden both companies' trans-Tasman reach.

Mark Rainbird, managing director at government-owned Citec, said Citec Confirm clients would be able to access various corporate credit reports for Australia and New Zealand as a result of the deal.

“Basically, what we have done is we've given Baycorp access to some of our Australian data and they're giving us access to some of their New Zealand data,” he said. “For us, it extends our market.”

He said Citec Confirm's portfolio of due diligence and search services would be expanded to around 500 search types as a result of the deal. For example, Citec was getting access to Baycorp's Realty Check search, which would augment Citec Confirm's real estate sales searches for Australia's eastern seaboard.

Citec Confirm would also get access to additional commercial viability and company verification information. Both companies had clients on both sides of the Tasman likely to benefit from the agreement, Rainbird said.

He could not put a figure on the likely revenue earned from the three-year deal. “For us, it's a value-add for our current clients,” Rainbird said. “Our customers are mainly banking, credit check and we're really strong in legal as well.”

Baycorp Advantage collects and provides details for third parties on companies and private individuals, including name, gender, current and previous residential addresses, date of birth, drivers licence number, credit applications and enquiries, records of current credit accounts, bankruptcy information and court judgements.

The information is provided to business clients of Baycorp Advantage, Baycorp's business partners -- such as CITEC Confirm -- and members of the public for a fee. The service is popular with researchers, journalists and private investigators.

However, Rainbird maintained that those things were a “very small” part of Baycorp's business. 

Baycorp Advantage was created from a merger between Australian credit report provider Data Advantage and New Zealand's Baycorp Holdings in 2001.

Rainbird added that the information broking industry was expected to consolidate over the next few years. Some of that would be via mergers, acquisitions and divestitures but much was likely to be via information-sharing deals such as Citec's with Baycorp Advantage, he said.

Baycorp Advantage today has operations in the US, UK and in Asia as well as Australasia. It has strategic alliances with credit management organisations such as Trans Union, INfo Credit D&B in Singapore and Malaysia, Data Bureau and Call Credit around the globe.

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