Network Operators rope in CIBIL to check Credit Defaults

Mobile Bill Defaults may worsen CIBIL Reports


Network and Mobile operators prefer to sell Pre-Paid SIMs to their clients as it is very difficult for them to recover the Postpaid Bill Defaults of unknown new customers. In case you are to obtain a Postpaid Mobile Connection or Network Connection – then the Mobile/Network operator will sell you the Postpaid SIM or Dongle on getting your KYC verified through Aadhar authentication but before activating the Mobile or Network connection – the Mobile/Network operator will either ask for Security Deposit or fix a Credit Limit based on your Postive or Negative CIBIL Report. In this era of neck to neck competition, almost all the Mobile/Network operators have stopped asking for security deposits. While they are fixing the credit limits on the basis of Positive Credit Report, they can not afford to say “No” even to persons with Negative CIBIL Report, in which case they are taking extra precaution to verify the local address of their clients. By doing so they are taking a calculated risk in respect of the new clients who may even make a default in paying their first monthly bill. It is very difficult for the Mobil/Network operators to recover the meagre amount of Bills ranging say up to Rs.1000 to Rs.1500 per user per month. Recently the Vodafone Essar has tied up with the Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) to determine the credit limit of its customers, based on their credit card history, before issuing post-paid connections. The initiative will help the company assign better credit limits on post-paid connections.

CIBIL has also allowed the following type types of companies to be eligible for becoming the members of CIBIL:

  1. Credit Institutions (banks, RRBs, Co-operative bank , NBFC, Public Financial Institution, Housing Finance Institution etc. companies engaged in the business of credit cards and other similar cards and companies dealing with distribution of credit in any other manner or any other institution which the Reserve Bank may specify, from time to time, for this purpose)
  2. Insurance Companies
  3. Companies providing cellular or telephone services
  4. Credit Rating Agencies
  5. Asset Reconstruction Companies
  6. Telecom Companies

So far the CIBIL is providing a CIBIL Positive or CIBIL Negative Report to the Mobile/Network operators based on the Credit History of the Clients taken from their repayment behavior in repaying their Loan EMIs or Credit Card Payments. But CIBIL has not started the data collection from Mobile/Network Operators about the default in the payment of Postpaid Bills.  Telecom players at the moment do not have a system whereby defaulters account details, with a particular service provider, could be shared with other service providers. Soon CIBIL may be providing CIBIL Telecom Report sharing the data of defaulters with all the service provider as the Banks and lending institutions share the Credit History of their borrowers among themselves through CIBIL Report. In the near future, the consumers may be able to directly link credit cards to phone bill accounts for payments but many have not been availing this facility. With this initiative, the consumers will be able to avail the uninterrupted Mobile and Network facility with unlimited or limited credit facility as per user’s choice on their phone accounts.

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