In Collaboration with Leading Telcos, Experian Helps Thousands of COVID-19 impacted Consumers in Asia to Stay Connected

• Experian is working with existing telco partners across Asian markets to allow them to rapidly provide assistance to their subscribers to minimise financial or movement control impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak - by offering temporary increased credit limits, reduced fees and through relaxing the eligibility criteria to allow more subscribers to be provided with airtime advance
• Close to 2.4 million individuals across Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam have received airtime advances with many benefitting from reduced fees
• In emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging agile analytics and tools to swiftly adjust strategies will provide relief to stressed subscribers

Singapore, May 18, 2020  — Experian, the world leader in information services, today announced that it is working with its existing telco partners across Southeast Asia and the wider region to better support subscribers digitally during this challenging period. Experian is actively collaborating with telcos to help them broaden existing criteria to enable them to rapidly roll out extended offers to subscribers who have been impacted by the lockdown measures.

As part of the containment strategies of several countries, forced lockdowns and movement controls have disrupted livelihoods across the region, leaving individuals and communities struggling as a result of the downstream impact on the economy.

In particular, staying connected during movement control restrictions have proven to be critical, allowing consumers to gain access to essential services like food supplies and in managing the psychological effects of isolation, among other benefits. In a recent study from Sri Lanka, in-person mobile top-ups experienced spikes during off-curfew hours, indicating that many subscribers risk infection from COVID-19 to continue to use their mobiles.

Experian initiated collaborations with its telco partners to change their current eligibility criteria as deployed through their existing Dynamic Airtime Advance (DAA) service. The subscriber benefits are manifold and includes increased eligibility, data top-ups, promotion to non-active users and increase airtime advance limits.

In Sri Lanka, Experian worked with Hutch Sri Lanka to make the necessary changes on their DAA eligibility criteria, completing it hours before the lockdown came into effect in the island nation on 20 March. While offers for subscribers are typically determined by their usage patterns, the focus has been on actively widening the eligibility to ensure a broader pool of subscribers stay connected. With Hutch Sri Lanka, this included the following changes to criteria:

  • The increase to the number of individuals that are eligible for the service by reducing the minimum access requirements;
  • The increase in airtime advance limits to a broader number of customers; &/or
  • A one-time discount to encourage inactive subscribers to use the service.  

"We are happy to have collaborated with Experian as they have proven to be a reliable partner and most of all, for consistently being available to collaborate in an agile and rapid way to help Sri Lankans during unprecedented events such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The changes in subscriber eligibility and credit limit have allowed us to keep more subscribers connected despite the new challenges faced," said Hamdhy Hassen, General Manager - Marketing for Hutch Sri Lanka. 

Dev Dhiman, Managing Director, Southeast Asia & Emerging Markets, Experian said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has become the defining health crisis of our time, setting off an unprecedented impact to individuals and local communities. The agile nature of our collaboration with telco partners in the region has made it possible for their customers to stay connected in this significant moment of need."

"We are striving to innovate at speed and contribute to the larger ecosystem by making a social impact to the communities we live and work in. In some cases, this also means that we will share financial losses incurred by our partners. However, that does not deter us from the larger goal - to stand together to make a collective impact, to show our resilience in the face of uncertain adversities, and to unite to definitively tackle one of the greatest challenges in modern history," he added.

Experian is working with other telco partners in the region to roll out similar initiatives in the spirit of ensuring more individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to get access to telecommunication services.

Experian is focused on helping people stay connected during these uncertain times and make a social impact in economies that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

About Experian

Experian is the world's leading global information services company. During life's big moments - from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college to growing a business by connecting with new customers - we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 17,200 people operating across 44 countries, and every day we're investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

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