Key milestone: The launch of Oman’s national credit bureau (Mala’a) exemplifies efforts by the Central Bank, as well as the Omani government, to strengthen financial inclusion: Tahir al Amri, CBO Executive President
The Oman Credit and Financial Information Centre (Mala’a) — the country’s ﬁrst National Databank — will formally come online on November 18, 2020, coinciding with the Sultanate’s 50th National Day.
Its operationalisation will help address the financial sector’s longstanding need for timely access to credit and ﬁnancial data, which is indispensable for enhanced decision-making and credit assessment.
An announcement to this effect was made by the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), under whose auspices the national databank centre operates, at a forum held at the Sheraton Oman Hotel on Tuesday.
Addressing the 5th New Age Banking Summit 2020, organised by UMS Events, Tahir Salim al Amri said the launch of Oman’s national credit bureau exemplified efforts by the apex bank, as well as the Omani government, to strengthen financial inclusion.
“The establishment of our National Databank Centre (Mala’a) — the national credit registry in December 2019 — will empower access to credit, financial inclusion and SME development’’, said CBO’s Executive President.
“An integral part of financial inclusion is to provide timely access to affordable credit, which is challenging for small businesses and SMEs’’, he noted.
Mala’a, an independent agency constituted by Royal Decree 38/2019, is located on the Central Bank’s premises in Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).
The national databank centre serves clients in all economic sectors, including ﬁnancial institutions, insurers, retailers, telecommunication operators and small to medium-sized companies, among others.
Significantly, the national credit bureau will be modern in its design and service offerings, said Al Amri.
“Mala’a will be operating with world class technologies, scalable data modelling engines and credit bureau platforms. It will initially provide credit risk scores for consumers and corporates.
Going forward, Mala’a will be expanding its scope to provide other services such as mobile lending platforms, instant decisioning modules, data analysis and other fintech innovations.”
The Centre was inaugurated last December under the brand ‘Mala’a with the mandate to facilitate access to accurate, timely and reliable information through the agency’s secured digital channels.
Mala’a, which means ‘creditworthiness’ (ﬁnancial solvency in Arabic), aims to re-invent the business model of credit bureau by covering multiple sectors and integrating public registries and ﬁnancial data as well.
The agency will empower corporates and consumers to have control over their data through a number of self-service channels such as the mobile app and online platform available in both Arabic and English.