The National Credit Act no. 34 of 2005 (“NCA”) requires that credit information is only accessed for a purpose as set out in the NCA (which includes the permissible purposes in section 70, contemplated purposes in the NCA and with the consumer consent as provide for in section 68). While the information can be accessed without consumer consent for a majority of the purposes, some purposes do require consumer consent to access the information. This is required in order to protect the confidentiality of consumer credit information and to ensure it is only accessed as set out in the NCA.

In order to protect the confidentiality of consumer credit information, the NCR expects all bureaus to assess their subscribers’ access to information. This is done by means of compliance assessments. Compuscan conducts assessments of its subscribers’ access to verify the purpose for access and, where applicable, the consent and further requirements. The assessments also aim to ensure that subscribers elect the correct purpose and therefore the purpose elected by the client is also verified. This assessment is done on a sample basis as determined by our Internal Audit team. The verifications apply to Compuscan subscribers as well as the clients of Compuscan Reseller subscribers. Where a subscriber is found to be non-compliant, it will receive a non-compliance notice from Compuscan affording it an opportunity to comply therewith, failing to do so could result in the subscriber’s access being suspended.

The prescribed purposes for accessing and releasing information is set out in the table below which includes the supporting evidence that should also be provided by subscribers that require access to data for the specific prescribed purposes:

Prescribed Purpose Explanation

Prescribed Purpose Description

Consent Required

Documents Required

(for audit purposes)

An investigation into fraud, corruption or theft, provided that the South African Police Service (SAPS) or any other statutory enforcement agency conducts such an investigation. Fraud Investigation No Verification that subscriber OR END-USER is a statutory enforcement agency for example:

  • SAPS;
  • Forensic Science Services and Criminal Record Centre;
  • Independent Police Investigative Directorate;
  • Department of Defence / South African National Defence Force;
  • The Department of Military Veterans;
  • Armaments Corporation of South Africa;
  • Denel Group of South Africa;
  • State Security Agency;
  • National Prosecuting Authority;
  • South African Revenue Services;
  • Financial Intelligence Centre;
  • etc.
Fraud detection and fraud prevention services. Fraud Prevention No Evidence / confirmation that the subscriber performs fraud detection services and that the enquiry was done for the purpose of Fraud detection and Prevention.
Considering a candidate for employment in a position that requires trust and honesty and entails the handling of cash or finances. Employment (positions that entail finances or cash handling) Yes Consumer consent containing permission to draw consumers’ credit report for the specific purpose.

A copy of the role profile to indicate that the enquiry was done for a position that requires trust and honesty and entails the handling of cash or finances.

An assessment of the debtors book of a business for the purposes of:

(i) the sale of the business or debtors book of that business; or

(ii) any other transaction that is dependent upon determining the value of the business or debtors book of that business.

Book Assessment Yes Copy of the sale of business agreement / copy of debtors book transaction terms and conditions, OR transaction documentation and confirm that the transaction is dependent on the determination of the value of the business/debtors book.
Setting a limit in respect of the supply of goods, services or utilities. Credit Limit Yes Consumer consent indicating permission to access data for the purpose of setting a limit containing permission to draw consumers credit report for setting a limit in respect of the supply of goods, services or utilities.
Assessing an application for insurance. Insurance Application Yes Consumer consent containing permission to draw consumers credit report for the assessment of an application for insurance.
Verifying education qualifications and employment. Education / Employment Verification Yes Consumer consent containing permission to draw consumers credit report for the verification of education qualifications and employment.
Obtaining consumer information to distribute unclaimed funds, including pension funds and insurance claims. Unclaimed Funds No Proof of unclaimed funds to be distributed to the consumer.
Tracing a consumer by a credit provider in respect of a credit agreement entered into between the consumer and the credit provider. Tracing No Verify that credit provider is registered with the NCR.

If applicable, verify authority of agent acting on behalf of credit provider – confirmation letter / power of attorney / agency agreement.

Developing a credit scoring system by a credit provider or credit bureau. Score Development No Verification that credit provider / credit bureau is registered with the NCR.

If applicable, verify authority of agent acting on behalf of credit provider / credit bureau.

When conducting the affordability assessment, the credit provider must take into account all monthly debt repayment obligations in terms of credit agreements as reflected on the consumer’s credit profile held by a registered credit bureau. Affordability Assessment No Verification that credit provider is registered with NCR.
Credit Assessment. Credit Assessment No Verification that credit provider is registered with NCR.
A consumer who wishes to apply to a debt counsellor to be declared over-indebted must provide the debt counsellor with the following information: consent that a credit bureau check may be done. Debt Review Yes Verification that the Debt Counsellor is registered with the NCR.

Signed consent form containing ID number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed OR voice recording of consent and identity document.

This purpose may be used by any person, who has a contractual relationship with the consumer where the consumer has an account with such a person.  Account management should be used for an existing customer base. Account Management Yes Signed consent form containing ID number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed OR voice recording of consent and identity document.

The contractual terms and conditions stating that multiple credit checks may be done.

These enquiries are only done by the Credit Ombud as part of their investigation into complaints made by consumers to the Credit Ombudsman. Credit Ombud Enquiry No Copy of the consumer’s complaint, alternatively the Ombud’s confirmation of the purpose.
Every person has a right to inspect any credit bureau, or national credit register, file or information concerning that person- without charge (as directed) and at any other time, upon payment of the inspection fee of the credit bureau or national credit register, if any. Consumer Enquiry Yes Signed consent form containing ID number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed OR voice recording of consent and identity document and reason for enquiry.
A credit bureau may report in respect of a consumer, information that is not related to and not intended for the purpose of providing consumer credit, provided that the consumer’s consent has been obtained to use the information for such purpose and to submit, compile and report such information. On consumer instruction / consent Yes Signed consent form containing ID number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed OR voice recording of consent and identity document and reason for enquiry/confirmation that the enquiry was not for one of the other prescribed purposes.
As an alternative to filing a complaint with the National Credit Regulator in terms of section 136, a person may refer a matter or a dispute following an allegation of a reckless credit agreement that could be the subject of such a complaint as follows – if the credit provider is not a financial institution, as defined in the Financial Services Ombud Schemes Act, 2004, the matter may be referred to either-

(i) a consumer court, for resolution in accordance with this Act and the provincial legislation establishing that consumer court; or

(ii) an alternative dispute resolution agent, for resolution by conciliation, mediation or arbitration.

Alternative dispute resolution Yes Verification that Alternative Dispute Resolution Agent (ADRA) is registered with NCR.

A copy of the consumer’s complaint, alternatively a subscriber confirmation of the purpose.

Signed consent form containing ID number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed OR voice recording of consent and identity document.

Any person who, in terms of this Act, receives, compiles, retains or reports any confidential information pertaining to a consumer or prospective consumer must protect the confidentiality of that information, and in particular, must report or release that information only to the consumer or prospective consumer, or to another person- to the extent permitted or required by this Act, other national legislation or applicable provincial legislation. Other Legislation Yes Signed consent form containing id number, name and surname, permission to access credit report and date it was signed and identity document and reason for enquiry / confirmation that the enquiry was in terms of other legislation; confirmation of legislation in terms of which access is required.

 

Where consent is obtained telephonically or via a website or email, it is possible to provide proof of consent in the form of a voice recording or business process. Electronically includes email or the acceptance of electronic terms and conditions by ticking a ‘tick box’ stating that consumer provided consent. Irrespective of the form or the written consent, the subscriber should be able to provide Compuscan with proof thereof, being either a scanned copy of an original document, an electronic copy of a digitally signed document and in the case of electronic terms and conditions, a copy of the terms and conditions and a system audit trail / policy and procedure document / systems specification document showing that the consumer ticked a consent tick box for the specific terms and conditions.

Note that consent given at a particular time in particular circumstances cannot be assumed to endure indefinitely. It is good practice to inform the consumer of the period for which the consent will be relied on in the absence of a material change of circumstances. It should be deemed that where a consumer provided his/her consent to access his/her consumer credit information, such consent is only valid for the specific request, unless it is stated in the terms and conditions of the consent that it should be for a longer period (e.g. ‘during the course of the relationship with the subscriber’ or ‘for 30 days’ etc.).

 

Recommended Articles

The Requirements of Using the Prescribed Purpose of Employment

As a registered South African credit bureau in terms of the National Credit Act, Act 34 of 2005 (“NCA”), access […]

Read more Right red read more arrow

Prohibited times for contacting clients in terms of the CPA

The Consumer Protection Act (“the CPA”) came into working on 1 April 2011 and has a huge impact on the […]

Read more Right red read more arrow

Debt repair agents and the NCA

As today’s consumers become increasingly credit savvy there is a heightened interest in how one goes about improving or repairing […]

Read more Right red read more arrow
Close popup icon

Please enter your email address below to download more information

If you have not found what you are looking for, please visit our global website.
Close button