What Was Baycorp Advantage?

The term Baycorp Advantage refers to the name of a financial services company involved in debt collection and credit reporting in New Zealand and Australia. The company, which now operates under the name Baycorp, was founded in 1956 in New Zealand. It assumed the name Baycorp Advantage in 2001 after merging with the Australian credit bureau Data Advantage. The company's businesses split in 2006. Baycorp continues to operate its debt collection services in New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines, while the firm's credit reporting side was acquired in 2016 by Equifax (EFX).

Key Takeaways

  • Baycorp Advantage was the name of a debt collection and credit reporting agency in New Zealand and Australia.
  • The company adopted the name after Baycorp Holdings and Data Advantage merged in 2001.
  • The company's businesses were split in 2006 into Baycorp, a debt collection agency, and Veda Advantage, a credit reporting company.
  • Baycorp operates as a collection agency in New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines while Veda Advantage was purchased by Equifax in 2016.

Understanding Baycorp Advantage

Baycorp Advantage was the name of a publicly-traded financial services company listed in both New Zealand and Australia on their respective stock exchanges. The company was established following the merger of New Zealand's Baycorp Holdings and Australia's Data Advantage in 2001. The two companies merged their businesses to create one of the region's leading collection (Baycorp), data and analytical, and consumer credit reporting (Data Advantage) agencies.

Debt collection was at the core of Baycorp Advantage’s business model. This involves establishing relationships with clients and providing them with collection services. As a debt collection agency, Baycorp Advantage purchased portfolios of outstanding accounts from its clients in order to undertake collection activity. This segment also reported to credit agencies and provided legal services for uncollectible debts.

The tracking and analysis of consumer credit information was also important for Baycorp. Lenders use credit reports to determine a consumer's creditworthiness. Consumers use them to determine whether or not they would be approved for credit products, such as loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Just like other credit reporting agencies, Baycorp Advantage also provided protections against identity theft and other forms of fraud, as well as car registry services.

The company's businesses were split up following in 2006 after private equity firm, Trans-Tasman Collections Holdings, bought the company's debt collection business. This segment was renamed Baycorp, which continues to operate in New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines. The credit reporting side was renamed Veda Advantage that same year, and was acquired by Equifax in 2016.

As a debt collection agency, Baycorp's clients include banking and finance companies, the telecommunications and utilities industry, as well as the government sector.

History of Baycorp Advantage

Baycorp was established in 1956 as the Hutt Valley Collection Agency in Wellington, New Zealand. The company merged with Bay Collection Agency in 1986, creating Baycorp Holdings, the country's first credit bureau before expanding into Australia in 1999.

The company continued to grow through a series of strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). It first partnered with Data Advantage, the Australian credit bureau, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to form Alliance Group. Each company held a one-third interest in the receivables company.

Baycorp Advantage was formed after Baycorp Holdings and Data Advantage merged in 2001. As mentioned above, the business split five years later, after Baycorp was purchased by Trans-Tasman Collections. This side of the business retained the Baycorp name, while the credit reporting side was renamed Veda Advantage.

In 2009, Veda Advantage invested in its credit monitoring business by acquiring the identity-theft protection specialist, Secure Sentinel. Veda Advantage also purchased two other firms, Datalicious and EDX Australia in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Veda Advantage was acquired in February 2016 by global credit reporting agency Equifax. The company controls over 85% of the credit reference market of Australia.