Credit decisions need real-time data

4 MIN READ 23 May 2024

Credit bureaus are a core building block of the financial system.

They collect, maintain and distribute credit information that enables lenders to make informed risk-based decisions as they distribute credit through the global economy.

Their important role in facilitating economic growth demands their services be efficient and requires them innovate at the same speed as the credit markets; but as the FCA’s Credit Information Market Study (2022) has highlighted, they need to do a better job.

The inaccurate, incomplete, and out of date services offered by the status quo has led to problems for both lenders and consumers.

For lenders, outdated data can make it difficult to assess credit risk and affordability accurately. Whether it is loan stacking, missed payments or other signals of financial difficulty being missed, it can lead to approving loans for borrowers who may not be able to repay them. Conversely it can also lead to missed opportunity and consumer harm by rejecting loans for borrowers who can afford them based on credit that has been paid-off or a low velocity of positive credit information sharing.

For consumers, outdated credit reports can restrict access to credit when they need it, and can also lead to them being charged higher interest rates. Slow information can cause financial exclusion and a dependency on traditional and elongated approaches to building your credit file.

A real-time credit bureau would address some of these problems by providing lenders with access to up-to-date credit data.

Real-time information benefits both consumers and lenders

The future is real-time

Credit Risk teams are on a mission to increase the accuracy of lending decisions and better-manage credit risk, both to improve portfolio performance and increasingly to deliver better outcomes to consumers. There are demands for good consumer outcomes from Consumer Duty. Part of this needs to include a more accurate picture of a consumer both at application and during consumer management. To build a more comprehensive picture of a consumer’s affordability and credit worthiness adding more granular, contextual information drives better outcomes for both consumers and lenders.

To us, this means real-time credit information.

Real-time data is well-positioned to support the changing financial services market. For example, API-based data sharing can better support new forms of credit such as BNPL by providing a mechanism for dynamic limit management to effectively allow lenders to take short term, high velocity, lower value credit risk decisions safely for consumers and themselves. We strongly believe that with the right context to protect consumers, this industry will play a critical role in facilitating economic growth the credit market is designed to drive.

A call to action

The combination of these consumer benefits are why we started Infact. Our mission is to improve the financial opportunities for consumers by removing such strong dependency lenders have on outdated, inaccurate and incomplete information sets to power their decisions.

Overall, our real-time credit bureau has the potential to make the financial system fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient for both lenders and consumers leading to better consumer outcomes and more robust financial services market.

We welcome all lenders to join us on our journey, start here.

 

 

Infact is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Credit Reference Provider and is committed to continuing to innovate and deliver in the consumer credit information market.  

 

Infact Systems Limited (“Infact”) is registered in England and Wales (company number 14032664), at 4.11, 27-31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT. Infact is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 978629)