07 Jun 2012

EQUIFAX & LENDINGMETRICS GIVE PAYDAY LENDERS VITAL DATA AS THEY PREPARE FOR NEW VOLUNTARY CODE OF PRACTICE

EQUIFAX & LENDINGMETRICS GIVE PAYDAY LENDERS VITAL DATA AS THEY PREPARE FOR NEW VOLUNTARY CODE OF PRACTICE

Integration of Equifax credit data tools and LendingMetrics Dynamic Application Search enables payday lenders to demonstrate proper checking of consumer affordability

London, June 2012 - Leading credit information provider, Equifax, has signed a long term strategic partnership with LendingMetrics, the payday and online lending data specialist, to provide even greater predictiveness for payday lending decisions. The partnership comes at a crucial time for the payday lending industry as it prepares for its new Code of Practice which comes into force on 25th July 2012.

LendingMetrics launched its unique Dynamic Application Search (DAS) tool in September 2011 to enable payday lenders to share data in order to extend credit responsibly. Already used by an estimated two thirds of the payday market, DAS is playing a crucial role by providing real time loan application and performance data to help payday lenders identify over-indebted consumers who may be attempting to take out multiple loans within a short space of time. It is also identifying fraud in real time. Now, Equifax’s data services will compliment DAS by providing lenders with a complete solution for assessing the risk of a payday loan applicant, helping them to meet the latest OFT and BIS regulatory obligations, as well as combating bank account and ID fraud.

Under the new agreement, Equifax will be providing access to its consumer credit data with its unique data matching accuracy, as well as bespoke credit characteristics developed by Equifax specifically for underwriting within the payday market. Payday lenders will have access to Equifax Insight payment performance data where they share their own payment performance data in return, in according to SCOR reciprocity rules. LendingMetrics users can also benefit from Equifax’s anti-money laundering identity checks and have access to Equifax Bank Check Advanced to confirm the bank account used belongs to the applicant.

David Wylie, Managing Director for LendingMetrics believes this partnership agreement with Equifax will provide payday lenders with vital support as the sector evolves. “The live payday data from DAS, combined with traditional credit data provided by Equifax, gives lenders the ability to ensure they are assessing an individual’s current commitments and their ability to pay back the loan. This will enable lenders to extend credit much more responsibly and assist in bad debt reduction.”

“In response to the focus on lenders from the OFT and government department, BIS, our partnership with Equifax means we can deliver a solution that assists lenders in meeting their obligations by allowing them to make fully informed real-time lending decisions based on a combination of live data and wide market coverage. In particular, the data, knowledge and impressive response times recorded during testing of Equifax’s systems made Equifax the right choice of partner to help us meet the needs of this market.”

New measures agreed by the four main trade bodies, representing 90% of lenders, will go ahead from 25 July 2012. The new Code of Practice requires lenders to make proper affordability checks before granting loans or allowing customers to put off paying the money back (known as a roll over). Through this partnership, Equifax and LendingMetrics are offering a combined solution that helps payday loan providers meet these new commitments.

Craig Tebbutt, Business Development Manager, Financial Services at Equifax, who is leading the company’s initiatives with the Short Term Loan industry adds, “The quality and depth of the combined LendingMetrics and Equifax data means that together we can provide a high number of characteristics, delivering a much more predictive, tailored solution for the payday market. We were impressed by LendingMetrics’ live data capabilities and knowledge of the sector and their true understanding of the challenges faced by lenders operating in this market.”

“With access to live data intelligence, we are helping payday lenders to prevent potential fraud as well as multiple selling of leads by aggregators, whilst also assisting lenders to meet irresponsible lending guidance. This partnership forms part of Equifax’s commitment to helping the payday, and online lending sector generally, identify over indebted customers who are attempting to obtain multiple loans within a short space of time, and to provide lenders with up to the second loan performance information. By operating full data sharing, lenders can improve consumer protection and operate best practice.”

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For further press information please contact: Wendy Harrison, Jenny Thorneywork or Clare Watson at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: equifaxbtobteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

About LendingMetrics

LendingMetrics (Operated by Perfect Data Solutions) is a leading provider of real-time data to short term lenders to assist with the prevention of fraud and live credit risk decisions via its Dynamic Application Search (DAS). It operates in the online lending and storefront sectors and currently covers an estimated two thirds of the market since launch in 2011.

The company is based in Whiteley in Hampshire (UK).