Data and Analytics

How Consumer-Permissioned Data Empowers Lenders, Consumers

How Consumer-Permissioned Data Empowers Lenders, Consumers

September 18, 2019 | Theresa Freas

Approximately 91.5 million consumers in the U.S. either have no credit file, or have insufficient information in the file to generate a traditional credit score. These “credit invisibles” range from millennials just entering the workforce to recent immigrants who have not yet established credit. In the U.S., consumer-permissioned data empowers these individuals to leverage their online financial data (checking, savings and investments) and payment histories to gain better access to loans and other services. This alternative source of data can deliver a far more holistic, comprehensive, and verified view of a consumer’s financial picture.

Equifax is excited to announce a new partnership with Urjanet. It helps expand access to consumer credit among those considered “credit invisible.”

What is Consumer-Permissioned Data?

It’s defined as transactional and account-level information that a consumer gives a business permission to access on their behalf. In return, consumer-permissioned data empowers individuals to leverage their own financial data to apply for loans and other services. Examples include online banking or bank transaction data such as checking, savings and investments. By entering their username, password or other authentication credentials directly into the lender's online application or processing portal themselves, consumers enable lenders to securely access online banking data on their behalf.

Consumer-permissioned data is a powerful form of alternative data. That's because it puts the consumer in charge of what information is shared with insurers, lenders and other service providers. Typically, this data would require a credit report during the application process. So by choosing to share their data, consumers obtain a more complete picture of individual payment history. As a result, they can potentially get better access to credit. 

Why is Consumer-Permissioned Data Important?

Consumer-permissioned data will enable businesses to offer more loans and services to consumers who are establishing credit or working to improve their credit.  In fact, Equifax estimates that 5.5 million U.S. consumers are able to move from unscorable or subprime credit score bands into prime or near prime score bands when lenders consider telecom, utility and other types of non-traditional credit. As a result,  consumers are empowered to change their credit profiles for the better. 

What Kind of Consumer-Permissioned Data Does Equifax Enable?

Equifax has announced a new partnership with Urjanet, which enables consumer-permissioned access to information from utility and telecom providers.

  • Equifax Continues Leadership in Alternative Data with Worldwide Urjanet  Partnership: Relationship Empowers Consumers to Share Their Utility Data for a More Complete Picture of Payment History and Better Access to Credit

In fact, Equifax has long anticipated the potential of alternative data for both businesses and consumers alike. Already, we have a powerful suite of differentiated data assets and advanced analytic capabilities. They include The Work Number, The Equifax Commercial Financial Network (CFN), DataX and PayNet.  Read more about the benefits of Alternative Data and Advanced Analytics or contact your Equifax account representative today.  


¹Equifax analysis of credit activity, 2019