Equifax has come a long way since its founding in 1899 by a pair of Tennessee-based grocers. Those long-ago grocers compiled lists of customers that paid for their goods with credit. From a business perspective, that list became more valuable than the food that those grocers sold. Even back then, they recognized the importance of providing access to credit. Providing access helped consumers and businesses meet their everyday needs and longer-term goals.
Since then, Equifax has been on an amazing data and technology journey. The journey is to offer the best solutions that help consumers throughout their life decisions – like buying a car or home, or going to college – and help businesses better serve their customers and expand into new markets.
Data That Goes Beyond Credit Scores
Equifax has been known for a long time to compile credit payment data for millions of consumers. But now, Equifax is also a leading provider of differentiated data that goes well beyond traditional credit information. This expanded decisioning data can help businesses see beyond traditional credit to discover emerging risk and opportunity and expand customer relationships.
For example, employment and income data can help businesses verify job and salary changes to help render credit decisions. Another source of alternative data is telecommunications and utility payment data. After all, almost all consumers have one or more of these types of bills. For many individuals and families, these telecommunication and utility payments add up to a considerable amount of money each month. Businesses can use these types of alternative data to gain a broader view of consumers’ finances, as well as help consumers that may lack a traditional credit file gain access to credit.
Science and Technology to Fuel the Data
On top of differentiated data, Equifax was the first credit bureau to develop a scoring model that uses an explainable neural network that can be used to make credit decisions. This advanced technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to enhance credit score methodologies and predictive analytics. Because this technology is completely transparent, businesses, and regulators can see all of the elements that comprise various models to make sure they make business sense and are compliant.
Finally, consumers and businesses reap the benefit of the Equifax transformation to cloud-native with a company-wide data fabric. The data fabric supports immediate and secure access to all credit and differentiated data. Then data becomes easily accessible across Equifax to help fuel existing solutions and build new ones.
All of these advances – incorporating the best data and the best science – result in state-of-the-art analytics and solutions. Businesses can use these solutions to allow consumers to hear “Yes” more, while managing risk. To learn more about the history of Equifax and the company today, listen to this podcast by Peter Maynard, SVP of Data & Analytics for the U.S. Information Solutions division, available as part of the VantageScore Podcast series.