Equifax and Urjanet have received the "Most Promising Partnership" award from LendIt Fintech for empowering consumers and businesses to enrich their financial profiles with utility, telecom and cable payment history with respect to credit opportunities. An independent panel of expert judges recognized the innovative global relationship between Equifax and Urjanet as one that measurably benefits the Fintech industry given the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"More data provides more confidence in a time of uncertainty," said Joy Wilder Lybeer, United States Information Solutions (USIS) Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships at Equifax.
"When people and businesses truly need access to credit opportunities, speed matters. The Urjanet and Equifax partnership provides automated, scalable access to consumer-permissioned utility, telecom and cable payment history. Utility data can be quickly used to verify proof of occupancy, automate proof of address and help lenders improve risk assessment and more easily identify creditworthy borrowers."
While credit reports remain a strong indicator of credit history and past financial reliability, credit scores can be reviewed alongside trended data and alternative data to develop a more complete picture of a consumer or business financial profile. Utility payment data is a powerful source of information. 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 telecom, utility and other types of non-traditional credit data are considered. Another 3.4 million consumers are able to move from being unscorable into subprime score bands.
"The LendIt Fintech award is recognition by our industry of the importance and power of alternative data and the consent-based model for accessing information in opening additional financial opportunities for consumers and businesses alike," said Sanjoy Malik, CEO of Urjanet. "User-permissioned utility data not only helps in establishing a more precise and complete picture of someone's financial history, it can also serve as a powerful tool for individual identity verification, occupancy verification and proof of address, eliminating the need for cumbersome manual processes that may be otherwise required."