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Experian launches verification service to support faster, more accurate lending decisions

Experian launches verification service to support faster, more accurate lending decisions | Fintech Finance

Consumers in the UK will be able to get access to better financial products and services, as Experian launches a new service to help lenders provide even faster, more accurate and bespoke lending decisions.

 Work Report™ is the first digital verification service that will allow consumers to consent to digitally share their payroll information with another organisation. It provides connectivity to an employer’s payroll data to provide direct confirmation of a consumer’s gross and net income, as well as their employment status and tenure, in a matter of seconds. For example, for lenders, the solution can be used as part of their affordability and credit checks when a new customer applies for financial products and services. It helps to provide a faster, more accurate, lending decision, reduce credit risk and create a better overall digital experience.

Work Report™ is part of a suite of configurable verification services provided by Experian that enables a consumer to confirm their identity and consent to share verified credit information, income, and expenditure in a single data exchange. Additional to Work Report™, as part of the suite, the services include an Employer Search Engine powered by the UK’s first National Employer Database (NED), a single source of verified employer names, covering 99% of all UK employees. This can be used to accurately capture and standardise relevant data and enables verified employment information to be collected to inform a credit decision. Employers who want to check the previous employment history of a new employee, with consent can also use the solution, as well as those wanting to automate sharing of payroll information to reduce cost and help employees access workplace benefits and services.

Paul Speirs, Managing Director of Digital Consumer Information at Experian, said: “There is an on-going requirement for people to share their personal financial information to access services – whether that’s applying for a mortgage, a new job or renting a new property. Work Report™ enables people to share their payroll data quickly, conveniently, and securely with their consent. It helps them to get access to better value services and proactively manage their financial lives. We’re excited to be playing such a significant role in moving these processes into the digital age.”

New Experian research shows that 97% of people asked to share their payroll data in the last three years did so. It also identified a healthy appetite to share payroll data with 72% happy to share data in a mortgage application and over 40% in other types of loans. Three out of four consumers willingly share their data where the value exchange and incentive to share is clear. Younger people are more likely to give consent for direct access to their payroll data with 45% of 18-24-year-olds saying they would, compared to 37% of people aged 45-54. This trend has increased through the pandemic as lenders have invested in their digital services and consumers move online to source financial products, rather than talking to a representative, or entering a branch. The service is produced in partnership with global Fintech platform Salary Finance and recently onboarded payroll software provider, Sage. Work Report will give the opportunity for 1 in 3 (over
10 million) employees to share their employment details.

Asesh Sarkar, Co-founder and Global CEO at Salary Finance, said: “Salary Finance is working with Experian to create a unique network that will provide direct connectivity – with a consumer’s consent – to their employer’s payroll system to confirm their gross and net income directly from their employer, as well as confirming their employer and length of employment. This makes the sharing of payroll data quicker, safer, and more secure and has the power to enhance lending decisions and improve financial inclusion. The network is growing rapidly, and we expect it to reach 2 in 3 UK consumers by December 2021.”

Aaron Harris, Chief Technical Officer at Sage, said: “Our mission at Sage is to build experiences that connect, remove friction, and deliver insights to the organisations that make up our network. Sage software pays around 25% of employees in the UK. Removing friction between employees and service providers will provide the lender with verified, accurate, payroll information when offering items such as tenancy agreements, mortgages, loans, and other financial products and services, and the employee with a digital proof of employment. This will enable access to credit, in a new, frictionless faster way generating value to both parties as a trusted payroll provider.

“This is an example of the way technology can deliver value and knock down barriers, allowing individuals to harness the power of their data. At the centre of this service are our customers, who always remain in control of their data, deriving value from being part of Sage’s digital network.”

The launch of Work Report™ takes Experian’s verification services beyond Open Banking connectivity with the ability to now connect to payroll providers directly helping more organisations provide faster, more accurate and bespoke decisions online. It signals Experian’s commitment to support the UK government’s Open Finance initiative which will enable consumers to take control of their personal financial information, share verified data with third parties and get quicker access to better value financial services.

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