Developments this year
Some of our products have a social application that makes them of particular benefit when used in the Public Sector. They provide a greater depth of analysis of communities and often ensure public services are targeted at the people who most need them, tackling inequality to create a more level playing field. Mosaic, our suite of geodemographic analysis tools, has multiple uses. Last year we were presented with a major industry award for our work using Mosaic Origins with the public health sector.
Risk Triggers is a product that also has some social benefits, offering a warning to a lender that a consumer could be overstretched. The term ‘trigger’ relates to the way certain consumer behaviour patterns ‘trigger’ a notification to a lender, when for example a customer misses a repayment for a second time or makes a high number of credit applications in a short period of time. These could be an indication of someone struggling to keep up payments. It has been shown that early intervention can often be the best way to prevent greater overindebtedness. This is a positive benefit for the consumer in the long term but some consumers could feel they have not given explicit permission for such information to be shared. We recognise that a balance could need to be struck in such cases possibly with greater communication at the point of application.
The links below take you to short descriptions of other developments this year with particular social benefits:
- Three social applications for our segmentation tools
- Supporting the Third Sector
- Environmental benefits – three new products
- Preventing fraud – three customer and one client focused product
- Unbanked consumers
- Our economic forecasting team used goedemographic data to help the UK Treasury plan the delivery of face-to-face money advice. (Thoreson Review)
- Another use for our segmentation and geodemographic research skills was the partnership with Sport England. Experian has provided an insight to the population’s tendency and ability to take part in sport, which is helping Sport England create a comprehensive strategy that will suit all circumstances.
- We’re also using our extensive research skills to lead a consortium for the UK Government looking at improving its labour market skills information.
- In Brazil our focus has been on how we can help the third sector gain greater exposure and credibility with those wanting to support them. We have created a Third Sector Entities Report which provides information on the financial stability of the organisation as well as its public certificates and records, structure and purpose. We’ve also created a ‘Third Sector Space’ a virtual channel to make NGOs and their needs more visible and that provides free information to support social investors in their decisions. Both enable the social investor to know where to invest time, talent and money.
- In Nov 28, 2007 PriceGrabber UK launched ShopGreen to help UK shoppers with their ‘green’ resolutions. PriceGrabber, an online comparison shopping service, offers comparisons on the green credentials of a broad range of products, plus tips on leading a greener life and a blog to discuss of ecological issues. www.shopgreen.pricegrabber.co.uk and www.pricegrabber.com.
- Experian’s Automotive business provides information on the provenance of used cars as well as a wide range of financial and marketing services focused on this sector. In response to UK Government pressure to reduce CO2 emissions we have created an additional element in our Autocheck report which indicates the emission data for used cars to enable people to make an informed choice.
- Serasa’s environmental and social responsibility report was developed in 2007 and will be delivered in 2008. The demand for these reports arises from the need of financial institutions to improve understanding of environmental and social risks to their clients. In addition to this, a growing number of companies are requiring a responsible social and environmental position from suppliers.
- Our French business has expertise in cheque and document processing and online storage and last year created an online document storage system for banks to offer their customers. E-safe was developed to help digitise and keep individual consumers’ important documents safe – including those that can be used to provide evidence of identity.
- Serasa set up a free service that enables consumers to register stolen or missing cheques and documents through a call centre so that it can be incorporated in its credit report information for a temporary 10 day period to prevent fraudulent credit applications in the consumer’s name.
- CardSafe is a similar service in the US that allows consumers to quickly and easily enroll all the accounts on their credit report. If their wallet is lost or stolen, we help them cancel their credit cards, get new ones sent to them, and back them with an identity theft loss guarantee should they become a victim of ID Theft.
- A UK initiative protects consumers by enabling organisations to identify when a prospective customer is providing false or incorrect bank account details for automated payments. ‘Bank Wizard’ confirms the existence of a UK bank account and matches it to its correct owner.
- This year we set up a data reporting relationship with Grameen Bank’s Grameen America, a microfinance company set up to provide loans and savings programmes to foster entrepreneurship and financial education among ‘unbanked”, low income populations. In a pilot programme focused on benefiting women and immigrants in Queens, New York, Experian has provided the mechanism to report the repayment history of Grameen’s loans, thereby enabling these borrowers to establish and build credit.
- In a similar initiative, Experian partnered with charitable organisation in the US, Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) to enable small business owners without a credit file to report their repayment history. To date more than 3,000 loans have been reported into Experian by the CBA.