Urjanet and Equifax announce worldwide alternative data partnership

Urjanet and Equifax empower consumers and businesses to share their utility and telecom payment data for a more complete picture of payment history and an opportunity for better access to credit. This partnership is a powerful combination of advanced data aggregation technology from Urjanet and alternative data leadership from Equifax.

Expanding financial inclusion with alternative data

With the underbanked population in the U.S. estimated at nearly 50 million adults by the FDIC, there is a significant opportunity for lenders to safely extend credit to this segment with the use of alternative data. Insurers, lenders, and other service providers that require a credit report can seamlessly incorporate consumer-permissioned utility data within their application processes using Urjanet’s cloud-based platform and powerful suite of APIs.

Verifying identity & address in the digital economy

Consumer-permissioned data is a powerful tool for identity and address verification, reducing risk for businesses and providing additional customer insights. Companies that need to verify address or identity can seamlessly incorporate recent and authentic data delivered directly from regulated utility, telecom and cable providers using Urjanet’s cloud-based platform and powerful suite of APIs.

The value of permissioned utility data

Utility and telecom data “offers a unique view into payment history that is not currently considered in traditional credit reports, and can bolster a consumer’s profile in the eyes of lenders and other service providers.”
Sid Singh, President, United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax
“The full reporting of energy utility and telecom payments held the best near-term promise to aid an enormous number of financially underserved consumers.”
You Score, You Win: The Consequences of Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due, at PERC
“When asked how respondents would like to control third-party access to, and use of, their data, 51% said they would like to provide explicit consent to every third party that seeks to access their data.”
Fintech Apps and Data Privacy: New Insights from Consumer Research, at The Clearing House
“The continued reliance on static data, public records or credit bureau data alone to either establish or substantiate trust in an identity is no longer simply unadvisable; it has become negligence.”
Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Corroboration, at Gartner
“Organizations want access to more data points (just 13% say they have all the data they need) and see data linkages (the relationships between data elements) as a way to improve their identity verification processes.”
The State of Identity Verification Maturity in North America, at Whitepages Pro

FAQs

Alternative credit data refers to non-traditional financial data, such as utility payment history, employment records, and rental records.

This is data that a consumer gives a business permission to access for a specific purpose. Consumer-permissioned data is a powerful form of alternative data that puts the consumer in charge of what information is shared with insurers, lenders and other service providers that typically require a credit report during the application process.

Credit scores can be reviewed alongside trended data and alternative data to help develop a more complete picture of a consumer’s financial profile. The Urjanet dataset offers a unique view into utility payment history that is not currently considered in traditional credit reports, and can bolster a consumer’s profile in the eyes of lenders and other service providers. 

Traditional credit scoring models have left millions of consumers underbanked. User-permissioned utility payment history as a source of alternative credit data can provide more context on an applicant, allowing lenders to make more informed decisions. The Center for Financial Services Innovation finds that utility bill payments are among the most reliable alternative data sources used in credit modeling and risk management. 

The Urjanet Utility Data Platform allows end users to connect their utility, cable, and telecom accounts in an encrypted online process, authorizing collection of their prior statements, name, and address. The platform then delivers the authorized data and bill copies back to the authorized requestor directly from the utility, telecom, or cable provider, helping to ensure the authenticity of the information, and protecting the consumer’s account information in the process. 

The Urjanet Utility Data Platform is secured by a combination of network security and authentication requirements, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access. Sensitive data is stored encrypted at rest using AES-256 encryption, and data is transferred using SSL/TLS, SSH, and SFTP.  

Urjanet has successfully completed a SOC 2 Type 1 examination for our Utility Data Platform. The SOC 2 report provides assurance to our customers that we have designed effective security controls as defined by the SOC 2 standards set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Yes. As part of our solution, we provide a copy of the original data source (typically a PDF copy of the bill) for auditing purposes. Inquiries about FRCA compliance can be submitted to privacy@urjanet.com. 

Urjanet is an active participant in the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks

faq

Have more questions about permissioned utility data for credit scoring or identity and address verification?