TransUnion’s New Tools Protect Lenders While Helping Users Improve their Credit Scores

TransUnion’s New Tools Protect Lenders While Helping Users Improve their Credit Scores
  • TransUnion launched Point-of-Sale Suite of Capabilities to provide lenders insight into consumer borrowing habits with point of sale lending and buy now, pay later products.
  • The new data reporting helps lenders underwrite credit risk.
  • The reporting methods also benefit the consumer by not penalizing them for using these alternative credit products on a regular basis.

Financial insights firm TransUnion launched a new set of tools today that will help shoppers using point-of-sale (POS) loans, including buy now, pay later (BNPL), improve their credit scores while offering lenders a more holistic view of prospective borrowers’ risk.

TransUnion’s Point-of-Sale Suite of Capabilities offers lenders insight into the payment behaviors of consumers using alternative credit tools such as POS lending and BNPL products.

This increased data reporting and visibility helps lenders underwrite credit risk, but also benefits the consumer by not penalizing them for using these alternative credit products on a regular basis. That’s because POS and BNPL loans are underwritten as unsecured installment loans. When these installment products are used frequently, typical credit models could view the borrowing behavior as risky.

“The inclusion of point-of-sale loans including BNPL into credit reports and other risk management tools can help tens of millions of consumers gain access to more credit opportunities and potentially secure better loan terms,” said Liz Pagel, senior vice president and consumer lending business leader at TransUnion. “TransUnion has taken a measured approach in developing our solution suite, working with the top BNPL lenders over the past three years to craft solutions that benefit consumers and do not penalize them for using these products frequently.”

TransUnion’s new toolset aims to offer lenders a single standard to report this alternative borrowing data. In order to minimize unnecessarily negative impact on the consumer credit score while still communicating valuable borrowing and repayment data, POS and BNPL borrowing information will be tagged and filtered into a new section in TransUnion’s core credit file.

“Maximizing the financial inclusion impact requires broad usage of this valuable data in more credit decisions. Ultimately, given the prominence of FICO and VantageScore in the market, the biggest impact from the data will not be realized until the data migrates to the core file and these scores take into account consumers’ good behavior,” added Pagel.

The use of BNPL is becoming more commonplace as more retailers and payment companies adopt varying versions of the technology to encourage higher consumer spending. In fact, according to a recent TransUnion study, up to 100 million U.S. adults have used BNPL loans at least once in the past 12 months. As this growth continues, lenders will need to adjust their underwriting models to account for use of alternative lending technologies.


Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

TransUnion Brings Credit Data to Public Blockchain Networks

TransUnion Brings Credit Data to Public Blockchain Networks

Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion is moving in the direction of Web3. The Illinois-based company announced this week it will bring off-chain consumer credit, identity, and compliance information to public blockchain networks.

The move is made possible via a partnership with Spring Labs, a company that offers decentralized infrastructure for credit and identity data. Spring Labs allows network participants, such as financial institutions, to share information about credit and identity data without needing to share the underlying data itself. Specifically, TransUnion will bring its VantageScore to Spring Labs’ ky0x Digital Passport, a tool that enables blockchain and smart contract applications to access off-chain data sources to create new, permission-controlled decentralized Web3 services and applications.

“We believe in the growth potential of DeFi,” said TransUnion President of U.S. Markets and Consumer Interactive Steve Chaouki. “Providing credit and identity data on-chain is a huge step towards improving the financial products available in the space. Working with Spring’s ky0x, we now have a solution for users to control and share their data on blockchain in a privacy-preserving way, enabling them to safely interact with a broader set of financial products.”

Transporting consumer credit data to the blockchain allows users to offer up information about themselves while maintaining privacy and anonymity of their identity. This secure data sharing allows users to access smart contract applications and helps DeFi and Web3 apps to scale.

Ultimately, the move should benefit both end users and lenders. By having their credit score available on-chain, users can receive better interest rates from DeFi lenders. Simultaneously, DeFi lenders can reduce their risk.

“Enabling access to an industry-standard, trusted credit risk score like VantageScore on-chain and in a consumer permissioned, anonymous way opens the door to greater growth and financial inclusion in the DeFi space,” said TransUnion SVP Consumer Lending Business Leader Liz Pagel. “Paired with ky0x’s AML and KYC capabilities, DeFi lenders can transact with confidence at lower rates, potentially paving the way for lending without the over-collateralization that is standard today.”

To be honest, there is a potential downside to this partnership. Traditional credit scores are prone to racial bias and have negative consequences for borrowers who have no established credit. By porting this imperfect risk underwriting model to the decentralized world, we may be doing ourselves a disservice.


Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

TransUnion to Acquire Neustar for $3.1 Billion

TransUnion to Acquire Neustar for $3.1 Billion

Credit and risk underwriting firm TransUnion announced plans today to acquire digital identity solutions company Neustar. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year for $3.1 billion.

“The credit information and analytics that TransUnion provides make trust possible between consumers and businesses,” said TransUnion President and CEO Chris Cartwright. “As digital commerce continues to grow globally, TransUnion’s powerful digital identity assets, enhanced by Neustar’s distinctive data and digital resolution capabilities, will enable safer and more personalized online experiences for consumers and businesses.”

With the addition of Neustar’s data and analytics to enable consumers and businesses to transact online with greater confidence, TransUnion expects the purchase will expand its digital identity capabilities.

Specifically, TransUnion’s acquisition is expected to help the company break out of the traditional credit scoring space by leveraging Neustar’s OneID platform, which will help TransUnion unify its digital identity capabilities. This includes TLO data assets and fusion platform, the iovation device reputation network, and the digital marketing capabilities of Tru Optik.

As part of the purchase, TransUnion will acquire Neustar’s employees, data, and products.


Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash

TransUnion Launches Fraud and Identity Unit

TransUnion Launches Fraud and Identity Unit

Credit reporting agency TransUnion unveiled a new division this week that will unite the company’s fraud and risk offerings.

The new unit, Global Fraud & Identity Solutions Group, will tie together TransUnion’s identity verification and authentication tools that help businesses do everything from fight originations fraud to target consumers in their risk profile. The Global Fraud & Identity Solutions Group will also contain the company’s fraud detection and prevention solutions that range from detecting synthetic identities to providing background checks.

The initiative will also accelerate TransUnion’s go-to-market strategy for CallValidate and TransUnion IDVision with iovation. The CallValidate solution was formed in 2018 as the result of TransUnion’s acquisition of Callcredit Information Group. TransUnion’s IDVision solution is also the result of an acquisition the company completed in 2018.

TransUnion has brought on Shai Cohen, former general manager of RSA’s Fraud and Risk Intelligence business, to lead the effort. “We’re excited to bring in a proven leader from some of the world’s most respected cybersecurity and technology companies to unite these efforts and take our fraud prevention solutions to the next level,” said Tim Martin, executive vice president and chief global solutions officer at TransUnion.

The acceleration of a formalized fraud and risk division speaks to the global need for such solutions. The move comes at a time when demand for digital solutions has risen exponentially as consumers seek to conduct many aspects of their daily lives online during social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

TransUnion’s announcement comes on the same day its competitor Experian unveiled Precise ID Model Suite, a new fraud fighting solution. The tools are specifically aimed to help organizations distinguish between first party fraud and third party fraud to determine their best course of action.

CuneXus Strikes Strategic Partnership with TransUnion

CuneXus Strikes Strategic Partnership with TransUnion

The new strategic partnership between CuneXus and TransUnion, announced this week, will empower financial institutions to offer highly relevant financing offers to their customers. The collaboration matches CuneXus’ Perpetual Loan Approval platform with TransUnion’s vast data assets to deliver relevant brand experiences to consumers quickly, securely, and via the digital channels they increasingly prefer.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner with a long history of customer advocacy to enhance our application-free lending solution,” CuneXus president and CEO Dave Buerger said. “If the CuneXus platform is the engine, TransUnion’s wealth of data and knowledge is the rocket fuel.”

“The CuneXus solution allows lenders to harness the power of today’s most sophisticated data assets, like trended credit data, and operationalizes that data for maximum consumer impact,” senior director of credit unions for TransUnion Sean Flynn explained. “In addition, our combined solutions will enable lenders to deploy prescreen strategies that have been optimized based on our companies’ combined expertise and many years of evaluating best practices in consumer lending.”

CuneXus demonstrated its cplXpress lending and marketing automation platform at FinovateSpring in 2018. Named Best Consumer Lending Company in the 2020 FinTech Breakthrough Awards in March, CuneXus also announced a partnership with independent GAP program provider Frost Financial Services. That agreement will integrate Frost Financial’s auto loan protection products into CuneXus perpetual loan automation platform.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, CuneXus began this year with an announcement that the company had topped 2019 projections with a 40% year-over-year gain in consumer reach and now has more than 120 financial institution partners. The company has raised $6.7 million in funding from investors including CMFG Ventures.

A Finovate alum since 2016, TransUnion is a global data and insights company that serves as one of the three major credit reporting agencies. Founded in 1968 and based in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion collects and aggregates financial data on more than one billion consumers in 30+ countries around the world. The company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol TRU, and has a market capitalization of $13 billion.

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.


Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”


Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on Finovate.com

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fiserv Unveils its Intelligent Billpay Service, CheckFree Next.
  • Kabbage Joins the Small Business Payments Processing Party.
  • Raising Roostify: Santander InnoVentures Leads Expansion Round.

Around the web

  • Backbase teams up with Payveris to bring integrated digital payments and money movement solutions to FIs.
  • TransUnion appoints communications and IT services veteran Mike Davies as UK Chief Operating Officer.
  • Danish challenger bank Lunar chooses financial crime mitigation technology from Temenos.
  • Finn AI announces expansion of its partnership with Visa beyond Canada.
  • Revolut opens up new offices in Singapore.
  • myGini successfully completes PCI Level 1 compliance audit.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Temenos Signs Core Banking Deal with Maltese Challenger Laskaris Finance.
  • HiddenLevers Now Has $500 Billion in Assets on its Platform.
  • Upgrade Pack Opens Singapore Office, Appoints New COO.

Around the web

  • CredoLab partners with TransUnion’s iovation to fight credit fraud.
  • CUneXus adds Delta Community Credit Union to list of clients for its 1-click digital lending platform.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Ondot Unveils New Cloud Service to Help Smaller Banks Compete.
  • Urban FT Acquires Remote Deposit Capture Innovator CFC Technology Group.

Around the web

  • TransUnion launches its consumer data mapping solution, TrueVision.
  • Coinbase to offer exclusive trading data to all customers.
  • Plaid unveils its Liabilities endpoint to support development of apps to help combat student loan debt.
  • Signifyd announces general availability of its Signifyd INR Protection add-on, bringing coverage of item-not-received (INR) chargebacks to its fraud protection solution.
  • Klarna partners with Superdry to enable the company’s customers in the U.K. to pay later or pay in three installments.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

TransUnion Acquires TruSignal

TransUnion Acquires TruSignal

Risk management and credit reporting agency TransUnion is boosting its marketing expertise this week with the acquisition of TruSignal. Financial terms of the deal, which marks TransUnion’s 15th acquisition, were undisclosed.

TruSignal is a target marketing specialist that offers businesses optimization, monetization, and targeting solutions that leverage AI-powered predictive scoring. TransUnion said that combining TruSignal’s capabilities with its in-house technology will help it operate at scale while still allowing people to have personalized interactions with companies in real-time.

TransUnion President and CEO Chris Cartwright said that TruSignal’s marketing solutions will allow the firm to “rapidly and flexibly serve the evolving digital marketing ecosystem.” Matt Spiegel, EVP of digital marketing solutions and head of media at TransUnion added, “Our history of leveraging data to develop rich insights and products, combined with TruSignal’s industry-leading rapid modeling and technology platform, has the potential to be a critical part of shaping the future of the industry and how consumers will experience the brands they engage with.”

Having access to TruSignal’s technology will help TransUnion enhance its marketing products, building on the partnership the company formed last month with Tru Optik. TransUnion’s marketing offerings currently include audience segmentation for digital marketing, customer acquisition, and customer engagement tools.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion has office locations at its headquarters in Chicago, as well as in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and act on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $12.3 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”

Last month the company led a $24 million funding round for digital identity authentication provider Payfone. A few days prior to that announcement, TransUnion completed the sale of U.K. credit reporting service Noddle to fellow Finovate alum Credit Karma.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate

  • Holvi Expands to Five New European Markets.
  • Artivest Inks Deal with Institutional Investment Manager LaSalle.
  • BioCatch Brings on New Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Yseop Pairs Up with Larsen & Toubro Infotech.

Around the web

  • Inc. names Blend, Kabbage, Lendio, Plaid, Pendo, Signifyd, and Ripple among the best places to work.
  • Alt Coin Magazine interviews Steven Parker, Crypterium CEO.
  • Interactions‘ IVA was named the top virtual assistant in Speech Technology Magazine’s 2019 People’s Choice Awards.
  • Salt Edge Open Banking API now supports eIDAS PSD2 certificates.
  • NIIT Technologies launches Cognitive Service Desk Audit, a tool to help applications understand and interpret user needs through natural communication.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Payfone Raises $24 Million in Round Led by TransUnion

Payfone Raises $24 Million in Round Led by TransUnion

Digital identity authentication provider Payfone closed a $24 million funding round today. Credit reporting agency TransUnion led the round, while existing investors Synchrony, MassMutual Ventures, and Wellington Management also contributed. The investment brings the New York-based company’s total funding to $117.6 million.

TransUnion’s investment comes in conjunction with a strategic partnership between the two companies, which have been doing business together since 2017. The Chicago-based company will integrate Payfone’s Trust Platform and Trust Score into its IDVision with iovation suite of products.

“Within this new strategic partnership, we anticipate supporting Payfone’s expansion to new markets and looking at other uses of their products throughout our organization,” said Geoff Miller, senior vice president of global fraud and identity solutions at TransUnion. “We are both committed to protecting consumers, focusing on data privacy and building trust with our customers, and the combination of our solutions will create a better, more seamless experience for everyone.” Miller will join Payfone’s Board of Directors.

TransUnion will serve as Payfone’s primary partner for regulated identity verification information. Payfone CEO Rodger Desai said, “With our partnership with TransUnion, we can now leverage TransUnion’s footprint of more than 30 countries to help expand our Trust Score around the globe, allowing billions of additional consumers to safely access digital services.”

Payfone, which was founded in 2008 as a mobile payments company, demoed1-Touch Checkout at FinovateFall 2012. The New York-based company has since pivoted to focus on authentication solutions.

Last year, Payfone authenticated 20 billion transactions for Fortune 500 companies using its zero-knowledge architecture (if you’re unsure what zero-knowledge is, check out Payfone’s blog post on the matter). The company plans to double the number of transactions authenticated this year.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion has office locations at its headquarters in Chicago, as well as in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and acts on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $13.3 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”