By Kevin Pipkins
Fintech-enabled lenders strive to provide a seamless borrower experience. Access to income and employment data is critical - and coverage to as much of the working population as possible is key.
Peter Renton, Chairman and Co-Founder of LendIt Fintech as well as the host of Fintech One-on-One Podcast, recently spoke with Joel Rickman, Senior Vice President of Verification Services at Equifax Workforce Solutions, about the widespread use of income and employment data as it relates to consumer lending.
In this podcast you will learn:
History of The Work Number and where it is today.
Thoughts on today’s competitive landscape
How lenders are using The Work Number to expand their customer base.
Here’s a snippet of what you’ll hear:
Peter: So, let’s talk about The Work Number a little bit, I’d love to kind of just lay some groundwork. I mean, I know that most people probably are aware of it, but those that aren’t, just give us a bit of a description of what it is, when it started and what it’s for.
Joel: So, The Work Number has been around for 25 years. Originally, it started truly as it sounds, it was a phone number that people would call and get verifications, employers would provide their payroll and work list to the number and people would call in, we had reps who would help. Now, it’s been a long time since we’ve had the phone number work (Peter laughs), we moved into the digital age quite a while ago, but what The Work Number now is the largest repository of income and employment information and we get it directly from employers and we get it directly from payroll providers...
Peter: Right. And, as you mentioned, employment data has become really important over the last couple of years and the space is expanding. I mean, there are others that are entering the space, how are you addressing this sort of new competitive landscape, shall we say?
Joel: You know, new is maybe a strong word. There’s been competitors in the space in all sorts of flavors, you might say. A decade ago, the primary competitor was a piece of paper (Peter laughs), but it still was a competitor, right, you had your pay stub and you could mail that in or hand it to your banker and make that work.
But, in regards to new players in the scene, we actually embrace it, We, of course, think we have a superior product on the market, we’ve been doing this for 25 years and we continue to learn every year so the new players in the space have that learning process that they’re going through as well, but by them coming into the space, it’s getting more attention to everyone wanting to use income and employment across all of their lending products and it really does make a difference.
We started doing some studies and… we know that someone trying to get an auto loan, if they’re potentially a lower credit band consumer that there’s a record on The Work Number and they’re in the dealer and that gets pulled, those loans close and those cars get sold 40% more than when there isn’t a record available. That’s pretty important to the consumer and so we always try to look at it from the perspective of how we are enabling folks.
To listen to the entire podcast (episode No. 327) click here.