The following post is part of a series of blogs written by MeridianLink Partners who will be attending the MeridianLink LIVE! User Forum in May 2023. To learn more about the event, visit https://www.meridianlink.com/userforum.
Spoiler Alert: It’s NOT What You Think of When You Think “Equifax”
Everything you do as a credit union is centered on your members: Giving them greater access to financial services. Providing them with personalized service and care. Advancing their financial well-being.
The Equifax® and MeridianLink® integration was created to further that mission by helping credit unions confidently serve a wider audience of members with better experiences throughout their financial journey. While the MeridianLink role is clear, the Equifax contribution—beyond supplying a steady stream of market-leading consumer credit data—may be a little fuzzy.
Here’s a closer look at this dynamic relationship, with high-level insights from Nancy Mills, vice president of the credit union division within Equifax. She explains how the differentiated data from Equifax supports credit unions and their members, as well as offers compelling use cases for the data.
Partnership Overview: Focused on the Success of Credit Unions.
The Equifax and MeridianLink relationship harnesses the robust capabilities of digital account opening and lending platforms and integrated “right moment” data, insights, and analytics to help credit unions deliver faster, more secure, and seamless member experiences. Together, we’re committed to using our combined resources to help credit unions:
- Create fast, easy, and seamless account opening and lending processes for members
- Offer industry-leading personalization, tailored offers, and member services
- Fight fraud by quickly and confidently authenticating members online and in person
- Lead innovation by using high-performing data, analytics, and technology to meet and exceed member expectations
So, what exactly powers the Equifax integration with MeridianLink? Three words: data-driven insights.
Unlock Exciting New Pathways to Account Growth With Equifax and MeridianLink
Equifax supplies the data-driven insights credit unions need to quickly answer important questions about their members, all within their existing MeridianLink platform. To do this, we work closely with credit unions and MeridianLink to ensure our integrated data solutions align with the evolving needs of credit unions.
“For example, we can help credit unions gain visibility into the 91 million+ Americans who are unbanked, underbanked, credit invisible, or have a thin file so they can serve more of their communities,” says Mills. “Some consumers may not have the traditional profile a credit union is looking for but may show responsible payment behavior in nontraditional lending, as seen in our specialty finance and telco/utilities data. Through our partnership with MeridianLink, we can offer deeper insights on credit union members through alternative data scores that can help them make more confident lending decisions. When we broaden our views on what is considered ‘safe,’ we create a win-win for our credit unions and their members.”
Say Yes With Confidence, More Often
Like all financial institutions, credit unions must answer key questions about their members: Are they who they say they are? Is the information they’re providing accurate and complete? How likely are they to default on payments? What types of financial services do they need right now and what will they likely need next?
Here’s how using Equifax and MeridianLink can help your credit union get these answers and say “yes” more often:
- Low-friction identity verification. Say a member fills out an online loan application or even a new member application. Equifax helps make that moment easier and more secure, while also reducing unnecessary friction that might cause them to abandon the transaction. The Equifax InstaTouch® ID solution, available through MeridianLink, works quietly behind the scenes, cross-referencing a multitude of premium data sources to securely authenticate a member’s online identity—and the device they’re using—in seconds. It then automatically populates the application with their validated personal information.
- Member-friendly origination process. Equifax helps simplify and streamline the origination process by providing automated verification of income and employment via The Work Number®. That means you don’t have to ask for physical proof of employment or income. The Work Number has been a leader in verifications for more than 25 years and is the largest central source of commercial employment and income information in the U.S.
- Serve members who were previously “off limits.” In addition to market-leading consumer credit data, Equifax also provides credit unions with powerful sources of alternative data that enable you to confidently serve those members who lack traditional credit. One example is account payment data for cell phones, utilities, and cable. Since most people have at least one of these accounts, it can help you score practically all your members, including those with very little or no credit. Simply pair it with traditional credit data to confidently serve hundreds or even thousands of members who might’ve been “off limits” before.
According to Mills, the Equifax and MeridianLink partnership is a prime example of the Equifax commitment to helping credit unions drive overall account growth by providing you with a deeper, more actionable understanding of their members and prospective members.
“We’re on a mission to help credit unions find members who can grow in a downturn, confidently provide expanded access to credit, and better manage risk and limit losses, while also improving the member experience,” she says. “We want to be a part of, and help drive the success of, our credit union customers.”