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Experian leverages app to ease customer anxiety over credit decisions

Experian is leveraging a mobile application to help consumers feel more confident about making credit decisions, joining the parade of financial industry players offering mobile services as smartphones proliferate globally.

The data broker and credit bureau’s release of its mobile app for iOS and Android devices empowers Experian Credit TrackerSM members to interact with their credit, including their FICO Scores based on Experian data, to make more informed financial decisions. The move reflects how consumers’ growing comfort level with mobile is accelerating mobile offerings across the financial industry.

“The world of credit can be confusing and this app gives our Experian Credit TrackerSM members another way to learn about and interact with their credit,” said Guy Abramo, president of Experian Consumer Services, Costa Mesa, CA. “The more people know about credit, the more power they have to achieve their financial goals.”

Using apps
Nearly half of all consumers use financial apps because they make them feel more confident and more in control of their financial health, Experian research shows.

Consumers who use financial apps are more likely than those who do not to know their credit scores (76 percent compared with 56 percent).

Experian app promotion.

In addition to letting users quickly access and monitor credit reports and scores, the app also allows members to receive push notifications when key updates to their credit report are detected.

Experian monitors changes to members’ credit profiles, such as when a new credit account is opened, an address change is reported or an inquiry appears on their credit reports.

Information is updated automatically every day when members sign in.

Once logged in, members can access several key features that let them engage with their credit information.

A dashboard provides a snapshot of members’ most recent credit health and trends, such as score changes month-to-month, percentage of credit used, total debt and which factors are helping or hurting a credit score. The Credit Summary shows members the key elements that make up their FICO Score based on their Experian Credit Report.

In another feature, members can view their full Experian Credit Report, seeing the same kind of information that banks see — including credit accounts, inquiries and public records.

A member also can see his or her current FICO Credit Score, track FICO Score changes over time and see the key areas that influence it. FICO Scores are used in 90 percent of credit decisions.

Score Factors tell members which of their financial behaviors are helping and hurting their FICO Scores.

Numerous financial entities, including banks, have been revamping mobile sites and applications to increase convenience for customers who feel increasingly comfortable handing sensitive financial matters on mobile devices.

Late last year, Wells Fargo & Co. added a Spanish-language option to its mobile banking application, building on the financial institution’s introduction of Spanish Text Banking last year, as it sought to address this demographic’s close relationship with their smartphones.

Webster Bank early this year became one of the nation’s first banks to leverage Apple’s Touch ID feature into its mobile banking application as it aimed to drive user adoption with streamlined security features, proving that the appeal of fingerprint identification is growing.

Data breaches
As data breaches become increasingly more common, monitoring and accessing credit information through a secure app is an essential shield in the fight against identity theft.

Simplifying the world of credit via mobile.

“Mobile devices can be very powerful tools when it comes to learning new things and making smarter decisions, and this applies to credit as well,” Mr. Abramo said. 

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.