Global information and insights provider TransUnion has announced it is ready to accept buy now, pay later finance into UK consumer credit files, being the first credit reference agency in the UK to do so.

Following extensive research and product innovation, buy now, pay later finance – also known as deferred payment credit – will soon be included within TransUnion credit information to help protect consumers and enable finance providers to ensure that payment plans are affordable and sustainable.

“We’re delighted to announce these important changes to the way buy now, pay later products are treated within the credit ecosystem,” said Satrajit “Satty” Saha, CEO of TransUnion in the UK. “We’ve been working closely with prominent providers of buy now, pay later finance to lead the way in line with industry changes and consumer needs. Incorporating this data into credit reports will support consumers that are using this type of point-of-sale finance, whilst also ensuring lenders have a comprehensive picture of a borrower’s financial position.”

Buy now, pay later finance saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic, with consumers seeking out more ways of accessing interest-free credit as they shop online. TransUnion research i shows that more than a third of consumers (35%) used this type of payment in 2021.

The addition of buy now, pay later data to UK credit files follows extensive industry debate and acknowledges a key recommendation of the Woolard Review ii. Consumer protection has been central to the changes and new search footprints are being introduced to enable consumers and lenders to see applications for this kind of finance.

Shail Deep, chief product officer at TransUnion in the UK, added: “By conducting extensive industry analysis and working with leading global buy now, pay later providers to simulate the impact of buy now, pay later data within our credit bureau, TransUnion has been able to identity the most appropriate way to incorporate the data into our products, in what is an evolutionary milestone for the industry, putting the consumer at the heart of these new developments.

“These changes will be really beneficial for those with thin credit files, supporting financial inclusion and wider access to credit, as well as helping to ensure finance providers have a holistic view of an individual’s borrowing, so they can use these insights to help ensure the right outcomes for consumers.”

With a phased implementation, TransUnion will utilise buy now, pay later data within a range of its products, which are widely used by leading banks and credit providers across the UK. This data will start to appear on consumer credit reports from summer 2022. 

To find out more about credit information and how it’s used by finance providers, consumers can download TransUnion’s ebook: Getting to Grips with Your Credit Report and Score.

Notes:

i TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse, based on research conducted among 1,100 adults between 1 – 5 November 2021

ii The Woolard Review was a report to the FCA which examined change and innovation in the unsecured credit market, published 2 February 2021

Source:  TransUnion UK Press Release