Experian is launching the Buy Now Pay Later Bureau this spring, which the Irish credit data firm calls a “first of its kind” operation designed to protect consumers’ credit scores and foster more inclusive and responsible lending.
The announcement, published Wednesday (January 26th) on the Experian blog, comes less than two weeks after the Irish credit data firm said it had seen an increase in demand for buy now pay later (BNPL) services.
“The Buy Now Pay Later Bureau will allow BNPL providers to provide data on all types of point-of-sale products, enabling a comprehensive view of consumer payments, including the number of BNPL loans outstanding, total amounts of BNPL loans and the status of BNPL payments,” Experian said. “To protect consumers’ credit scores from immediate negative impact, detailed information relating to each BNPL transaction will be stored separately from Experian’s central credit bureau data.”
Experian said the bureau gives lenders access to the information they need to make “responsible and inclusive lending,” while protecting consumers’ credit scores. It will also help consumers access fair and affordable financial services.
“By gaining a more complete view of consumers’ BNPL repayment behaviors, lenders can provide light-case or subprime consumers who would otherwise be denied credit with a first or second chance,” the company said.
Read more: Experian sees growing customer demand for BNPL products
As BNPL has become increasingly common, Experian says it has seen an increase in the number of customers requesting the company’s credit data services to determine whether or not an applicant is fraudulent.
Experian Communications Director Nadia Ridout-Jamieson said earlier this month that the interesting thing about BNPL is “more people want to know what it means for total consumer indebtedness, or how the consumer manages their debt.”
BNPL companies reported higher demand volumes as COVID-19 restrictions eased and flexible lending and low interest rates helped bolster lending and marketing activities.