The UK’s first ever service giving consumers completely free access to their credit report and credit score begins beta testing today, and will be available to the UK public later this month.
ClearScore will become a critical tool for consumers to actively manage their financial profile and ensure they get the best access to the market for their personal financial position.
Credit reports are like a person’s ‘financial CV’ and impact their lives in a myriad of ways. They help determine whether someone gets the best deals on financial products, whether they can buy or rent a property, and can affect their ability to get a mobile phone contract or even a job.
The demand to see credit reports and scores is high. Five million UK consumers try to check their reports each year1. According to research, another fifteen million have never accessed their report and remain in the dark about their financial position, and nearly four million of those say they are put off by having to pay2.
ClearScore will address this, letting consumers access their report and score for free, as often as they like. This allows consumers to take more control of their financial well-being: seeing their data on a regular basis so they can monitor changes, improve or use their score to save money and correct errors that may be on their report.
Users of the service will not be required to enter any bank account or credit card details at any stage, providing reassurance that they cannot be charged. ClearScore also guarantees privacy – promising to never sell customer data. The website will use a powerful data engine to present its customers - in real-time - with money-saving suggestions for credit cards, loans and other financial products, tailored to their unique financial situation. This will add value and take the guesswork out of applications, whilst generating revenue for ClearScore through commissions, allowing the service to be completed free.
It will mean UK consumers finally benefit from more transparency, bringing us into line with countries like the US and Australia, which have already made credit reports simpler and easier to access.
ClearScore has partnered with credit reference agency and insights provider Equifax to deliver the credit reports and score data. The product matching service is delivered in partnership with TotallyMoney.com.
The company is backed by significant investment from venture builders Brightbridge, Blenheim Chalcot and QED Investors. All parties have proven reputations for backing fast growing businesses in the IT, technology and financial service sectors. QED Investors are an investor in Credit Karma who are the leader in free credit score and report provision in the US and have investments in leading fintech businesses including Prosper, Avant and Future Finance.
ClearScore was co-founded by Justin Basini, Dan Cobley and Nigel Morris in September 2014. Entrepreneur and CEO Basini previously founded innovative data protection company Allow, and held senior roles at Zapp Mobile Payments, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and Procter & Gamble. ClearScore Chairman Morris co-founded Capital One and is now Managing Partner of US venture firm QED Investors, which specialises in FinTech. ClearScore Board Member, Cobley, was Managing Director of Google UK and is now co-founder and CEO of FinTech-specialist venture builder Brightbridge Ventures. Other board members include Mark Onyett, former CEO of TDX Group, Manoj Badale, co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot and Miles Reidy, former CFO of Capital One Cards in the US and partner at QED Investors.
Justin Basini, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearScore, said, “It’s not fair that people have to pay for access to financial information about them that affects their lives. That’s why we’re launching ClearScore. We’re passionate about making the unclear world of finance easy to access and understand. It’s a task that requires a careful balance of science and art – exceptional technology and data matched with top quality design. We constantly challenge ourselves to know and empathise with the consumer. Our mission is to make complex information clear, accessible to all and craft a service that’s a genuine pleasure to use. The product we’ve built is like nothing else on the market - we can’t wait to hand it over to UK consumers.”
Nigel Morris, Chairman, ClearScore and Managing partner of QED Investors, said, “ClearScore has a compelling vision to demystify the world of consumer finance – starting with credit scores and reports. We believe we have a proposition that will transform the UK credit report market for the good of consumers, and in doing so create a significant business.”
1 ClearScore analysis of industry data
2 uSwitch and Opinium research conducted in October 2014