What is special about the way Credit Passport creates credit scores?
Most credit scores are created by looking at the amount of debt you or your company has with the financial system. For companies, it is also common to look at your most recent filed company accounts. However, these accounts usually reflect finances from 12 or 18 months earlier, and the debt only tells one side of the story.
Credit Passport is different. It is the only credit score for business created in real-time, that reflects the fast changing nature of SMEs.
Credit Passport connects to your bank accounts using Open Banking and updates weekly. It has been designed from the ground up to reflect how your own bank views and makes lending decisions about you, giving you rare insight into what you need to do to be seen in the best light, how to be more financially resilient, and how to access the lowest lending rates.
What is a Credit Passport badge?
If you have a Credit Passport score of B or above, you are eligible to get a Credit Passport badge. This simple embed code shows your live Credit Passport score to all of your web visitors, setting your company apart from the competition and demonstrating that you are a reliable and stable business partner for your clients and suppliers.
A Credit Passport badge is available on an active plus plan and above.
It can be inserted into any website by cutting and pasting one line of code, in the same way you would add a YouTube video to a blog. It should only take your web designer a few minutes to do, and you can contact us for any assistance that you need getting it set up.
What is PSD2?
PSD2 is the acronym for the second ‘Payment Services Directive’, which took effect across the entire European Economic Area on the 13th January 2018.
There are two parts to PSD2. The part we are concerned with here at Credit Passport, is the part that is designed to give consumers more control of the data that their banks hold about them. The thinking behind it is that if you as a consumer of financial services make a request to your bank for the data they hold on you, they have to give it to you. This makes it easier to switch from one banking provider to another, and also to compare financial offers or to aggregate all of your banking relationships into one place.
The way it has been implemented across Europe is for the regulatory bodies, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) in the UK to only allow trusted third parties to request this data on the behalf of individuals (or businesses). These regulated third parties are called Account Information Service Providers, or AISP’s for short.
We were one of the first 6 AISP’s in the UK. The company behind us is called CRIF Realtime Ltd. and you can see our authorisation here.
This means that when you ‘connect your bank accounts’ as part of the Credit Passport application process, we will transfer you to your banks website and you tell them (electronically) that you are happy for them to give us access to read your bank account transactions for a specific period of time. At no point in this process do we ever have direct access to your account or see your log in details. We also only have the ability to READ data, not to make payments or initiate transfers.
Every 90 days you will need to re-approve the connection request with your bank to keep your Credit Passport current.
The second part of PSD2 is to allow different regulated companies (Payment Service Providers, PSPs for short) to make direct payments from your bank account without a bank card in between. Only specific regulated companies can do this.
What is Open Banking?
Open Banking is the new secure way to give providers like Credit Passport access to your financial information.
OpenBanking.org itself is the organisation in the UK set up by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) to oversee the implementation of the European PSD2 directive on behalf of the UK government.
Unlike in other countries, in the UK a decision was made to standardise the way all banks provide the access to their accounts. OpenBanking.org sets out these standards, generates the secure certificates that are used to make a connection, and keeps the directory of the 64 regulated companies with permission to access accounts. You can view our entry here.
Every time a request for data is initiated, a lookup is made against this directory and it is only processed if there is an active and valid entry.
There are lots of detailed FAQs on the OpenBanklng website here.
Sometimes you may also hear about Open Banking in the press as a concept. This is because it has become the term that refers to the principle of sharing data for a more fair and open financial world.
What data do I need to provide to get a Credit Passport?
The only think we need from you to create your Credit Passport, is for you to give us permission to view your business bank accounts. We need all of your business bank accounts to create a valid and accurate Credit Passport.
We also look up some additional data from companies house and other public information sources.
Is my data safe?
We take your privacy very seriously. We do not share any of your data for marketing purposes at all. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, who are responsible, amongst other things, for ensuring we have world class and robust technical and procedural infrastructure in place to provide financial services.
The way OpenBanking works, is at no point do we ever see or have access to your banking passwords. After you have told us who you bank with, we redirect you to your banks own website where you log in as you would as usual on their website or app. You approve the request for your bank to send us your account data.
All of our sites are fully encrypted using 256bit encryption, and triple checked by specialist security teams.
Once we have processed your transaction data, even our team cannot access it directly, and only an anonymised version of your account data is made available to our algorithm for continual improvement and data quality monitoring.