TransUnion Launches Enhanced Open Banking Solution as COVID-19 Puts Affordability in the Spotlight

TransUnion has launched the latest evolution of its end-to-end, API-driven Open Banking solution, designed to assess income and expenditure, affordability and creditworthiness.

New developments are wide-ranging, with improved analytics capabilities and a streamlined screen journey which includes anti-money laundering (AML) checks. These checks must be conducted as part of the Open Banking process, and are additional to the AML checks that the finance providers themselves must perform.

Shail Deep, chief product officer at TransUnion in the UK commented: “The ongoing instability resulting from COVID-19 may well drive greater adoption of Open Banking as finance providers seek to have the most up-to-date assessment of a person’s financial standing. As UK households adapt to changing financial circumstances, with four out of 10 (39%) worried about paying billsi, it’s essential that lenders are getting the most accurate picture possible so they can assess affordability. TransUnion Open Banking offers a highly-detailed view of a person’s financial data, giving lenders a more comprehensive picture.”

Since it was introduced in 2018, finance providers have been adopting Open Banking and today over 40 UK current account and credit card providers are sharing financial data in this way. Continuous improvements in infrastructure have seen API response times reduced to less than a second, whilst in April 2020 there were over 400 million successful API calls made in totalii. As more finance providers offer the service, consumer adoption is also increasing and according to PWC, 64% of adults are expected to be using it by 2022iii.

Shail Deep continues: “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of their financial standing when it comes to credit assessments. This is particularly true in the current climate, with our study of UK consumers showing that six out of 10iv feel it’s important to monitor their credit during the ongoing pandemic. Open Banking puts the consumer in the driving seat when it comes to sharing their financial information, and makes applying for credit quick and straightforward, since the lender has all the information needed.”

TransUnion’s purpose-built Open Banking solution can be integrated into an existing web journey or provided as a standalone product, and can be tailored to meet the needs of different finance providers and their existing infrastructure.

In recent months, TransUnion has seen growing demand from various business sectors, and is already working with one of the UK’s leading high street banks, as well as a range of other lenders.

David Firth, head of Open Banking for TransUnion in the UK said: “The granularity of the detail available with Open Banking gives lenders greater confidence assessing creditworthiness. This can be particularly useful for those with a thin credit file – individuals who may not have much credit history, yet may not pose a credit risk. Open Banking gives full visibility into financial behaviour; opening up access to credit for some that may have previously found it difficult to access mainstream finance.

“With COVID-19 putting pressure on personal finances, Open Banking can help lenders to offer suitable products, taking into account rapidly-changing circumstances, and support consumers in accessing the credit they need. Given the growth we were already seeing prior to this, we envisage that we’ll continue to see increasing adoption by both finance providers and their customers, as we navigate these challenging times.”

Visit TransUnion’s website to find out more about its Open Banking services to businesses.


i TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Study, commencing 23 March and incorporating a weekly survey of 1000 UK consumers: based on average taken from 23 March to 1 June 2020

ii OpenBanking.org.net 

iii Report by PwC/Open Data Institute Future of Open Banking Report 06/18 https://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/financial-services/insights/seize-open-banking-opportunity.html

iv TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Study, survey of 1,007 UK consumers conducted 1 June 2020