Last week, I had the chance to take part in a few really important conversations and further exemplify our leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion.
On July 13, I had a frank dialogue with Derrick Johnson, President of the NAACP, during their 112th NAACP Virtual Annual Convention. Our conversation centered around economic inclusion, the wealth gap and the ways companies, like ours, can help provide education and access to financial services.
During my conversation with Derrick, he referred to credit as a currency. I think that’s absolutely the right way to talk about it. Credit gives people access to financial services. It can divide people or bring them together to achieve their goals. We recognize there are millions of consumers who lack access to credit today. That’s why we continue to innovate through tools like Experian Boost, our free tool that enables consumers to contribute positive payment data to their Experian credit report.
Especially in underserved communities, consumers may not get credit for paying their utility bills, cell phone bills, or even their streaming services, and they should. This provides a more accurate picture of their financial situation.
I also participated in a virtual press conference with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and leaders from PNC, HomeFree-USA and Fifth Third Bank to discuss our participation in Project REACh, which stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change. It brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business and technology to reduce barriers that prevent full, equal and fair participation in the nation’s economy.
We were approached to participate because of our deep understanding of credit risk and our ability to help financial institutions make informed credit decisions through data and advanced analytics. Our role is to help develop programs with the Alternative Credit Scoring Utility Team and Small Business Opportunity Team that drive financial inclusion.
Our participation in Project REACh is the latest example in a string of efforts to address this important issue, including Experian Boost and our flagship lender score Experian Lift, which leverages all Experian assets to improve consumer’s access to credit. We believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest financial potential through fair and affordable access to credit.
By sharing information around tools like Experian Boost, expanding credit education through partnerships like the NAACP, and working with leaders in the industry through Project REACh, we can help increase financial access and empower consumers to enter into the credit ecosystem – some for the first time. We’re committed to working side-by-side with regulators, businesses and consumers to eliminate credit invisibility and improve financial equity and access.