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TransUnion becomes UK’s first credit reference agency to ingest buy now, pay later data

Preparing for the upcoming explosion in pay later credit data sharing.

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Satrajit Saha/TransUnion.

Credit bureau TransUnion is adding deferred payment credit (aka buy now, pay later) to its UK consumer credit files, a move that it claims is a UK-first.

Starting from summer 2022 TransUnion will begin displaying the data on consumer data reports, and introducing it across its range of products.

The credit bureau’s UK CEO Satrajit Saha said he was “delighted” that TransUnion was recognising the changes taking place in the credit ecosystem.

“We’ve been working closely with prominent providers of buy now, pay later finance to lead the way in line with industry changes and consumer needs.”

“Incorporating this data into credit reports will support consumers that are using this type of point-of-sale finance, whilst also ensuring lenders have a comprehensive picture of a borrower’s financial position.”

The move comes ahead of the findings of the UK Treasury’s pay later consultation and subsequent FCA consultation on deferred payment credit—both of which are expected to call for more credit data sharing in the buy now, pay later sector.

Neil Kadagathur, CEO and co-founder of consumer lender Creditspring called the introduction a “welcome move” in making pay later a recognised form of borrowing.

“The next step is for all credit reference agencies to be reporting on this data, and for [buy now, pay later] providers to be introducing checks with credit reference agencies, along with using other data sources such as open banking, to accurately assess a person’s affordability before they lend.”

Absent from TransUnion’s announcement were details of which pay later providers, if any, have agreed to start sharing credit data with the bureau.

An explosion in pay later credit data is coming, we may just have to wait a little longer for the consumer benefits to be felt.

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