US Fintech Nova Credit Expands to Europe, Unlocking Credit for Immigrants Left Out of Archaic Cross-Border Credit System
SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON, April 12, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nova Credit, the fintech unlocking opportunities for people historically excluded from the credit system and businesses looking to serve them, announced the company’s expansion into Europe. The company will initially focus on the United Kingdom with the ambition of serving the entire European market. Nova Credit co-founder Nicky Goulimis will serve as executive director of Nova Credit UK, Collin Galster will oversee strategic operations as international vice president and head of Nova Credit UK, and Matt Davies(1), who is based in the UK and has extensive consumer credit experience, joins Nova Credit as UK Market Development Manager.
Nova Credit, founded in San Francisco, is a cross-border credit bureau with a mission to accelerate the financial inclusion of millions of creditworthy people who immigrate to new countries each year. Upon arrival, these people have no credit history that lenders in their destination country can assess. Subsequently, they find it difficult to access credit-based products at fair prices such as credit cards, car financing or telephone contracts and must pay up to six months’ rent in advance or find a guarantor to secure an apartment.
Combining close relationships with consumer credit bureaus around the world, API-based credit risk technology, and a broad understanding of the consumer credit regulatory landscape, the Nova Passport™ capability extracts established credit data newcomers from their home country and converts them into an equivalent score and ratio that can be used by lenders and financial service providers in their new host country.
Since its launch in 2016, Nova Credit has developed partnerships with credit bureaus in more than 20 countries around the world to take their data and standardize it in a format easily accepted by U.S. lenders and financial service providers. To date, Nova Credit has helped unlock authorized consumer access to over 2 billion credit profiles. This data enables lenders, credit card providers, telecommunications companies and tenant screening companies across the United States to underwrite products for people who would otherwise be excluded from financial access. The company’s US customers include American Express, Verizon and SoFi.
Collin Galster, Vice President International at Nova Credit and Head of Nova Credit UK, comments: “Millions of immigrants cross borders each year to work, study and build new lives for themselves and their families. In doing so, they leave behind years of credit history, ‘stuck’ in the countries that The majority of these individuals are creditworthy, but underserved. Without access to their credit history, lenders have no choice but to automatically deny their requests for new financing.
“The global credit reporting system has been built in national silos that do not meet the needs of an increasingly globalized and integrated world. Newcomers do not have access to the funds they need to finance new homes, cars, studies or phone contracts and have to spend years rebuilding their credit scores from the ground up.Lenders likewise want to be able to serve this large market of creditworthy people, but don’t don’t have the tools to do so. We are excited to finally bring our cross-border capabilities to serve the migrant corridors to and within Europe.”
Nova Credit’s expansion in Europe opens up similar opportunities for immigrants in the UK. Of the 10 million immigrants living in the UK today, 3.5 million are relative newcomers who have little or no credit history in the UK but who, based on historical credit data in their home country, could be classified by UK lenders as creditworthy borrowers.( 2)
Matt Davies, Head of UK Market Development at Nova Credit, comments: “By 2035, 100% of the UK’s annual net population growth is expected to come from immigration.(3) It is essential to create financial services that work for these people – the majority of whom are highly skilled and educated – from day one they come in. We are delighted to bring the knowledge, experience and relationships that Nova Credit has built over the years to enable UK and European lenders and financial services providers to access this deserving but massively underserved and untapped market.
More than 1.3 million immigrants obtained visas for the UK last year.(4) Eighty percent of foreign-born residents stay in the UK for at least five years(5 ) and the same proportion is between 18 and 44 years old(6). . In addition, the average income of a foreign-born person working in the UK is higher than that of a UK-born national(7), further underscoring the attractiveness for credit providers of to access this community of potential long-term credit customers.
Nova Credit offers good cover to UK lenders and financial services companies for the majority of newcomers entering the UK each year. From its UK base, the startup will partner with more credit bureaus across Europe and the rest of the world, particularly in regions where demand from UK lenders for cross-border access to credit data is high.
Nicky Goulimis, co-founder of Nova Credit and executive director of Nova Credit UK, concludes: “Until Nova Credit, lenders had no standardized way of communicating with credit bureaus around the world. In a world where so much is instinctively interconnected and available internationally at the click of a button, Nova Credit creates a new world order for global credit data management that makes relocation between countries smoother than ever.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Matt Davies is Head of UK Market Development at Nova Credit. Matt has many years of experience in the credit, financial services and data industries, with a focus on consumer inclusivity in his latest role as Chief Commercial Officer of consumer finance startup, Aire Labs. . Matt’s previous experience has included senior business development roles at NTT DATA and Nokia.
2 – 7. Sources: United Nations, Office of National Statistics, Gov.uk, The Migration Observatory
ABOUT NOVA CREDIT
Nova Credit is on a mission to accelerate financial inclusion and help underserved communities access traditional credit. The consumer-authorized credit bureau helps American newcomers use their international credit history to apply for credit cards, car loans and rental properties. Through this offering, the company has established partnerships in more than 20 countries for real-time access to over one billion credit profiles. Founded by immigrants, Nova Credit has offices in San Francisco and New York and is backed by top investors including Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst and Index Ventures, as well as executives from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citi. Learn more about www.novacredit.com.
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