American Express Discussion

(sam) #62

Oh I hated cifas, i was told to sign up when my i.d. was stolen. What a nightmare! I couldn’t even get a phone contract for 3 years


That’s right: TransUnion keeps them for 2 years. The others only for 1 year.

That’s exactly how it works: Every lender looks at your raw data and then make a decision based on that. (There are some exceptions, where smaller lenders have outsourced their credit scoring, but that appears to be the exception.)

Thus, whoever tells you anything about credit scoring, is always wrong (including me, right now, probably :wink: ) because what lender A cares about, is irrelevant to lender B.

Also keep in mind, that your credit file is often not only used for the decision to lend to you or not, but also for deciding the rate you get. So, the whole thing is far from a binary black and white matter, but very grey and murky.

Ultimately, the algorithm that each lender uses to score you based on your file is proprietary as it’s one main competitive differentiator between lenders. Which is - again - a reason why no-one can tell you the definitive answer to any question you have about credit scoring.

Even that is not always true: Firstly, there are different types of cifas markers, and some have a different effect from others. Secondly there are reports that Monzo (just as an example) has opened accounts for people with cifas markers without problems. (Whether they are then offered ODs is another question, of course.)


I will never understand the logic behind this. I wish they implemented a system like they have in the US where you can freeze your report: When your report is frozen the bureau isn’t meant to hand over your info (until you unfreeze it) thus preventing fraudsters from opening an account in your name in most instances …

(sam) #65

They made it sound like additional id checks would be carried it out to make it safer for ME. But it turns out the whole thing is to protect the lenders. How someone managed to sign up credit in my name with my middle name completely wrong and with no i.d. I do not know.


Because a lot of ID checks depend on knowledge based questions which are then cross checked against your credit file. Since 90%* of the info on your credit file is unfortunately public, that means it’s quite easy to open an account in your name, if a lender isn’t super strict with photo ID verification.

* probably closer to 95% by now…

(sam) #67

The only way to fix that is for the organisation that failed to check the i.d. being fined significantly and the money being given to me.


I’m not sure there is a real solution to this (at least not right now):

If you are talking online ID checks, then we cannot rely on physical ID documents (leaving aside the political difficulties of ID documents in this country).

Estonia is to my knowledge the only country that is actively working towards digital ID systems, but even then you can’t really make a company responsible for not using it, until usage is close to 100% of the population And by “usage” I don’t just mean that close to 100% of the population need the ID document. They also need the required hardware to use the document for online authentication, and be able to use it. So, that may never happen.

So, in short, I think for the moment we simply don’t have an alternative.

(sam) #69

What about the Id verification we have to use to submit a tax return online. That seems pretty good. I think it’s called secure access.
Also the majority of accounts set up in my name were offline. No one checked any id


As far as I remember that is basically three step:

  1. Ask you some questions from your credit file. That’s exactly the same problem as everywhere else: The fraudsters know those details.
  2. Ask for your passport details and check that with HMPO. That’s a problem, because it doesn’t work for non-British citizens, or non-passport holders. No idea how HMRC proceeds for those, but you can’t exclude those from banking.
  3. Send you some code to your address. Doing this would be a huge nono for fintechs for whom immediacy is an absolute must.

Don’t get me wrong: I think HMRC’s identity verification is actually quite solid. Better than the US counterpart, where they basically ask for your social security number and date of birth. But I don’t think it scales well, and would be very uncompetitive for a bank (HMRC can do this onerous and time consuming process because there is no competition, but if a bank did that they’d just lose customers, because everyone would go to a different bank.)

I’m assuming that someone did check ID in some way. Just not satisfactorily (is that a word?). Sadly that’s a problem in this country, where people can convincingly claim not to have government issued photo ID, so banks must find an alternative way of checking ID which will always be quite easy to get around. But that’s not the banks’ problem: It’s the government’s and people’s problem for not wanting government issued photo ID…

(sam) #71

You’re almost right, apart from the 2 of the 3 steps.
Passport or driving licence could be used if I recall correctly, no reason why this couldn’t be expanded to include a citizenship card or passports from trusted countries.
And nothing came thru the post it was immediate. Very similar to setting up a starling account, they compared the selfie against ID. Once set up it can be used instantly by logging into the app to approve the login

(sam) #72

The system is provided by multiple third party providers, it’s already in place and should be made mandatory for any credit provoder, so no one can be more convenient by not implementing it.


Interesting. I definitely got a code through the post. Probably depends on the degree of confidence they have after doing the first two steps.

(sam) #74

I did have to use it for a non HMRC transaction so some are using it already, can’t remember what it was though, maybe something in house purchase process

(sam) #75

Maybe depended.which provider you chose out of the list?


I don’t remember :slight_smile:

(sam) #77

Sorry @Liam I’ve taken this very off topic, feel free to move

(Liam) #78

Haha, will take a look (if I can figure out where to split it!)

(sam) #79

The one I chose secureidentity by morpho works in 50 countries, covering 2.5billion people.
Sound like this is the way forward for preventing identity theft.


I feel sorry for the South Koreans. They have a security number but unlike an American social security number, it’s assigned at birth and can’t be changed :roll_eyes:

(sam) #81

Isn’t that what we have in UK?