COSTA MESA, Calif. — Global information services provider Experian unveiled “Text for Credit,” a new solution designed to allow consumers, including car buyers, to initiate and complete the credit application process within minutes with a simple text message.
Consumers interested in taking advantage of a store credit card incentive, for example, can use Text for Credit to secure that card through their mobile device — a particularly exciting innovation considering smartphone ownership is nearing 100% for adults aged 18 to 44, according to Alex Lintner, Experian’s president of consumer information services.
“Technology has brought vast improvements to consumer banking, insurance and investing services, but the credit application process has remained largely unchanged,” Lintner said. “With Text for Credit, consumers will get real-time access to credit, creating a better experience for the consumer and increased conversion for lenders and businesses.”
In an Experian survey, consumers were asked to identify their top three concerns about applying for credit or financing in a retail location. More than half (58%) cited privacy concerns, and 42% cited the length of time it takes to apply. These concerns translate to lost revenue — 12% of consumers said they have walked away from a purchase because it was taking too long to get approved for credit, while 16% have walked away because the person in front of them was applying for credit.
Additionally, 21% of consumers said they would consider purchasing a car in the next six months if they could shop credit offers and apply via mobile device quickly and securely. Seventeen percent said the same about clothing, and 15% said they’d consider purchasing a large appliance.
Text for Credit users will follow a four-step process:
- Consumers seeking credit text a keyword such as “CREDIT” to a short code supplied by a merchant or a credit issuer, the same way some retailers now allow consumers to “text to buy.”
- Consumers then receive a text message response that takes them to a hosted website where they can apply, review credit offers and receive an instant decision.
- In most cases, consumers will be recognized by their device credentials, which lets them avoid filling out a lengthy credit application.
- If approved, consumers will have immediate access to the credit via a barcode or account details sent to their device.
“Experian is taking the credit industry into the real-time economy with this innovative, convenient and confidential new way to apply for credit. For consumers, Text for Credit means no more paperwork, no more anxious minutes hoping for credit approval and dramatically reduced risk from a paper-extensive exchange of sensitive information,” Lintner said. “In fact, consumers can find out what they qualify for before they come to a dealership or a retail store, and that can translate to big sales increases.”