Ravi Devesetti, Experian, SVP, CTO of Consumer Information Services; FDX Board Member
Paul Haddon, Experian, VP of Governance and Strategic Initiatives; FDX Board Member
Why did you join FDX? Why did you help launch FDX?
Ravi Devesetti: Innovation is a cornerstone of Experian’s business. We saw an opportunity with FDX to further not only our efforts through the networking and thought leadership the organization brings but also the strengthening of industry standards and protocols. Experian was one of the founding members of FDX at a time when we were launching various verification products, such as verification of income and employment. These products bring automation to the lending application process to reduce friction for consumers. FDX has the potential to further enhance security, reliability and performance of verification solutions, which we want to support.
Paul Haddon: I joined the Board of FDX due to my involvement in the launch of new Experian products that use consumer-permissioned data to add value to consumers by enabling them to add positive data directly to their credit files. We see consumer-permissioned data as providing huge value to innovation that will help with financial inclusion, access to credit and empowering consumers to manage their finances effectively. FDX is central to setting the interoperable standards that will enable the sharing of data securely and enhance the user experience.
What value are you getting out of your membership?
Ravi Devesetti: The value for Experian is two-fold. We get the opportunity to help establish a standard that will directly benefit millions of U.S. consumers while also being able to shape the standard in a way that will benefit the Experian customer base directly. Second, FDX membership provides the opportunity to network with companies such as large banks, data aggregators and FinTech companies across the industry to better understand their perspectives.
What’s your experience with implementing the API (or any other API)?
Paul Haddon: The Experian Boost product is a fantastic example of how consumer-permissioned data sharing can directly benefit consumers and it takes advantage of APIs where they are available. Through this product consumers can add positive payment history information directly to their Experian credit file, which can possibly increase their credit scores instantly.
Experian Boost has implemented a number of direct API connections with banks through our data aggregator. Currently, the design of each bank’s API is different which increases the time and effort needed to connect to them and in some cases creates a problematic user experience. On the positive side, once connected, consumers benefit from API connections that are more reliable, secure, and faster. Adoption of the FDX standard will make it quicker and easier to connect to bank APIs in a consistent manner and improve the customer experience.
What drove the development of Experian Boost? When did development start?
Paul Haddon: Experian is committed to placing the consumer at the heart of all that we do. For many years we explored innovative ideas to help consumers with a limited credit history or low credit scores to obtain better access to credit products through the addition of positive credit data. With the advent of consumer permissioned data sharing it became technically possible, which led to the development of Experian Boost and its launch in Spring 2019.
Where do you see the industry going? How does Experian fit in?
Ravi Devesetti: We envision widespread adoption of the FDX standard over the coming years. It has started with some of the larger market participants in the consumer-permissioned financial data ecosystem and is now broadening to adoption by medium and small firms as well.
This is a very exciting time as it will open up all sorts of innovative solutions that will benefit consumers. Experian will be an active participant in pushing for widespread adoption of FDX and we’ll continue to create solutions that benefit consumers through access to credit, obtaining better credit terms and financial management.