The Best UK Consumer Credit Check Websites
Here we look at some of the best options for getting consumer credit reports.
Why should a business run consumer credit checks?
Although there may be a small number of cash-only exceptions this will not apply to, most businesses nowadays have to offer credit to their customers in some form. Any business which takes payment via credit card, cheque, or uses an invoicing system is allowing their clients a certain amount of trust, on the understanding that they can pay the outstanding amount for a product or service.
There are, of course, plenty of advantages to using a credit system, as it means people who may not be able to pay in full upfront will still be able to buy that product or service, meaning more customers for the business that can provide credit, and consequently more sales. Businesses which provide credit tend to have healthier profit margins and can keep up with their competitors, who will most likely also provide credit.;
Extending credit can also have its pitfalls, however, and many a business has paid the price when a client has been unable to repay them. These are known as ‘bad debts’ and can go from being a slight inconvenience, to actually putting a business at risk. One way of reducing that risk is to run consumer credit checks.
Of course, it’d be impossible to run a credit check on every single person who wishes to pay via cheque or card, but if a business is relying on an invoicing system, or is offering net accounts, it is important to run consumer credit checks. Checks can be carried out through personal credit check bureaus, and online websites. This article will look at some of the best consumer credit check websites available for businesses.
ConsumerCheck.com our own service has a clear and straight-forward website offering exactly what it says on the tin. On the site, you can purchase credits for individual checks at various prices, which will last 12 months from the time of purchase. It’s cheaper if you buy in bulk, although the service is affordable for even a single check. One big advantage of ConsumerCheck.com is that it is accessible to both small and large businesses, and there is no requirement for an annual subscription. You can purchase anything from 1 to 1,000 credits at a time. Prices can be viewed on the ‘Services and Prices’ page.
The site also provides a sample consumer credit report.
In such a report, you can find the date, subject name and address, before a list of key findings. In this case the sample consumer has three CCJs recorded, three of which are currently active. She also has no Bankruptcy/Insolvency orders and no searches have been recorded.
The site also has an FAQ page which states where the website collects its data for each report, along with other questions you may have.
ConsumerCheck is a partner service of the business credit reporting service First Report.
Experian’s website is offers consumer credit checks along with a wealth of other services. They offer credit scorecards which are collected from a wide range of data, tailored to suit your business needs.
The website offers services such as Delphi for Customer Management, which can analyse any changes in the credit behaviour of your existing customers, along with a service to check new customers, called Delphi for New Business.
Other featured services include Equity Check, Forward address links, Powercurve Strategy and Customer Management, Single Customer View, Triggers and Undisclosed Addresses. A brief description of each service is provided, along with a link to learn more about each. It also features testimonials from satisfied customers.
Experian is one of the UK’s big three credit reference agencies holding credit files on consumers, the others being Equifax and Callcredit.
Callcredit Information Group aims to offer accurate credit reports in a simple logical view.
They can provide credit scores and credit reports including details of an applicant’s name, address and any public ‘adverse’ data, along with a person’s payment history on credit commitments such as bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans. Their consumer credit checks also provide Electoral Roll data and UK Cards Association Behavioural Data Sharing (BDS) information.
Their reports are available for manual assessment with a browser, via an API if automated application processing is needed, or they can also be provided as a flat file for portfolios (for credit risk management).
Equifax is one of the big three UK consumer credit agencies, with credit files on individuals. As with Callcredit and Experian, Equifax are one of the agencies likely to be used by major lenders such as banks for credit checks on consumers.