A new step towards Fintech innovation: CRIF completes its current service offering through the CDR Realtime Holding open banking license.
CRIF has announced today the acquisition, through its fully owned company CRIF Buergel, of Credit Data Research Realtime Holdings Ltd. This UK-based company was among the first companies in the EU to be recognized by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Account Information Service Provider (AISP) supplying credit scoring. This transaction is an important stage in the strategic business development of CRIF, becoming the first player in the credit information sector to be registered as an AISP in 21 European countries.
The company has been renamed CRIF Real Time Ltd., and Enrico Lodi, General Manager at CRIF, has been appointed CEO.
Thanks to the acquisition, CRIF can now offer Open Banking services to enable the exchange of retail credit payment data between consumers/companies and organizations, and improve transparency in dealing with business partners and customers.
As a European entity registered in the UK, CRIF is now the first company across Europe authorized to offer a new suite of services helping customers and companies benefit from the Open Banking initiative, with the PSD2 Passport issued in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and many other European countries.
An AISP is a payment institution which, under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), has access to the payment accounts of different banks (and other payment service providers), with the consent of the account holder. In this way it can retrieve payment data and aggregate them in order to offer value added services to the account holder, such as a creditworthiness evaluation, financial management and customized offers.
The aim of the Open Banking initiative is to provide organizations with a network of financial institution data and support final users in improving their financial situation and enhancing their financial education, helping them to access credit, even if they have a limited credit history. This process is a key element in accelerating financial inclusion and it will be a useful tool for organizations to evaluate the creditworthiness of individuals and small businesses.
More specifically, by sharing their account information with financial service providers, consumers receive the most suitable products for their needs, as well as enhanced services and better deals. On the other hand, companies and financial institutions can access powerful services that ensure efficient loan processing. International organizations can now rely on a new suite of products that enable them to create their own ecosystem at both a national and regional level, leveraging CRIF’s ability to operate across different countries.
By acquiring Credit Data Research Realtime Holdings Ltd., CRIF will be able to complement its existing credit bureau services and solutions for consumers, companies (insurance companies, utilities, telcos, e-commerce companies, etc.) and financial institutions as a part of a broader framework of Open Banking initiatives that the major players in Europe have already started offering. CRIF is now developing the AISP business in 21 European countries through its CRIF companies, as well as in the UK through CRIF Real Time Ltd., Credit Data Research Real Time France in France and Credit Data Research in Spain.
“We are pleased to announce that CRIF is now able to help EU financial institutions, as well as non-financial companies, to provide customers with new types of payment services and enhanced protection and security. By holding the AISP license for 21 European countries and for the UK, CRIF will be able to integrate its innovative platform designed to create a true ecosystem, to create a new kind of service, enabling operators as well as their customers’ customers to get the most value from it”, said Carlo Gherardi, CRIF Chairman.
“Delivering world-class Open Banking solutions requires excellence in terms of partnership, technology and innovation. We are sure that together with CRIF we will be able to provide real positive disruption to banks and their clients in the wider financial services industry”, said Alessio Balduini, President of Credit Data Research.
As part of the strategy, CRIF has also entered the companies Credit Data Research Ltd. and Credit Data Research Italia as a minority shareholder. This transaction will allow CRIF to further develop its business activities thanks to the consolidated experience gained by CDR Italia in the SME segment, as well as to create important synergies with CRIBIS, the CRIF Group company specialized in business information on Italian and international companies.
Founded in 2013, CDR Italia supports companies in taking the best business decisions by offering subsidized, ordinary or extraordinary, financial analysis tools. CDR Italia offers its valuable contribution to enhancing the competitiveness and financial soundness of companies. At the same time, the experience gained with the banking system and constant support for companies has helped to position CDR Italia as a reference partner, able to promote and improve transparency and dialogue in the bank-business relationship. In particular, CDR Italia facilitates access to credit through a more effective presentation of financial reporting data, including through an innovative standardized business plan in line with IFRS9 and the latest requirements for SMEs.