Equifax Buys Specialty Reporting Agency DataX

The acquisition will help underbanked consumers gain access to credit and capital, Equifax says.
Matthew HellerJuly 16, 2018

Equifax said Monday it had acquired specialty credit reporting agency DataX Ltd. in a move it said would help lenders expand credit access to underbanked populations.

Las Vegas, Nev.-based DataX, which was founded in 2004, specializes in providing credit information to lenders in the subprime housing market. It also offers ID verification, bank account verification, and custom risk services.

Equifax said DataX’s data assets would complement the Equifax core credit database, adding alternative credit and payment data, analytics, and identity solutions on underbanked consumers to the installment loan, rent-to-own, and lease-to-own markets.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Giving consumers fair access to credit has always been a key economic driver for upward mobility, and this acquisition will help more consumers gain access to credit and capital,” Trey Loughran, president of Equifax’s United States Information Solutions unit, said in a news release.

“The combination of DataX’s data with Equifax’s unique and robust data assets will add more depth to consumer’s profiles and will help lenders expand borrowing options,” he added.

DataX’s proprietary database contains demographic, financial, and tradeline information and history for millions of consumers, making it one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

“Only 39 percent of Americans are able to cover a $1,000 emergency expense, which means the majority of people at some point will need some type of financial assistance,” Jon Geidel, president of DataX, noted.

“For more than 14 years, DataX’s mission has been to support our partners to find more reasons to include underbanked consumers,” he said. “Joining Equifax complements our mission and affords consumers better access to the credit they deserve to meet their financial needs.”

Equifax has been jolted recently by what may be the most costly data breach in history. Attackers entered its computer system in May 2017, compromising the personal information of more than 140 million Americans.

An investigation by regulators in eight states found “deficiencies in several facets of how Equifax operated and managed its information technology systems before the breach,” according to a news release.