Wednesday, 1 February 2012

CASE 386 - Equifax

Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency founded in the United States, considered one of the three largest American credit agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. Founded in 1899, Equifax is the oldest of the three agencies and gathers and maintains information on over 400 million credit holders worldwide. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax is a global service provider with US $1.5 billion in annual revenue and 7,000+ employees in 14 countries. Equifax is listed on the NYSE.

For most of its existence, Equifax has operated primarily in the business-to-business sector, selling consumer credit and insurance reports and related analytics to businesses in a range of industries.[citation needed] Business customers include retailers, insurance firms, healthcare providers, utilities, government agencies, as well as banks and other financial institutions. Equifax sells businesses credit reports, analytics, demographic data, and software. Credit reports provide detailed information on the personal credit and payment history of individuals, indicating how they have honored financial obligations such as paying bills or repaying a loan. Businesses then use this information to decide what sort of products or services to offer their customers, and on what terms.

From 1999, Equifax began offering services to the credit consumer sector in addition, such as credit fraud and identity theft prevention products. Equifax, and other credit monitoring agencies are required by law to provide US citizens with one free credit file disclosure every 12 months; the website incorporates data from US Equifax credit records.

Banks spy on people's financial activities to create behavior scores that help generate profitable marketing strategies and predict credit bureaus and other agencies are helping banks look deeply into your financial activities. Banks can now examine your rent payments, utility payments, income and home value. They can even rate your banking and spending habits. No matter how hard you try to avoid leaving financial footprints that reveal your spending and earning information, the banking industry is continually developing newer and better ways to spy on the financial behaviors of consumers, they usher people or get their worker bees to push new technology onto customers in all places of business within the service and financial industry, such as direct debit, chip and pin, swipeless cards, they really dont want people to pay with cash.

Every swipe you make with a debit or credit card is watched and analyzed. Every deposit and withdrawal you make is scrutinized. "Tighter credit standards, new ways to combat fraud and an ever-growing pile of monitoring services offered by credit bureaus and other analytics companies," according to Weston, means that whether you like it or not, the banking industry has more information about your financial situation than ever before.

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