Payments

American Express partners with Nova Credit translating international credit scoring for immigrants and expats

  • Immigrants to the US complain about how hard it is to obtain credit.
  • Amex has partnered with Nova in translating foreign scores to extend credit to immigrants and expats.
close

Email a Friend

American Express partners with Nova Credit translating international credit scoring for immigrants and expats

Whether you’re a new immigrant, an expat moving for work, or a foreign student, getting issued credit when your credit history resides in another country is frustratingly difficult. That’s changing as incumbents and fintech startups continue to work on solutions.

American Express is announcing it has joined forces with a cross-border credit reporting startup, Nova Credit, to launch a first-of-its-kind digital capability that enables newcomers to the U.S. to share individual credit reports from five international bureaus when applying for an American Express U.S. Personal Card and potentially get approved instantly.

This makes American Express the first global payments company to offer immigrants and expats to the United States the ability to use Nova Credit’s Credit Passport technology to instantly translate certain international credit reports into a U.S. equivalent credit report and score during the online application process.

Sara Milsten, svp of new member acquisition for U.S. consumer services at American Express, is our guest today on the Tearsheet Podcast.

SubscribeApple Podcasts I SoundCloud I Spotify I Google Podcasts
The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

The voice of the customer

We continuously stay current on the market, thinking about innovation and solutions we can bring to current and prospective cardmembers as they look for new products.

The challenge of cross-border

We’ve known that cross-border movement is a challenging experience from our customers and from our colleagues at American Express. It is very difficult to move cross border and port your credit history from your home market with you. It can result in a very cumbersome and delayed process in getting a new card product or establishing a financial foothold in the United States.

Making the decision to address the cross-border challenge

The trigger for this announcement was the opportunity and connection with Nova Credit, as they have brought a really elegant solution to a very fragmented, global problem. We are excited to be the first and only issuer in the US to pursue this opportunity.

We had looked at and developed in-house solutions, but they weren’t as slick or seamless an experience as what we’re introducing to the market right now.

Sizing the opportunity

In terms of scale, there are over 10 million immigrants and visas issued over the past five years. These are largely people who are coming to the United States to study and pursue professional opportunities. These folks are highly educated and as they get here and look to build their lives, they find that it’s incredibly difficult to jumpstart their financial lives. There are so many things in this country that begin with a credit score at the start of a transaction, like renting an apartment and getting a mobile phone.

There’s an element of surprise after a long journey to get here that presents a huge barrier. We’re really excited to help people solve this with a seamless digital application experience that hopefully takes away all the friction around this process, so people can do what they came here to do — arrive and thrive in this country.

In terms of translating people’s credit history into something American Express can use in our underwriting processes, that’s a highly fragmented problem as it relates point to point with the market.

The partnership with Nova

For applicants coming from five markets — Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the UK — we’ve created a seamless digital journey where they can securely share their credit history from their home market in our digital application. Nova can leverage that information to translate it into a US credit equivalent in order to enable us to continue on to complete the application process — and if they’re approved, to extend credit.

The experience for this segment that needs to bring in their credit history from their home market is entirely integrated into the digital journey. In just a few clicks, they can submit the application and be approved instantly if all the checks and process occurs smoothly.

Initial feedback

We have been working on this for quite some time and have been beta testing for nearly a year. So, we’re excited by the volume and the quality of the experience we’ve delivered. To date, we’ve worked with Nova to translate thousands of credit reports from international markets as part of this experience.

Nova has a footprint with additional markets and while we can’t share specifics, we do plan to scale and continue to explore future opportunities for growth.

0 comments on “American Express partners with Nova Credit translating international credit scoring for immigrants and expats”

Payments, Podcasts

Payoneer’s Charles Rosenblatt: ‘We found a way to play on both sides of the market’

  • Charles Rosenblatt has a long career in payments.
  • Joining Payoneer recently as chief strategy officer, he joins us to discuss the company's progress and future plans.
Zachary Miller | September 14, 2020
Payments

Ant Group files to go public in what could be the largest IPO in history

  • China's Ant Group has filed for a massive dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
  • The payments firm has expanding into banking, insurance and investing via third parties.
Zoe Murphy | August 26, 2020
Payments, Podcasts

WePay’s Jennifer Parker: ‘We’re seeing inspiring early pivots with software firms and marketplaces’

  • WePay provides payment APIs to ISVs and marketplaces.
  • CRO Jennifer Parker joins us on the podcast to discuss initiatives she's leading during the crisis.
Zachary Miller | August 06, 2020
Payments, Podcasts

Afterpay’s Laura Nadler on the new loyalty program and expansion plans in the U.S.

  • Afterpay is one of the fastest growing buy now, pay later firms in the world.
  • The US CFO joins us to talk about levers for that growth and the fintech's priorities for 2020 and beyond.
Zachary Miller | August 04, 2020
Payments

Mastercard partners with Microsoft to accelerate innovation across payments

  • Financial inclusion is a big theme for both firms.
  • Microsoft's Azure cloud environment will provide the infrastructure for Mastercard's partners' inclusion products and services.
Zoe Murphy | July 28, 2020
More Articles