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Credit report company Experian now lets users create their own payment history

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Experian North America CEO Craig Boundy joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's new program that will allow users to build a credit report, the rise of buy now, pay later, and the outlook for credit today.

Video Transcript

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- Nearly 50 million consumers have a non-existent or limited credit history. Experian is out with a new tool that's actually making it possible for people to be able to build credit without incurring debt. This is a big topic and here with more is Craig Boundy, who is the Experian North American CEO. Great to have you here with us, Craig. We got to dive right in. The official launch of Experian Go-- it actually follows a private-- a pilot program, 15,000 people took advantage of that. So what were some of the most common bills, perhaps, that they were leveraging to really build up their credit.

CRAIG BOUNDY: Look, thanks for having me here today. It's really great to get a chance to talk about such an important topic. You know, today almost one in 10 Americans, almost 28 million people, are struggling to get access to mainstream financial products and that means that they pay higher interest rates than they deserve, it means that they're not able to take advantage of some of the financial options available to many of us. And Experian Go lets them create their financial identity for the first time. It's a very simple process to do. And it's the only place you can do it today. You can create your own financial identity and get an Experian credit report. And it lets you then start adding over time bills that you're paying to build up your financial history. Those bills might be your utility bill, they might be simple things like you pay your Netflix account or your gym account, lets consumers take control of their own financial circumstances.

- Yeah, Craig, I wonder if you can elaborate that-- on that a bit because, you know, we've heard from a lot of companies who are kind of tapping into this space where especially younger consumers haven't been able to build up credit in the way they'd like to. I mean, what are you seeing in terms of the generational divide? Is it that or is there something more?

CRAIG BOUNDY: I think it's a great question. Honestly, I think today there isn't an option for somebody when they, you know, come of age, think about it like that, or for communities where people have just not been able to get access to these financial products to build their own financial identity and Experian Go lets them do that. It's really simple, easy to use, completely free. All you need to do is download the app, add in your Social Security number, take a picture of a government ID, and take a selfie that helps us validate that we know it's you, and you've built your own credit report. You've actually entered the financial ecosystem, if you like. And that's a simple thing to do, free, and you can do it with the Experian. It really matters to people. And for these 28 million people that we classify as credit invisible today, it's going to make a real difference in their lives.

- Craig, it's also interesting-- coming out of this most recent holiday season, one of the other things that people spend on is gifts, is shopping. And some of their retail purchases-- and there is a trend of buy now, pay later being used in an accelerating fashion. There was some Salesforce data that actually showed that transaction service increased by about 40% over 2020. So with all of that in mind, I think Experian also-- you had been talking about and announcing some tools on the buy now, pay later front. What do you believe will be achieved for consumers in being able to build up their credit in a positive manner, even with a service like buy now, pay later in play?

CRAIG BOUNDY: Yeah, thanks for asking. You know, actually if we step back on this, this is really part of the core of our strategy, our mission, which is to help consumers get access to the financial products they deserve and so there are multiple bits to that. Experian Go lets you create your financial identity. Our Experian Boost product then lets you add information to your credit report about positive things that you're doing, that you deserve credit for on your credit score. And then we've got this new phenomenon-- or relatively new phenomenon of people taking advantage of buy now, pay later services. And they're different to typical debt products like different credit card payments. And so what we've done there is then build a new specialty bureau, lets us track that information in a simple way, and accurately represent it for both the consumer and lenders. And this is a first of its kind as well. So all of these parts come together to show how we're helping individuals, you and me, get access to the financial products deserve and let the lending institutions have a truly excellent representation of the risk that we represent.

- Well, Craig, appreciate you stopping by on this Friday. Craig Boundy, Experian North America CEO joining us--