Credit report company Equifax is extending its partnership with the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE), the firm said in a press release Thursday (Feb. 28).
Their deal sees Equifax providing SBFE members and other authorized customers with access to SBFE small business lending data as a certified vendor, supplementing Equifax's data provided through its Commercial Finance Network.
In a statement, Equifax U.S. Commercial Services SVP and GM Scott Spencer said the company's SBFE partnership "allows us to best serve our customers by providing the most differentiated data possible."
In another statement, SBFE CEO Carolyn Hardin-Levine said that SBFE members "rely on the SBFE's independent data governance controls to safeguard their business customer data."
Last year Equifax announced a partnership with Thinking Capital to launch BillMarket, a solution in Canada to provide small business credit information and financing applications. The platform is built to allow small business borrowers to understand their credit performance and use that information to extend payment terms throughout their supply chains.
The company also said last year it was joining its competitors to provide small business credit scoring information on the Nav platform.
Equifax's expansion of small business credit scoring data services followed a class action lawsuit filed in 2017 by small business owners related to its massive data breach that year. Lawyers filed the suit on behalf of 28 million small businesses, arguing SMBs were disproportionately impacted by the security breach that compromised Social Security numbers and other sensitive data.
"This is a real double-whammy situation for small business owners whose access to credit can often live or die in terms of their personal creditworthiness," said Attorney Jason Doss at the time. "The breach could either damage the business directly or through identity theft or it could cripple access to small business credit by damaging the 'linked' credit of the individual who owns the enterprise."