American Express has partnered with Nova Credit, a credit reporting startup that operates across borders, to give expatriates and immigrants the ability to share their previous credit scores with American Express when applying for a credit card.
Currently, people from Canada, Australia, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom can transfer reports, with more countries to become available over time. Nova is extending its Credit Passport technology, which allows for the instant transfer of information from international credit reporting agencies to their U.S. equivalent.
“We want to help remove a barrier for millions of people who’ve been otherwise ignored by the U.S. financial system,” said Sara Milsten, senior vice president of new member acquisition, U.S. consumer services at American Express. “Thanks to Nova Credit’s Credit Passport, we can offer newcomers from five international countries the ability to share their credit history with us, making it possible for American Express to extend credit to more people.”
The obtained credit report is used as an extra data point in American Express’ underwriting model to help in deciding a person's credit health. If a person is deemed eligible, they will instantly be provided with a 15-digit card number to immediately start using Amex credit.
“We believe that no matter where you build a credit history, you should be able to keep it,” said Sarah Davies, head of risk and analytics at Nova Credit. “By translating international credit records from top bureaus around the world into a U.S.-equivalent score and enabling newcomers to share their credit history with U.S. underwriters like American Express, we are helping people who move to the U.S. to arrive and thrive.”
It can be difficult for new people arriving to the country to build credit, and especially frustrating when they’ve already done so in another country. American Express wants to help with that issue using Nova Credit’s technology, it said.