US-Based FinTech Nova Credit Expands to Europe

credit history

Nova Credit, the San Francisco-headquartered FinTech, is betting Europe will be the next place to set up shop, the company announced Tuesday (April 12).

The cross-border credit bureau said it will launch in the United Kingdom first and plans to eventually serve the European market.

Co-founder Nicky Goulimis will serve as the executive director of Nova Credit U.K.; Collin Galster will manage strategic operations; and Matt Davies has been hired as head of U.K. market development.

The firm’s mission is to provide financial inclusion for creditworthy immigrants. When they arrive in a new country, these consumers lack a credit history. As a result, they struggle to access credit cards, vehicle financing, or phone contracts. In addition, they must pay as much as six months’ rent in advance or have a co-signer to secure an apartment.

Since its launch in 2016, Nova Credit said it has partnered with credit bureaus in more than 20 countries to standardize immigrant credit data into a form that would be accepted by U.S. banks and FinTechs.

So far, the company has unlocked access to more than 2 billion credit profiles. The data allows banks, credit card and telecom companies as well as tenant screening firms in the U.S. to underwrite products for people who would have been excluded from obtaining credit.

“Until Nova Credit, there’s been no standardized way for lenders to communicate with credit bureaus around the world,” said Goulimis in a statement.

In December, American Express announced it would collaborate with Nova Credit to offer expanded credit access to residents of Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Kenya and Nigeria who have moved to the U.S.

Read more: Amex, Nova Credit Expands Credit Partnership to More US Immigrants

As international credit histories are not always accepted by organizations in the U.S., this service provides immigrants with a new way to build consumer credit.