Why you, the client, should want to be on Version 3 of Nova Credit’s API

Sarah Davies
Head of Risk & Analytics, Nova Credit

Credit bureaus in different countries gather similar information such as accounts, inquiries, payment history, balances and so forth, but their data definitions and format often reflect the nuances of credit practices in each region. Where one country might have a monthly payment cycle for all institutions, another may have daily, weekly, or quarterly cycles as well. Similarly, each country has expansive lists of seemingly diverse lending products. Even standard risk assessment metrics definitions such as credit card utilization may use different fields in the credit file based on how a country reports credit limits.

We at Nova Credit developed our API V3 to ensure that our international credit data is categorized according to commonly understood U.S. financial services industry products and definitions. For example, products such as microfinance loans, gold loans, Christmas loans and green deals are actually all forms of installment loans with very similar product and repayment structures. Knowing that these are installment loans and not revolving credit or secured mortgages helps U.S. underwriters accurately assess the consumer risk.

Two goals for API V3

We had two goals in mind when we developed Nova Credit’s API V3. First, from an underwriting/credit risk management perspective, it’s important to retain as much of this detail and nuance as possible to ensure underwriters have the most complete picture of a consumer’s credit profile. Second, it’s equally beneficial to align and standardize the international data with U.S. practices and understanding so that underwriters can apply a consistent and transparent decisioning approach to consumers from all countries. 

Our data scientists and engineers have conducted a comprehensive and detailed review of the credit data from every country on the Nova Credit platform. In some instances, this actually meant traveling to meet with the in-country bureaus in order to develop a deep understanding of their data. Having established this comprehensive knowledge base, we created a common framework and approach for reporting the data in a format that aligns with a typical U.S. credit profile. Over the last several months we have converted all bureaus on the Nova Credit platform to the new API format. 

As a result, we have classified and assigned more than 100 different loan products to the four principal types used in the U.S.: real estate, installment, revolving credit and no-preset limits. Payment history information follows a standard billing cycle format rather than unstructured combinations of calendar, cycle and period formats. In total, more than three hundred data elements have been aligned and standardized across the 11 bureaus that we currently deliver reports for. Our library of 100 credit metrics uses consistent definitions so that strategies evaluate consumers behaviors in the same manner. Underwriters can now interpret international credit reports according to their U.S. understanding and practices. 

Ready to get V3 data?

For customers that use the Nova Credit dashboard, we can switch you to V3 at anytime. For customers that have integrated with our API, you will be required to update the integration. We have created robust documentation to walk you through the changes. Note that all future countries (China! Kenya!) will only exist on V3. For this reason we recommend making plans to switch as soon as possible. 

Please reach out to your Nova Credit representative to learn more about the benefits of V3 and how to access this powerful new format.


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