Nova Credit looks to expand into Europe, seeking to unlock credit for immigrants excluded from archaic cross-border credit system

Nova Credit is currently seeking FCA authorisation to expand offering to UK

San Francisco & London, 12 April 2022 - Nova Credit, the fintech unlocking opportunities for those historically excluded from the credit system and companies looking to serve them in the United States, has announced the company’s planned expansion into Europe. The company has made key hires in the UK with the ambition of expanding outside the United States and into the European market. Nova Credit Co-Founder Nicky Goulimis will serve as the Executive Director of Nova Credit UK, and Matt Davies (1), who is based in the UK and has extensive experience in consumer credit, joins Nova Credit as Head of UK Market Development.  

San Francisco-founded Nova Credit is a cross-border credit bureau that’s on a mission to accelerate financial inclusion for millions of creditworthy individuals who immigrate to new countries every year. Upon arrival, these individuals are without any credit history that lenders in their destination country can evaluate. Subsequently, they struggle to access fairly priced credit-based products like credit cards, car finance, or phone contracts and must pay as much as six months’ rent upfront or find a guarantor to secure an apartment.

Blending deep relationships with consumer credit bureaus around the world, API-driven credit risk technology, and a vast understanding of the regulatory landscape for consumer credit, the capability pulls newcomers’ established credit data from their country of origin and converts it into an equivalent score and report suitable for use by lenders and financial services providers in their new host country. 

Since launching in the USA in 2016, Nova Credit has developed partnerships with credit bureaus in over 20 countries globally to take their data and standardise it into a format readily accepted by US lenders and financial services providers. To date, Nova Credit has helped unlock consumer-permissioned access to over 2 billion credit profiles. This data enables lenders, credit card providers, telecom businesses and tenant screening companies across the U.S. to underwrite products for people who would have otherwise been excluded from obtaining financial access. Nova Credit Inc, the group's U.S based company, currently services the following institutions: American Express, Verizon and SoFi.  

Collin Galster, VP International at Nova Credit, comments: “Millions of immigrants cross borders every year to work, study and establish new lives for themselves and their families. In doing so, they leave years of credit history behind them, ‘stuck’ in the countries they’ve left. The majority of these individuals are creditworthy, yet underserved. Without access to their past credit history, lenders have no choice but to automatically decline their applications for new finance.

“The global credit reporting system was built within national silos that fail to meet the needs of an increasingly globalised and integrated world. Newcomers lack access to funds they need to finance new homes, cars, education or phone contracts and must spend years rebuilding their credit scores from scratch. Likewise, lenders want to be able to serve this vast market of credit worthy individuals, but lack the tools to do so. We’re thrilled to work toward bringing our cross-border capabilities to serve migrant corridors destined for and within Europe.” 

Nova Credit’s intended future expansion into Europe aims to eventually unlock similar opportunities for immigrants into the UK. Of the 10 million immigrants living in the UK today, 3.5 million are relative newcomers who have little or no UK credit history but who, based on the historic credit data in their country of origin, could be categorised by UK lenders as creditworthy borrowers.(2)  As of the date of this publication, the company has not been authorized to provide services in the UK by applicable regulatory authorities and does not currently do so.  

Matt Davies, Head of UK Market Development at Nova Credit, comments: “By 2035, 100% of the UK’s annual net population growth is expected to come from immigration.(3) Creating financial services that work for these people - the majority of whom, we believe, are highly skilled and educated - from day one of their arrival is essential. We’re excited to work toward bringing the knowledge, experience and relationships that Nova Credit has built over several years to eventually enable UK and European lenders and financial services providers gain access to this deserving but massively underserved, untapped market.”

More than 1.3 million immigrants were granted visas to the UK last year.(4) 80% of foreign-born residents remain in the UK for at least five years(5) and the same proportion are between 18 and 44 years old(6). Additionally, the mean income of a foreign-born individual working in the UK is higher than that of a UK-born national,(7) further highlighting the attractiveness to credit providers of accessing this community of potential long-term credit customers. 

From its UK base, the startup will build partnerships with more credit bureaus throughout Europe and the rest of the world. 

Nicky Goulimis, Nova Credit Co-Founder & Executive Director of Nova Credit UK, concludes: “Until Nova Credit, there’s been no standardised way for lenders to communicate with credit bureaus around the world. In a world where so much is instinctively interconnected and internationally available with one-click ease, Nova Credit is creating a new world order for global credit data management that makes relocating between countries more frictionless than ever.”

NovaCredit is not currently authorised by the FCA and cannot provide credit references in the UK however is currently seeking approval to do so.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Matt Davies is Nova Credit’s Head of U.K. Market Development. Matt has many years’ experience in the credit, financial services and data sectors with a focus on consumer inclusivity in his most recent role as Chief Commercial Officer at consumer credit startup, Aire Labs. Matt’s previous experience has included senior business development roles at NTT DATA and Nokia.

2 - 7. Sources: United Nations, Office of National Statistics, Gov.uk, The Migration Observatory

CONTACT

(UK) Carmen Dixon | carmen@mountviewcomms.com | 07717 278846

(US) Rachel Levy | novacredit@v2comms.com