In March 2017, personally identifiable data on hundreds of millions of people was stolen from Equifax, one of the credit reporting agencies that assess the financial health of nearly everyone in the United States.
As we will see, the breach spawned a series of scandals and controversies – Equifax was criticized for everything from its lax security posture to its clumsy response to the breach, and top executives were accused of corruption as a result. And the question of who was behind the breach has serious implications for the global political landscape.
What is Equifax?
Equifax is a credit bureau. Equifax tracks borrowers’ credit history to generate credit reports and credit scores. It sells this information to banks and other financial institutions to help them determine the credit risk of their customers. The other leading U.S. credit bureaus are Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO), Experian and TransUnion.
What does Equifax do?
Equifax collects information provided by its registered members into a format usable for producing credit information reports (CIRs) and customer credit scores under the Credit Reporting Company Regulation Act of 2005. The information provided by registered members is used to determine the credit behaviour of customers and thereby assist lenders in assessing the creditworthiness and repayment capacity of borrowers. Equifax uses proprietary tools that are customized to meet specific requirements to help lenders make informed credit decisions. Both lenders and borrowers can access credit information available in the Equifax database. Lenders can therefore improve the quality of their assets while borrowers can review their credit reports. Equifax uses specific matching algorithms and advanced (search) techniques to achieve greater accuracy.
Innovative products and increased revenues
TIBCO Spotfire software helped Equifax provide more dynamic information. Doing so changed customer perceptions and supported the company’s vision of being a trusted, customer-centric partner.
“The idea of using Spotfire analytics to visualize our data and sell it as a product was something completely new and innovative,” says David Ferber, senior vice president of data and analytics. “We were shipping data and believed our customers had the expertise to make the most of it. Now, they’re coming to us and looking to our teams for help in doing even more with the data, and that’s never happened before in my 20-plus years.”
Usage has skyrocketed and revenue has grown steadily year over year.
Better and easier sales and reporting
Spotfire software is also used for presales, to show the value of products. Teams will create customized visualizations of a client’s portfolio that show ROI and the value they can expect – an easy way to consume information.
Equifax uses Spotfire analytics for reporting, record tracking, data quality and data governance. These tasks were manual and difficult before, but now they are much easier. “There is a wealth of reporting and analytics on what people are doing in our big data environment, so they have more visibility and insight than ever into who is using the data and what they are doing with it,” Ferber says.
Data for good
Equifax’s chief analytics and data officer tells the story of his arrival in Manhattan from India and his struggles as an “invisible credit,” unable to get a credit card or a car loan. He knew people who helped him get a loan, but not everyone has such a network and, today, 25 million people in the U.S. are “credit invisible” consumers, with no credible data.
Equifax’s macro data, compiled from hundreds of sources not generally used by banks and now more accessible and understandable with Spotfire’s visualizations, is changing that scenario. Banks can be more confident now because there is additional alternative data to help make those decisions. “If we don’t have credit data on you, at least we have some information that a lender could use to understand the risk you would take when lending you money,” Ferber explains.
What are the features of Equifax ePORT?
- All users can get a personalized and secure web experience while using the portal.
- The portal acts as a common entry point and source of information for companies regardless of size.
- Get role- and location-based security to control access to information.
- All information related to Equifax products can be accessed through a designated repository and distribution mechanism.
- The portal helps companies better serve their valued customers by impacting their productivity.
- Users can select products from the integrated marketplace in real time.
- Enables faster and easier access to product information and solutions.
- Provides faster response time to requests.
- Ensures better customer service and offers a channel to download data directly.
- Standard premium features such as security, administration, customization and user preferences are available.
How to register and log in to Equifax ePORT?
As a preliminary requirement, you must be an Equifax customer to qualify to register for ePORT. Here are the steps to follow for the registration process:
- Visit the official Equifax ePORT website at eport.equifax.co.in.
- Click on the “CLICK HERE to register for ePORT today” button to start the registration process.
- You will be redirected to a “Contact Us” page. Choose a method that is convenient for you.
- You must retain information such as company name, Equifax member number, address (the same as the physical CIS address) and security digits to register for ePORT.
- You will be assigned a login ID and password once you successfully register.
- Use the login credentials provided to access the wide range of tools available on the portal.