Issues with Equifax / Vocalink Fraud Checks

Hi Monzo Team,
I’m Head of Development at a fellow fintech which provides point-of-sale loans to people with thin credit files (feel free to look me up on Linkedin adamprescott01).

Our ground-breaking decision engine takes various factors into account from Open Banking and Credit Reference Agencies to allow people to obtain credit who would otherwise be denied.

Currently we can’t underwrite loans for Monzo customers because Monzo aren’t contributors to Vocalink or Equifax leaving us unable to automate some of our check. Monzo isn’t the only challenger bank we’ve seen with this issue, included in this is also Starling and Revolut.

I’ve gone full Monzo myself and I love the service, so I’d love to see Monzo supporting these Credit Reference Agency feeds, and at the very least adding Vocalink, I hope this is something you can get in the pipeline soon

Feel to message me directly if you would like more details.

Thanks,
Adam.

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I’m obviously not going to pretend I know anything or tell you about your seemingly very skilled job, I’m just interested given Starling reports to Equifax in as much as it’s on people’s Equifax credit reports, why it is that you can’t, presuming it’s not some sort of secret? Are there different levels of reporting, or is it something completely different to just reporting customers accounts to them that they’ve not done? Or is it the Vocalink bit that’s the issue?

Very nosey I appreciate, but this is the place to be nosey :rofl:

Yes, there are different types of reports available, when you check your credit report, you’ll probably see things such as soft-search and anti-money laundering (AML) checks. All of these reports contain different characteristics which tell lenders your finacial history, linked addresses and your most active bank account, it’s not too different to what you see in your credit report except it’s in a computer readable format. One such check is account validation which forms part of the AML check. Starling currently reports the negative balance in your account, i.e. whether you’re in your overdraft and by how much.

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Random question regarding credit scores. Just checking my ClearScore(Equifax) and noticed none of my current accounts show under Current Accounts (Barclays for example). Only credit cards.
Should the equifax be bringing in legacy current accounts too?

These accounts usually only appear in your report (or soft-search) if you happen to use your overdraft.

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Thanks. Good to know

Is there no way of just checking with the company Monzo use for their AML instead of needing them to sign up to a specific one?

Good question. The AML checks have different formats depending on the Credit Reference Agency (CRA) supplying it, I believe they all fallback on Vocalink to verify bank account/sortcode as this is essentially what powers the Faster Payments, BACS, and LINK network. This forms part of the central system which routes payments to different banks in the UK.

Though I don’t work in the payments industry, so I don’t know the data Vocalink requires to be able to propagate account validation back up to the various CRAs. I can only see that data is missing from Monzo and other challenger banks preventing validation by some CRAs

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Isn’t Vocalink owned by Mastercard? It seems weird that Monzo aren’t auto enrolled onto this.

Yes it is, though it’ll be a different feed Monzo need to use. This is essentially the product most lenders will be using or something in the CRA chain will depend on it https://www.vocalink.com/downloads-and-media/reports/account-verification/
I reckon, there are a few lenders who would auto-reject if they’re not receiving anything from this feed, with the odd one who would send to manual underwriting.

Luckily, I’ve not applied for any credit products since I switched from my RBS account, so I’ve not experienced any auto-rejections.