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October 28, 2019

American Express, Nova Credit partner on credit card access for US immigrants

American Express has partnered with cross-border credit reporting start-up Nova Credit to help immigrants obtain credit card in the US.

The alliance is meant to provide card access to customers who lack credit history in the country.

Immigrants from Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the UK will be able to use Nova Credit’s Credit Passport technology while applying for an American Express US Personal Card.

The technology enables immediate conversion of credit records from some international credit reporting agencies into a US-equivalent report and score.

American Express senior vice-president of New Member Acquisition at US Consumer Services Sara Milsten said: “We want to help remove a barrier for millions of people who’ve been otherwise ignored by the US financial system.

“Thanks to Nova Credit’s Credit Passport, we can offer newcomers from five international countries the ability to share their credit history with us — making it possible for American Express to extend credit to more people.”

Currently, immigrants or expats need up to five years to build a US credit history equivalent to that present in their prior country of residence.

With Nova Credit technology, American Express aims to provide quick and informed decisions while processing applications for cards.

Applicants will have to authorise Nova Credit to convert their raw international credit bureau data and share it with American Express.

American Express will use the US-equivalent credit report as an additional data point in its underwriting model.

If the application is approved, the card company will issue a 15-digit Instant Card Number, which can be used until the physical card arrives in the mail.

Nova Credit head of Risk & Analytics Sarah Davies said: “By translating international credit records from top bureaus around the world into a US-equivalent score and enabling newcomers to share their credit history with US underwriters like American Express, we are helping people who move to the US to arrive and thrive.”

The companies intend to expand the service to additional countries.

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