Credit card firms agree "behavioral data" sharing deal

26 November 2008

British credit card firms have agreed to amend their information sharing rules to allow the dissemination of "behavioral data" designed to flag up customers who may be at risk of falling into financial difficulty, it has been announced.

The initiative was announced by UK payments association Apacs, which said all of its members will participate in the exercise.

From December, Barclaycard, Capital One, GE Money, HBOS and MBNA will start sharing behavioral data. Additional firms will join the scheme once their IT systems are ready.

Traditionally, lenders have shared information on customers' balances, credit limits and if payments are up-to-date. The new rules will allow details such as their last payment amount, changes in credit limits and cash withdrawal records to be included.

This is designed to give credit card issuers a clearer picture of borrowers' card use, allowing them to determine appropriate lending levels in line with commitments under the Banking Code, Apacs said.

Paul Roford, the organization's head of card payments, described the rules as a "significant step forward" in delivering the credit card industry's commitment to responsible lending.

According to Apacs, the UK has 67.3 million credit cards on issue.

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