SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FICO (NYSE: FICO), a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, today announced that credit card customers of Barclaycard US, the payments business of Barclays in the United States, and First Bankcard, the credit card division of First National Bank of Omaha, can now access their FICO® Scores completely free of charge. Through the new FICO® Score Open Access program, these customers will have access to the same FICO® Scores used by Barclaycard and First Bankcard to manage their accounts. In addition to their FICO® Score — the standard measure of U.S. consumer credit risk — these customers will see the two most important factors affecting their score, as well as FICO educational materials to help them better understand credit scoring and what behaviors impact their FICO Score.
"Research shows that the majority of consumers don't know or understand their credit scores and the role the score plays in determining their eligibility for a credit card, as well as their card limit and interest rate," noted Stephen F. Eulie, president of First Bankcard, one of the first banks in the U.S. to issue credit cards. "In keeping with our long history of innovation and doing what's right for our customers, we saw an important opportunity to partner with FICO to educate our credit card customers about credit scores and let them know that there are simple steps they can take to improve their financial health."
"Consumers today are confused by the various credit scores available for purchase," said James Wehmann, executive vice president of Scores at FICO. "This new program provides individuals with the specific FICO Score used by lenders to make credit decisions regarding an individual customer. In 2012 approximately 10 billion FICO Scores were bought by lenders for risk management purposes and we are prepared to allow all of them to be shared with bank customers without any additional score fee charged by FICO to lenders."
"By offering our customers access to the same FICO Score information used by nearly every lender in the US, we're giving our customers a clear, concise picture of their credit worthiness," said Paul Wilmore, General Manager –Consumer Markets at Barclaycard US, a top 10 U.S. credit card issuer. "FICO Score Open Access is a great addition to the complementary tools, services and educational information that we offer our cardmembers to help them take control of their finances."
"Consumers want a better understanding of their credit score and how it could impact their access to credit and the interest rate they're offered," said CEB TowerGroup Senior Research Director Craig Focardi. "Financial institutions that provide a free credit score are helping their customers understand their options and make smarter credit decisions. Knowledge is power and a knowledgeable consumer might be a lower risk consumer."
The FICO® Score Open Access program is available to all financial services providers in the U.S. that use FICO® Scores to manage consumer credit. Institutions can visit http://subscribe.fico.com/open-access for further information and details.
About the FICO® Score
With over 10 billion FICO® Scores used worldwide every year to empower lenders to make credit decisions, the FICO® Score has become the standard measure of U.S. consumer credit risk. FICO® Scores are used today in more than 20 countries on five continents, as well as all of the top 50 U.S. financial institutions and both the 25 largest U.S. credit card issuers and auto lenders. FICO® Score: The score lenders use.™
FICO (NYSE: FICO) is a leading analytics software company, helping businesses in 80+ countries make better decisions that drive higher levels of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. The company's groundbreaking use of Big Data and mathematical algorithms to predict consumer behavior has transformed entire industries. FICO provides analytics software and tools used across multiple industries to manage risk, fight fraud, build more profitable customer relationships, optimize operations and meet strict government regulations. Many of our products reach industry-wide adoption — such as the FICO® Score, the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the United States. FICO solutions leverage open-source standards and cloud computing to maximize flexibility, speed deployment and reduce costs. The company also helps millions of people manage their personal credit health. FICO: Make every decision count™. Learn more at www.fico.com.
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