The recent Open Banking initiative that promised a ‘revolution’ in the way bank account data can be used by third parties is already making inroads into the private rented sector, it has been claimed.
Proptech firm CreditLadder says the first tenant has now signed up to its Open Banking-enabled rent reporting service and that over a thousand tenants have followed suit.
The company, which calls itself a credit improvement platform and has processed £14m of rents since it launched, asks tenants to allow their bank account statements to be read each month by CreditLadder.
It then notifies partner reference agency Experian, the largest in the UK, about each payment including whether the rent was paid on time and in full. This payment track record is then added to their credit history by Experian.
The service, which is being offered to tenants for free, generates its income both through a premium tenant service and a paid-for package for letting agents. CreditLadder says it already works with 700 agents branches in the UK.
“When CreditLadder launched its Open Banking service last month we were acutely aware that the take up maybe held back given the newness of the technology,” says CreditLadder CEO Sheraz Dar.
“But so far Open Banking is proving popular with our customers. The number of people signing up to our service has doubled and 80% of those applying to join our service now do so via Open Banking.
The first tenant to sign up to the service is Ian Cuthbertson (left), a 33-year old civil servant living in Norwich who rents a two-bedroom house within a converted barn for £700 a month with his partner.
“We are planning to buy a home in a few years’ time so I’ve been realising more and more that I need to improve my chances of getting a mortgage,” he says.
“I’ve been looking at how I manage my credit cards and trying to make little tweaks here and there to my finances so that I present myself as trustworthy to lenders.”