How creditworthy are your customers? Why would you need to know?

Part 3 of 3

We have written recently about the benefits of knowing your personal and business credit rating and the options in the marketplace for obtaining your credit reports. So we thought we would follow on this week by writing about the benefits of investigating your customers’ credit scores and the options in the marketplace for obtaining them.

So why would you want to know about your customers’ and suppliers’ credit profile?

Knowing your customers business credit profile allows you to make better-informed decisions about your customers, suppliers and who you do business with. For example the decision to give credit terms to a new customer, the amount of credit you might offer, or the reliability of a potential supplier.

This information may be key in determining whether you want to do business, or should do business, with a particular company. It may also help you to determine how flexible you should be with the terms or negotiations with a customer or supplier.

We have researched four of the main providers and below are the details of the reports and services they offer.

Creditsafe offers a free trial to their credit check service that includes credit scores and limits, company financials, Trading locations, Directors & Shareholders, Corporate linkages and adverse credit insights. You also have the option to add International credit reports, API & integrations, Consumer credit reports and onboarding and compliance.

When you register your interest for the free trial, Creditsafe will call you to discuss your needs and provide you with an appropriate trial period. Thereafter their services are chargeable with three packages on offer.

Standard

  • Credit & Risk
  • Freedom access to company credit reports
  • 5 International credit reports
  • Fresh Investigation
  • UK only monitoring
  • 5 Users
  • Sales & Marketing
  • 1,500 Marketing data records
  • Free data audit

Plus

  • Credit & Risk
  • Freedom access to company credit reports
  • 50 International credit reports
  • Fresh Investigation
  • International monitoring
  • 10 Users
  • Sales & Marketing
  • 3,000 Marketing data records
  • Free data audit

Premier

  • Credit & Risk
  • Freedom access to company credit reports
  • 150 International credit reports
  • 5 Fresh Investigation
  • International monitoring
  • 10+ Users
  • Sales & Marketing
  • 10,000 Marketing data records
  • Free data audit & Enhancement

They also offer a range of products that do not come as standard within their packages covering areas such as consumer products, compliance solutions or integrating Creditsafe data into your systems.

Experian offers several packages and services dependent on your business needs. The two main services in relation to credit scores are Experian Express and BusinessIQ.

Experian – Business Express Credit Reports

Experian Business Express is one the best known predictive scoring models in the industry. It allows you to determine the creditworthiness of who you are doing business with.

Business Express can help you predict business credit risks and failures within the next 12 months. It offers a free trial and provides you with access to all the data you need to make the right decisions for your business. The credit reports will provide you with a complete and in-depth analysis of a business’ credit information.

Standard – Ideal for lighter usage

  •   Business information including credit scores and limits
  •   3 years account summary
  •   CCJ information over the last 6 years
  •   Basic monitoring
  •   Non-limited business reports
  •   Parent & ultimate holding companies
  •   Directors & links to other business interest including shareholder.

Bundle – Perfect most usage levels

  •   3 years of full financial information
  •   Payment data for Limited and Non-Limited businesses
  •   Ownership – Group Structure, shareholders & director search facility

Bespoke – A service for specific needs

The bespoke service provides businesses with special credit reporting needs with a service designed to suit their specific needs.

Experian – BusinessIQ

BusinessIQ is an online platform to manage your business customers, making credit decisions, automating credit applications, managing your portfolios of customers and receiving alerts. A clear dashboard allows you to identify areas of risk and opportunity. BusinessIQ provides you with the benefits if Experian Business Express together with additional tools and a total software package.

Equifax offers a full range of services to suit your business needs. Their business credit reports contain information on:

  • Firmographics (aka business demographics)
  • Public records, such as judgments, liens, UCCs and bankruptcies
  • Trade payment history
  • Financial payment history
  • Corporate family trees and identifying information for each business level
  • Small business owner and/or guarantors associated with the business

The data provided in their reports provide insight into the people and businesses you deal with. They look at the potential links of “hidden” directorships within a business, cross-referencing surname, date of birth, public address, usual residential address and identifying close matches to each item to highlight potential risks.

They also have a look into CCJs that may be linked to other organisations at the same location as the target company helping to identify linked companies where fraud and criminal activity have taken place. The information provided means you can be confident that you are entering into a relationship with a reputable and creditworthy business, protecting your reputation and investment.

The Equifax commercial Credit Reports also allow you to receive alerts that notify you of any changes in circumstances, such as director, address, detrimental credit and fraud information. This ensures you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

If your business requires a more specific and informative credit management system then Equifax Business Connect provides a platform to help simplify, streamline and accelerate collections and credit management processes.  The software automates routine tasks and decisions, helps centralise many operations involved in the account acquisition, account management and your recovery processes under one interactive, cloud-based platform.

Equifax Business Connect allows:

  • improved sales pipeline quality
  • automated credit decisions and risk monitoring
  • lower DSO
  • shorter collection cycles
  • better cash forecasting
  • increased productivity
  • cross-functional collaboration and much more

The Dun & Brad Street (D&B) Statutory Credit Reporter provides you with access to your standard credit file. However, the D&B Credit Monitor, whilst providing you with a standard credit file, also provides the following:

  •      Access your full D&B credit report for 12 months
  •      Alters on changes in your score
  •      Benchmark performance against your peers
  •      The ability to include your report in tenders
  •      Get your D&B D-U-NS Number

D&B also offer Credit Essentials, which combines D&B Credit Monitor and D&B Credit Reporter and allows you to evaluate your own credit rating and be aware of what’s being reported about your company in real-time, whilst D&B Credit Reporter allows you to quickly assess the financial health of new credit applicants – and keep an eye on changes over time with alerts on your key accounts. Credit Essentials will help you to ensure the successful growth of your company without exposing it to unnecessary credit risk.

D&B also offer DNBi Risk Management to help businesses automate and manage new credit applications, review accounts and systemise management processes.

DNBi is an advanced rules-based all-encompassing credit risk management tool.

So don’t leave it to chance – check out your customers and suppliers to see how creditworthy they are. If you don’t you could be counting the cost!

For further information, you can contact the individual CRAs on the associated costs of each service.