Equifax Ignite Live 2021
2021 saw Equifax Ignite Live take to the virtual arena for a deep dive into the widespread impact of COVID-19 on the financial sector and credit industry, the key trends impacting businesses and consumers, and the market outlook for the year ahead.
The session was attended by more than 190 professionals from financial and business institutions, and got to grips with pressing trends in digitisation, the increasing focus on affordability, technology and Open Banking. The panel was also joined by award-winning journalist, behavioural economist and broadcaster Tim Harford for an intriguing keynote to close the event.
Setting the scene, Patricio Remón, European President at Equifax, began with a review of 2020 and discussed the joint achievements of Equifax and its clients in the face of disruption and adversity. With lockdown driving demand for digital journeys, Patricio focused on the role of data insights in powering the UK’s recovery and helping clients and consumers navigate safely through the pandemic crisis.
A panel of experts then took to the floor for a fireside Q&A, sharing their insights on the key emerging trends in the credit market.
Paul Heywood, Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Equifax, noted the success of forbearance and government COVID-19 support schemes, helping many avoid arrears, but also the growth of customers potentially experiencing financial stress. He pointed to the continuing cautiousness of creditors, and shared insights on how digitisation has become a standing agenda item for businesses, particularly with the growth of fintech and neobanks.
Echoing this, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Equifax, Jayadeep Nair highlighted how COVID-19 induced digital acceleration and engagement was here to stay. Emphasising the role of frictionless customer experience, he noted the growing importance in trust and data confidence. Jayadeep explained that affordability has become front of mind for creditors, with a live poll revealing that almost a third (32%) of attendants saw managing increased volumes of customers in debt as the biggest challenge in the months ahead.
Emma Steeley, CEO at AccountScore, recently acquired by Equifax, stressed that while Open Banking was not a silver bullet for affordability on its own, it was the most powerful solution available when combined with analysis, integration and income verification. She emphasised how APIs are evolving from a tactical solution to a true strategic centrepiece, and why combining bureau and Open Banking data was key for the next generation of creditors.
Jeremy Lewis, Chief Technology Officer at Equifax, discussed the direction of travel in operational technology and the challenges of balancing security improvements with new product developments. Jeremy underlined the importance of robust security and performance monitoring, as well as the benefits of cloud data storage.
As the panel debate drew to a close, Robert McKechnie, Products & Partnerships Director, highlighted the key tools that businesses can leverage in the recovery ahead. Robert explained how Equifax’s big data capabilities offer a window into the macro and micro economy to bring the impact of COVID-19 into focus, while also shedding light on risk and improving transparency with Open Banking and ID verification.
Concluding the webinar with a reflective keynote, award-winning journalist and behavioural economist Tim Harford then led the panel in an immersive discussion of the Ostrich Effect and its relevance today. From negative panic to optimism bias, Tim prompted a thought-provoking closing discussion on how the credit market can navigate decision-making, the pandemic and move beyond historical data trends for optimal outcomes.
To watch to the webinar please visit: