Saffron Building Society to launch online account application service with Experian

News release


Stephanie Dobson
Head of PR, Marketing Services
+44 (0) 115 9922515 Tel Email

Saffron Building Society to launch online account application service with Experian

Move will enable customers to deposit faster, improving Saffron’s profitability

Nottingham, UK, 2 December 2009
Saffron Building Society has selected Experian, the global information services company, to authenticate new savings account applications quickly and efficiently, as it prepares to launch its new online account opening service. The move reflects Saffron’s increasing multi-channel focus as it seeks to grow its customer base through its online services.

With Experian’s Authenticate service, new and existing customers who apply for Saffron savings accounts online will no longer need paper based proof of identity to hand, as their personal details will be automatically verified by Authenticate. The system checks the applicant’s personal information against Experian’s data sources to confirm identity and highlight risks of money laundering or fraud. The authentication result is returned quickly and customers can be given an instant decision on their application.

Saffron’s decision to electronically verify customers’ identities reflects a wider move in the financial services industry towards electronic authentication. According to a new report from Experian, 59 per cent of financial services organisations using electronic authentication say it has improved profitability because customers can deposit savings faster, while nearly half (49 per cent) say it has improved customer service and almost as many (47 per cent) say it has reduced fraud.

Andrew Rushworth, Operations Director at Saffron Building Society, says: “Using Authenticate to verify online account applications underlines our commitment to improving our customers’ experience across the range of channels we now use to help meet customers’ savings needs.  The speed of the service will allow us to process account applications more efficiently, providing new customers with a fully functioning account soon after the account is requested. It will also make the opening of accounts easier for our staff as our online savings range continues to grow.”

James Blake, Head of Experian’s UK Authenticate team, says: “Growth in the number of financial services companies introducing online offerings, combined with consumer expectations of online services in general, has put pressure on the sector to streamline application processes. The breadth and depth of data that Authenticate uses to remotely verify customers, means Saffron Building Society can bring customers on board much more quickly whilst satisfying increasingly tough regulatory requirements. In the case of its savings customers, it also means that they can start depositing sooner, tying in with the FSA's drive to improve liquidity across the building society sector as a whole.”

Saffron Building Society has been in operation for nearly 150 years and this new strategy supports its aim of growing its 160,000 strong customer base and encouraging new customers to save.


About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.

For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.  Experian has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and has operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK.  The Group employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries worldwide, supporting clients in over 65 countries around the world. Total Group revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9bn.

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