New data sources could boost financial inclusion by 1.5 million

Rental payments, combined with utilities and Open Banking data has the potential to inform better decisions and enable greater access to mainstream financial services

UK, 12 March 2019: Experian has targeted radically reducing the UK’s ‘Invisible’ population by harnessing the potential of new data sources, which can help organisations make more informed decisions.

Research from Experian identified 5.8 million people in the UK who are virtually invisible to the credit economy because there is little or no information available on their financial track record.

In the absence of sufficient information to make a decision, these Invisibles can either be excluded from mainstream financial services, or be forced to pay a premium on products such as loans, credit cards and mortgages.

Experian’s new report, Making the invisible visible: Exploring the power of new data sources, details the progress which has already been made to reduce the Invisible population. Adding data from social housing tenants through the Rental Exchange, along with data from utilities companies and high cost credit providers has brought the number down by 765,000.

Analysis shows that by adding private rental, council tax and data from the remaining utilities companies to the bureau, the Invisible population could be reduced by a further 960,000. Using Open Banking data on top of this, compared to where we are today, could bring the total down by 1.52 million people overall.

Charles Butterworth, Managing Director UKI & EMEA at Experian, said: “Great strides have been made in the last decade to make it quicker and easier to apply for everyday financial products such as credit cards, loans and even mortgages. Yet our research shows that for the Invisible population of nearly six million, the reality is these services can remain so far out of reach.

“We believe adding new and more appropriate data sources can, in time, reduce the UK’s Invisible population significantly. Our objective is to work with industry to unlock these sources, allowing mainstream lenders to better understand a new group of potential customers who, up until now, they have struggled to serve.”

The UK’s Invisible population is primarily composed of:

  • Young people who have not yet established a credit history
  • Older people who may not have used credit for a long time
  • The ‘unbanked’ who have no relationship with every financial services
  • Recent immigrants or returning expats who have no credit history in the UK
  • People struggling to make ends meet who rely mostly on cash-based transactions

Read the new whitepaper, Making the invisible visible: Exploring the power of new data sources, here.


 Note to editors:

Experian’s analysis of the Invisible population was based on a test sample of 552,573 people. There were 27,020,000 households and 49,930,128 people over the age of 18 in the UK in 2018, when the sample was collected.

Media contact:

Ade O’Connor, Senior PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian

Tel: 07583 085 796 / Email: ade.o’

Weber Shandwick for Experian

Tel: 020 7861 0762 / Email:

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 16,500 people operating across 39 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

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