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Credit Information: Customers Turn Competitors

David Worlock, Co-Chair, Outsell Leadership Programs; Founder of Electronic Publishing and Chairman of BIIA said some time ago:  “One of the oldest maxims of electronic publishing is that customers are the next competitors”

This is precisely what is going on in commercial credit information:  Two industry associations are competing with each other in offering what they call ‘freshly investigated’ credit reports.   NACM (FCIB) (National Association of Credit Managers) and ICTF (The Association of International Credit & Trade Finance Professionals) are offering such products to their members.   According to industry sources these credit reports are actually not created by the associations or its members, but they are sourced from a number of credit information companies both associations acting as distribution channels.  No value is added by the respective associations.

In a recent communication on LinkedIn an ICTF spokesperson stated “ICTF works with the best local sources of credit information worldwide to provide the highest quality, freshly investigated credit reports – so depending on the region and type of company, we’ll ensure with each order that you’re getting the best financial information available from top credit agencies.”

The associations however do not define what the term ‘freshly investigated means’.  Given the fact that generally speaking the credit information industry provides data from file based on ‘in-date’ rules, thus BIIA members would like to know which ‘in-date’ rules apply in the case of ‘freshly investigated’ credit reports.

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