Experian is best-known as the world's biggest consumer credit agency, providing credit worthiness checks or analysis on individuals and companies for lenders and other suppliers of consumer or business services under the banner of credit services and decision analytics. The company has a vast database of consumer credit history records for 1.3bn individuals and 163m businesses spread across 45 countries. It has expanded its coverage with a series of acquisitions, including in 2020 majority control of the Arvato Financial Solutions division of Bertelsmann. Experian also sells direct to the public, primarily in the US, UK and Brazil, allowing customers to check their own credit ratings online at sites including CreditReport in the US, CreditExpert in the UK or Serasa in Brazil and also protect themselves against identity theft. These services are increasingly being consolidated under the Experian corporate brand. As a by-product of this data set, Experian also developed a sophisticated marketing services offering, including data analytics, digital and direct marketing, as well as customer insights and social media services. This growth was fed mainly by acquired businesses including email service CheetahMail, customer intelligence researchers HitWise and Simmons, and social media manager Alchemy Social. That allowed Experian to compete with other database marketing and analytics agencies including Acxiom, Epsilon and Harte-Hanks as well as more traditional CRM agencies like Wunderman and Rapp. However, the crackdown on data privacy since 2017 impacted significantly on that side of the business, which has been scaled back. The group was founded in 1996 following the purchase by British retail conglomerate GUS of US credit check service TRW Information Services and its merger with UK equivalent CCN. It was demerged as a standalone company in 2006 following the break-up of GUS. Total revenues for the year to March 2020 were $5.2bn, of which almost $4.1bn came from B2B credit services and decision analytics, and $1.1bn from consumer services. Brian Cassin is group CEO.
Capsule checked 1st July 2020
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Nov 2013: Database marketing giant Experian announced the acquisition for $850m of healthcare data provider Passport Health Communications, which helps hospitals coordinate payments between patients and health insurers. It's Experian's second big purchase in two months; in October it acquired web fraud-detection agency 41st Parameter for $324m.
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