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A clear vision: How ClearScore helps consumers engage with their finances

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Born out of commonly-held frustrations surrounding being able to access and understand something as important as an individual’s credit information, ClearScore creates a virtual financial CV for users, bringing together all their accounts online – such as mortgages, credit cards and loans.

The idea has proved incredibly popular. Having launched four months ago, ClearScore has already acquired 500,000 customers and secured a great deal of positive feedback. Following the Growing Business Awards win, an event which has been run by Real Business since 1997, we spoke with ClearScore founder and CEO Justin Basini to find out what it means to be recognised by the industry in this way, and where he plans to take ClearScore in the future.

“The award is great for us,” Basini said. “Recognition on behalf of the industry gives ClearScore a huge confidence boost and encourages us to pursue further innovation. It can, in many ways, be quite lonely working with large banks and financial institutions, and to know that we have the support of the industry is fantastic.”

ClearScore helps consumers understand their credit information, acting as a one-stop-shop for people who want access to their credit information online. “Your credit report and score is like a financial CV, and it’s important to understand it for your financial wellbeing. Consumers are often very ignorant about their finances and they should register for all the credit information they can,” Basini said.

“We differ from our competitors in that we’ve spent so much time on our product. We are constantly innovating, testing new products and technologies that add value to the customer experience – which is something our larger competitors can’t do. We’re also developing a sense of community amongst our customers, with whom we speak regularly.”

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For Basini, innovation is at the heart of what ClearScore does and is the reason for its success. The relative size of the firm and the level of expertise it’s gathered means that innovation remains continual. “At the moment, we’ve got three main areas in which we’re innovating,” he said.

“We’re developing the front-end of our website to make it more intuitive for users to keep their financial data secure. Securing financial information online is usually confusing and time consuming and we’re changing that. Secondly, we are developing the ways we present data to consumers – doing away with complicated charts and graphs that make it that more difficult to interpret your financial information.

“And finally,” he said, “We are creating an algorithm that’ll match our customers to the right products instantly, using information they’ve given us. We’ve created a back-end that will recommend financial products the consumer is highly likely to be able to get, taking the long and arduous guess work out of applying for products online.”

An aggressive marketing plan is in place that Basini hopes will get ClearScore to number one in its market over the next five years. With innovation at the forefront of the business model, Basini plans to use consumers’ information, with their permission, to experiment with “big data”.

“Big data is opening up and will be the most exciting thing over the next five years – we want to lead and get consumers to understand what that means, using the information they have given us permission to use,” he said.

“We’re experimenting with social media to grow our online communities and understand our market better. We’re playing with ways to combine people’s financial information with their social interests to develop better targeting models,” he added.

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