Why your social media profile might be your next credit score

Each day, the amount of personal information available on the internet continues to grow through social media. One can hit the delete key but most of what we do online is never really deleted. The CEO of WePay, an online payment processor, posted on VentureBeat that his company is using people’s social media profiles to both verify customers and thwart potential fraudulent claims by criminals. The name for their technology is the Veda risk engine.

Bill Clerico’s post lists several reasons why his company uses social media profiles over the more commonplace credit score report and the rationale makes sense. Long standing profiles on Facebook and twitter take years to build and every time one posts something it is time stamped for the world to see.  For businesses in particular, the social interactions on their sites or pages (customer reviews or friends comments) help shed light on the true nature of the company. There is no more honest review than an anonymous review online. For WePay, this method has cut down on the expense of running credit checks/social security numbers for new customers and it provides them with a detailed profile of the people and the companies they do business with.  Additionally, WePay claims they been able to stop more than $30 million in attempted fraud.

In a related article on Pando Daily, the author took this same idea of using a social media footprint for business background checks a step further. He is fictionalizing a future where companies like banks and telephone providers use a person’s social media history to gauge the future creditworthiness of that customer.  For me, this idea is a bit too futuristic. Taking a few inappropriate pictures in college is not a good indicator of one’s potential to default on a home loan.

1) Do you think companies will eventually use social media behavior to determine one’s financial stability?

2) Are we dooming ourselves by sharing so much information?

3) Why wouldn’t other companies want to use social media to verify information?


One thought on “Why your social media profile might be your next credit score

  1. I do not think evaluating social media behavior to determine a consumer’s financial stability will become common practice among companies. I agree with your last point on the college pictures. While pictures online can certainly indicate a lot about someone I feel like financial stability ranks low on that list. Also, companies would face a massive consumer backlash if they engaged in this type of screening. Privacy advocate groups would have a field day.

    Yes, I absolutely believe that we have nobody but ourselves to blame for invasions of online privacy. Anything someone does not want publicly known should not be shared. Better yet, although deemed by many as an archaic lifestyle, avoiding social media entirely is the safest way to go.

    While I see Bill Clerico’s point regarding honest reviews of businesses, cutting down on credit check costs, and preventing fraud, it is the backlash I mentioned in my answer to the first question that I feel companies would fear. As we know, people are very sensitive when it comes to their privacy online and any step taken that infringes on those beliefs would be met with serious opposition.

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