Equifax on track uploading Electoral Roll data

Equifax says it is on track to have all Electoral Roll data uploaded by January 1 2006, three weeks earlier than 2005.

Work is well underway to complete acquisition of the 2005 Electoral Roll from all councils by December 23 2005, ensuring Equifax continues to lead the way on up to date Electoral Roll data.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director of Equifax, says: Electoral Roll data is crucial, allowing companies to verify an individuals address and identity, which is more essential than ever with the growing threat of ID fraud and money laundering. The speed of the loading of this data is also vital in order for lenders to make effective risk decisions.

Equifax continues to set the pace for ensuring lenders and other organisations have access to the latest Electoral Roll information. Our state of the art technology means this vital data will be available sooner than ever before giving businesses a crucial head start in a highly competitive market.

However, the issue of pre-ticking of the opt-out box by local councils has continued to grow, as identified by Equifax earlier this year, and the company is concerned that consumers may not be aware of the impact this will have on their ability to make mail order or online purchases.

The results of an Equifax survey of all councils showed an increase of 6% in pre-ticking of the opt-out box this year, rising from 284 in 2004 to 301 in 2005. As pre-ticking is the dominant factor in driving up opt-out rates year on year Equifax is predicting an increase in the total opt-out rates for 2005. And what the company is concerned about is that those consumers who have been automatically opted out may not realise how this will effect them in the future.

Munroe adds: The edited Electoral Roll, which just features those consumers who have not opted out is vital for mail order and online companies for ID verification. In addition, the edited Electoral Roll allows companies to process telephone and online purchases that are not credit-based as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Equifax is committed to providing the most accurate Electoral Roll information, helping enhance the speed and efficiency of credit applications and other transactions and we will continue to work with the local councils to ensure that this information is as effective as possible for the consumer.