Mobile Payments Proves Easier to Access For US Newcomers With Amex / Nova Credit Pairing

October 29, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile payments aren’t exactly huge in the United States right now, for several reasons. Whether it’s the predominance of cash or the widespread acceptance of credit cards, mobile payments are kind of an also-ran in the field. In other places, like most of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and elements of Europe, mobile payments are massive. That makes a move to the United States even more of a culture shock, or at least it did, until a new team-up between American Express and Nova Credit, who tipped us off about it recently.

The new connection between Nova Credit and American Express allows for a new way of determining creditworthiness that previously hadn’t been seen much: the credit history of a user outside the US. Basically, the concept goes, those who do things like pay bills or buy a car outside of the US have a credit history, which previously wasn’t really that accessible for firms within the US, where credit cards are issued.

Right now, it’s a bit limited in scope. The new access only works for credit histories in Canada and Mexico, as well as the UK, Australia, and India. This leaves out pretty much all of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Naturally, Nova Credit has expansion plans ready to go, but that’s still going to take some time before the package is available all over.

It makes a certain amount of sense; after all, just because a credit score was built in some other country doesn’t mean it should be completely inapplicable anywhere else. Credit scores require time, effort and good habits to build; the notion that that effort is only applicable in its country of origin does seem a bit ludicrous. People paying their bills on time should be welcome everywhere.

Granted, there are certain cultural issues that factor into this sort of thing, but Nova Credit and American Express’ move should pay off here and open up new access to a field of regular bill-payers who will generate new interest revenue for American Express. This is the kind of thing that should improve the overall course of mobile payments accordingly by opening up a new user base in a country where mobile payments overall are still flagging.