The Evolution of the Credit Reporter

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Today’s business owners are on the go more than ever, and a majority manage parts of their businesses with mobile devices. We developed our mobile app, “CreditReporter,”  to give these business owners quick and easy access to the information they need most. The app uses the latest technology and is lightning fast. Among other features, users can see their companies’ profiles and credit scores in real time, can find out when others are pulling their report, and can receive instant alerts when scores change. They can also add business credit references and see the status of those references. And if help is needed, users can tap to call Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. to speak to a credit advisor within minutes.

Keeping track of credit data wasn’t always so easy. In fact, we named our mobile app CreditReporter as a tip of the hat to the credit reporters of yesterday. Back in the 1800s when the credit industry began, credit reporters were actual people: professionals who interpreted and reported on business credit information. They actually went out into the community and met with business owners face to face, to ascertain a company’s “means, capital, and character.” The inclusion of “character” is significant and is something we have focused on at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.; the character and credibility of a company is just as important as its balance sheets.

Untitled1The job of credit reporter was highly respected, and as such was a stepping stone for future entrepreneurs and politicians. When Abraham Lincoln wanted to establish his professional reputation, he chose to start his career as a credit reporter. It should come as no surprise that he was consistently ranked as one of the best; his 1858 performance review indicates that he was “No. 1 always. Responsive and very good.” Lincoln was the first of four future chief executives who worked at Dun & Bradstreet. The others were Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley.

Company credit information was contained in reference books, published every year. As the nation grew, so did the number of volumes in that year’s Dun & Bradstreet reference book. We’ve acquired and displayed quite a few of these books in our office museum, and I can vouch for the fact that they’re massive. It’s hard to imagine the work that went into producing each one. I’m sure they were painstakingly checked and double checked for accuracy… only to become outdated as soon as a company moved or went out of business. Untitled2

Today, we’ve come to expect fast, accurate information at our fingertips. For business owners, such access is a requirement to compete in today’s rapidly evolving global marketplace. To that end, here at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. we’ve made it our number one priority to provide our customers with the most thorough and nimble technology available to make monitoring and managing their credit a breeze.  Like so much else in the twenty-first century, credit reporting has gone the way of the mobile app. But the history of credit reporting reminds us that technology alone can’t give us a complete picture of a company, especially those vital qualities like character and credibility. Nothing beats a human to human connection, especially in business. With that in mind we have hundreds of credit advisors across the company available to offer individualized assistance, and we are diligently working on more ways to incorporate the human element into the scores and ratings we offer. In this way, we can stay connected to the values of our past while embracing the technology of the future.

Access your business credit where you need to, when you need to.
Download CreditReporter now.

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