Consumer reporting has become a huge business in the United States. It makes sense that they would have a large and important trade association. The Consumer Data Industry Association is this organization that functions as the industry trade association for credit reporting companies in the United States.
While they have over 140 different corporate members, they represent approximately 200 companies in the consumer data business. These companies provide a wide range of services. Among these are risk management, fraud prevention, and mortgage and credit reports in the data reporting business.
Other companies offer additional services that are newer in nature. These cover employment and residential screening services, collection services for companies and individuals, and even check verification and check fraud services. Naturally the major consumer reporting agencies are important pillar members of the CDIA. These include Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Innovis.
This Consumer Data Industry Association works to provide education to all parties involved in the learning process of consumer data and information. This includes regulators, legislators, the media, and consumers. Their goal is to teach about the proper utilization of such information.
The members of this association also deliver analytical tools and data to help companies provide safe, fair transactions for their customers. Their products and services encourage competition and make better opportunities for the economy as a whole and their customers.
The products and services produced by the members of the Consumer Data Industry Association are enormously utilized. They are a part of over nine billion transactions that are processed every year. The goal of these companies is to offer better access to consumers. They also strive to create products and services which are centered on the needs of the consumers. Finally, they try to offer innovation in an industry that is constantly changing to keep up with rapidly expanding technology and the times.
The history of the Consumer Data Industry Association goes back to 1906. Its founders established it in Rochester, New York as the National Association of Retail Credit Agencies. The organization arose because American consumers were requiring more credit. At the same time, Americans were moving around like never before. Creditors needed a standardized and consistent form of credit information on these consumers. This way they would be able to assess their history of credit payment.
The CDIA underwent numerous name changes over the decades before settling on their present one as the services provided by their membership gradually evolved. In 1907 they became the National Association of Mercantile Agencies. After World War I this organization changed to the Associated Credit Bureaus of America. Under this identity they created the very first standardized system for credit data reporting following World War II.
In the 1960s they began computerizing the industry to keep better track of credit records. Nearly all credit became accessed through such automation by the end of the 1960s. The agency again changed its name at this time to Associated Credit Bureaus as it had expanded to become international. The government took notice of all this activity and passed the first of the consumer reporting industry regulatory laws the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1971.
In 1991 they moved the office to Washington, D.C. to be near the regulatory and legislative bodies of the U.S. A final name change came about in 2001 as the group evolved to its present Consumer Data Industry Association. Today the organization is the representative body for all companies that deal with analyzing and managing credit data for consumers. Since the 1990s this has grown beyond credit reports to include background screening and employment reporting.