The Schufa is usually a simple scapegoat. A data octopus that massively intervenes in the lives of many consumers, inscrutable and invulnerable. When NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung made public the Wiesbaden credit reporting agency’s plan to use a product called “CheckNow” to look into the bank statements of consumers last week, the criticism followed immediately.
Consumer advocates complained that the process would lead to “completely screened consumers”, politicians complained that citizens “had to pay with their data”. And the mobile operator Telefónica / O2, which served as a partner for the test phase, announced under pressure that it would rather not continue the attempt.
Interestingly, it was hardly discussed in the debate that similar programs to improve creditworthiness have long been common in other countries – and that in Germany too, a detailed look at the account is common practice for many fintechs. For some it is even the core of the business model – and the whole thing is actually politically intentional.
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