Careers at FICO
FICO is a leading analytics software company which aims to help businesses worldwide in increasing levels of profitability, customer satisfaction and business growth. Its mission is to equip various industries with the analytics software and tools to manage risks and optimize operations while keeping the government-imposed regulations in check.
Mathematician Earl Isaac and engineer William Fair, the two founders of FICO, met at Stanford Research Institute. The two invested $400 each to set up the company (then named Fair, Isaac and Company). The principle of the company at the time of foundation was that data can efficiently contribute to improving business decisions, when used intelligently. Just two years after its formation, FICO built its first credit scoring system for American investments.
The headquarters, earlier set up in financial district of San Francisco, were moved to San Rafael, California in 1961.
In 1976, the first conference on credit scoring for FICO users was held in Napa, California which was attended by more than a hundred people. In the same year in December, the company employees signed a milestone achievement when the 500,000-th document was entered through a CRT terminal.
Moreover, the first European office of the company was opened in Monaco in 1982. In 1987, with the trade of stocks on New York Stock Exchange, FICO went public.
FICO’s best-known distinction is its creation of the most widely used credit score. It introduced its first general-purpose FICO score in 1989.
In 1992, FICO set up its European headquarters in Birmingham, UK.
In 1995, Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), both Government Sponsored Enterprises, began using FICO scores to evaluate US mortgage loans and to determine the deserving American recipients for mortgages. This was a significant achievement for FICO.
In 2001, FICO partnered with Callcredit, an English consumer credit reference agency, to deliver consumer credit scores to UK lenders directly through the web.
In 2004, the company again transferred its corporate headquarters from San Rafael, California to Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, it returned to California again with its relocation of headquarters from Minneapolis to San Jose in 2013.
As for the name changes, the company name “Fair, Isaac and Company” was first changed in 2003 to “Fair Isaac Corporation” and then to “FICO” in 2013.
In 2010, FICO celebrated its 100th patent for analytics and decision-management innovations and in 2013, it made FICO scores available to millions of consumers through FICO Score Open Access Program.
Today, FICO has pioneered the development and application of critical technologies behind decision management. It has offices all around the world serving industries including financial services, health care, insurance, automotive, public sector, retail, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment, high tech and utilities.
Business model of FICO
FICO has a niche market business model. The company provides its services to businesses seeking to increase growth rates and improve customer satisfaction. Its major customer groups are:
- Banks - Banks wish to implement user configurable, automated decision making across all lending products within Retail Credit Risk and to introduce flexibility in order to remain competitive.
- Insurance and Pension Companies – Such companies want to develop a pioneering self-service portal for citizens to manage their own pension planning and insurance programs, and to meet the government’s reforms.
- Others – Food, technology and manufacturing companies that require an unprecedented level of customization for their interactive marketing initiatives are FICO’s customers. Such companies look forward to gain better insight into onboarding decisions through real-time analytics presented within dashboards and other intuitive user interfaces.
FICO offers two primary value propositions: Reputation and accuracy.
FICO Score is easily the most widely used score by lenders. It is still considered the gold standard for evaluating creditworthiness. According to the firm’s website, 90% of the top U.S. lending institutions use its scores, and 95% of financial institutions in the U.S. are FICO clients.
Another aspect to consider is that the FICO regularly updates its software analytics and tools. And FICO Score algorithm is updated periodically to reflect more current lending trends and consumer behaviors. The most recent FICO Score that is widely used by lenders is FICO Score 8. This is the base FICO Score primarily featured in most FICO products and most widely used by lenders.
FICO’s primary channels are its sales and marketing staff, and its online marketing. The sales staff operates in FICO offices throughout the world serving all types of industries.
FICO has also a significant online presence due to its user-friendly website and considerable activity on social media which helps it reach out to customers.
FICO’s customer relationships are primarily of a personal assistance nature; although, there is a dedicated personal assistance factor too.
The company provides its customers with active personal assistance and, in some cases, a sales representative is assigned to handle all the needs and questions of a special set of clients. The reason is that its clients are different types of companies facing different challenges; so, the solution for each is different and personalized.
The key activities of FICO are developing and providing analytics, security, debt management and communications solutions and products to its clients to help them tackle the business challenges they face.
FICO has formed partnerships with top tier systems integrators, technology providers, data providers, service providers and processors. The FICO partner program has four tiers – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and authorized – with benefits that increase with the tier level. Its featured partners are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Capgemini Financial Services USA Inc.
FICO’s main resources are its human resources which design, develop and supply the software analytics and tools that make up the core of FICO. There are nearly over 2700 people employed at FICO’s offices spread all around the world. They also include sales and marketing staff of FICO.
In addition, FICO holds at least 170 US and foreign patents, and has 93 pending patent applications in different areas such as Network Protection, Fraud Detection, Personalized Marketing and Real-Time Analytic Discovery. Also, 100 Billion FICO Scores have been sold to date making FICO the most used credit score in the world.
FICO makes money by providing software solutions for a broad range of purposes, such as combating fraud and making operations more efficient.
Another way through which FICO makes money is by selling its scores directly to consumers as part of a credit monitoring service. The company also sells its scores to lenders, which use them as a key factor in their lending choices.
info: Will was the CEO and President of InfoSpace for 2009-2010 and for ValueVision Media. Other than that, he has also held various leadership positions in General Atlantic, NBC Internet and Prodigy. He holds a bachelors degree from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.
info: Wayne has a thirty-year experience in business leadership by serving in companies such as Oracle, Verizon and RightNow Technologies. He studied in Elizabethtown College.
info: Dr. Stuart C. holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and electronic engineering from Heriot-Watt University. He has also spent two years in FICO consulting on a range of products. Also, he held different leadership position in Sun Microsystems and Avaya before joining FICO.
info: Mark has also served as Senior Vice President of FICO. Prior to serving in FICO, he has served in Liberate Technologies and InterTrust Technologies. Mr. Scadina received a degree in law from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and holds a bachelors degree in computer engineering from Santa Clara University.
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