What is a credit interchange group?

A credit interchange is a group of companies, often in the same industry, that join together to share information on mutual customers. Industry credit groups, also known as ‘credit interchanges,’ are usually monitored and managed by an outside party, like ABC-Amega, with the expertise to ensure the information shared is factual and in compliance with all antitrust guidelines.

How does a credit interchange work? 

Members regularly supply A/R and other credit experience to the interchange database electronically via e-mail or a secure FTP site. The credit management firm (in this case, ABC-Amega Inc.) will then compile all of the data and generate credit reports. These reports can be downloaded and printed or viewed online via our web-based credit interchange system, www.goAmega.com.

Why should I join a credit interchange? 

When you join a credit interchange, you will have a competitive edge over non-members by receiving accurate and up-to-date credit information, specific for customers in your industry via a comprehensive reporting system, accessible 24/7.  Not only will you see exactly how the customer pays creditors in your industry, but you will gain time and confidence in making quick, informed credit decisions.

Why would I want to share any information about my customers with my competitors?

Credit Interchange members have found that sharing factual credit information actually helps everyone to become more profitable. In addition to having a secure client portal, ABC-Amega closely monitors member participation in the groups. No member has a competitive edge over any other as information is shared equally and it is not possible for any member to obtain a list of all of the competitor’s account via our GoAmega credit interchange system. If it is found that a company is abusing its membership, that member will lose all privileges and may be dismissed.

Is sharing credit information legal?

It is legal in the United States for companies to share factual accounts receivable credit history. Credit groups, however, must be monitored by an outside party to make sure the information shared does not violate antitrust regulations. ABC-Amega reviews all data that goes into its credit interchange system, including urgent customer information. If the legality of the information is in question, it is not included in the database. Credit group meetings are also monitored by an ABC-Amega staff member who is fully trained and versed in the legal ramifications of such gatherings.

Who has access to the information?

The information in a group’s database belongs solely to the members of that group. Access to the secure credit interchange system is via username and password by current group members and ABC-Amega personnel only. ABC-Amega does not have the right to use the credit information for any purposes other than those of the credit group and does not have the right to “sell” the information to anyone outside the groups.

How is the information managed? 

An international six-digit commodity classification developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation Council. Individual countries have extended it to ten digits for customs purposes, and to 8 digits for export purposes.

How often do I have to share information? 

It depends on the specific credit group, however it is recommended to share receivable data once a month; the more current the information, the more useful.

What kind of information is shared in a credit group?

Credit groups share only factual credit information. The specifics depend on the group, but generally consists of: aged A/R ledger experience, high credit extensions, urgent customer information like NSF/RTM checks, accounts placed for collection, bankruptcies, changes of ownership and factual comments on the customer’s credit standing.

What are other participation requirements? 

These are determined by the credit group as well. Generally, A/R data must be shared so many times per year; members must regularly provide urgent customer information; and members must attend so many meetings within a given period (never more than one per year).

How do I access the database?

You must have Internet access as well as a Username and Password before entering the system. The credit group database is available 24 hours a day via www.goAmega.com.

What does an ABC-Amega credit report include?

Credit reports contain information on individual locations as well as connected locations (related branches or subsidiaries). Reports contain: detailed lines of accounts receivable experience by location and reporting member, with first sale, last sale, high credit, total owing, past due by age bucket, total past due and days slow; connected customers by name and location with summarized lines of A/R experience for all connected locations by reporting member; flash notices; and graphs depicting the average days slow and the average percentage past due for the last 12 months.

What makes ABC-Amega’s credit group management service better than all the others? 

ABC-Amega’s credit group management service provides information that is up-to-the-minute and easily accessible online. Members will receive valuable customer experience and flash notices, available within minutes of posting, and will have access to a Match/Merge function to help gather complete information on an account even when multiple locations, AKA’s or DBA’s exist.

How much does it cost?

The cost may vary per group. However, in most groups, members pay an annual membership fee and a low per-report charge.

What are “Flash” Notices?

Flash notices are real-time postings of urgent credit-related information, like NSF/RTM checks, bankruptcies, placements for collections, changes in ownership, etc.