Data Reporting FAQs

Get information here about Electronic Data Transfer:

EDT solutions

Why should I convert to EDT when our physical transmission has worked well for many years?

There are many benefits to using EDT. The most important is increased security. By using EDT to send data, you will eliminate lost media issues, delivery mistakes by shipping vendors, the possibility of damage to media in transit and mail delivery delays.

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How do I know if my Web browser has 128-bit encryption?

Simply open your Web browser, go to Help and to About Your Web Browser. From there, you can see the encryption information.

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Is the Internet method/HTTPS secure?

The Internet method of transmitting data has Secure Socket Layering in the pipeline, working behind the scenes, which helps secure data and reduce risks.

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Where do I obtain the PGP® (Pretty Good Privacy®) or dynamic encryption software required to transmit FTP?

Please consult with your technical team to determine how to obtain PGP or the dynamic encryption software of your choice.

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What are the differences between Internet (HTTP), FTP w/ PGP® and FTPS?

HTTPS is a secured Internet solution. This method requires a Web browser capable of 128-bit encryption. It only requires access to the Internet and there is no other cost to the customer. FTP w/ PGP (File Transfer Protocol with Pretty Good Privacy®) is an automated method that uses an existing Internet connection for the file transfer, but it requires the use of PGP software to encrypt the data being transferred. This method requires the customer to purchase software. FTPS (File Transfer Protocol with Secure Socket Layering) is an automated method that uses an existing Internet connection for the file transfer and dynamically encrypts the file during transmission. For this method, customers must also purchase software.

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Getting started

Who is responsible for setting up a customer to send data electronically?

Once a customer has been qualified by a data analyst to transmit data electronically, all requests to convert a customer to electronic media should be sent to

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How long does it take to convert a customer to EDT?

It depends on the transmission method and the customer's ability to transmit production-ready files successfully. Estimated EDT setup turn times are:

  • 1-2 weeks for an Internet request
  • Approximately 2-4 weeks for an FTP request

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Do you have a minimum or maximum threshold (amount of time/number of records) for accepting data by EDT?

Per our reporting standards, we require customers to pass, at a minimum, 100 data records. For the HTTPS startution, the file size limit is approximately 500MB. For the FTP w/ PGP® and FTPS startutions, the file size limit is about 2GB.

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I already have Sterling Commerce® software for use with another bureau or a TransUnion business unit. Do I need a new copy for this application?

No. If you have the most recent version of the software, you should be able to establish a connection. You will still need a user ID and password, assigned by TransUnion, which allows access to our system through your existing software.

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EDT test process

What kind of "test" file is needed?

The test file enables TransUnion to verify that the content is compatible with the current program and previous physical media processed. The test file can be last month's or the current month's credit bureau updates.

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Are the timeframes listed for conversion to EDT from first contact?

The timeframes listed are from the date the first test file has been sent.

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What are the benefits of using EDT compared to physical media?

Some of the benefits include:

Security Benefits

  • Eliminate mail delivery delays
  • Increase security
  • Eliminate lost media issues
  • Eliminate delivery mistakes by shipping vendors
  • Eliminate the possibility of damage to media in transit

Financial Benefits

  • Reduce media and related costs by eliminating the creation of physical media (media per bureau)
  • Eliminate bad media costs
  • Reduce labor costs by eliminating labeling requirements, internal routing and packaging costs
  • Eliminate shipping costs
  • Reduce equipment support costs
  • Reduce future equipment upgrade needs (tape drives)

Reporting Benefits

  • Improve reporting flexibility
  • Increase reporting frequency with virtually no incremental cost (transmission vs. media)
  • Apply data faster
  • Apply corrections faster
  • Front-end validation notifies the analyst of header/trailer issues at point of receipt

Processing Benefits

  • Eliminate system/media compatibility issues
  • Improve turn time by eliminating manual process steps
  • Improve turn time by eliminating manual identification of submission format names
  • Eliminate damaged media
  • Eliminate lost media
  • Improve first run success rate

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Are there limitations on the time of day or days of the week I can transmit data? Does this vary by type of setup or transmission (e.g., PC-to-PC or PC-to-mainframe)?

No. You can transmit data using an electronic method at any time, day or night.

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How many customers currently use EDT for reporting credit bureau information? How many files do they transmit? How often do they transmit?

Currently, approximately 92% of our customers use EDT to report to TransUnion, which accounts for about 90% of transactions processed in Transform. We currently accept files ranging from the corporate minimum to several million records. Frequency of transmission ranges from daily to monthly and is based on customer preference.

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Can I send a variable block file when transmitting electronically?

When transmitting via the Internet, you can transmit variable block files only when each record in the file is at least the minimum length of the Metro format specified (i.e., each record in the 426 Metro format must be at least 426 bytes in length). Also, the RDW of each record must reflect the true record length. Our preferred data format is fixed block.

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Is there an audit process in place for EDT?

EDT transmissions follow the same process flow as physical media. EDT is logged daily, tracked and monitored just like physical media.

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Will EDT updates provide a faster update?

EDT does not provide a faster update to the database. EDT absorbs the time it takes to handle and deliver media.

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Will data be reviewed before it is uploaded to the database?

The contents of all EDT transmissions go through the same verification process as physical media. The data is run against the Transform submission format that is programmed for that particular customer. During testing, if the submission format is in production, a stop is placed on it to prevent data from being loaded to the database.

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