A trade reference is the payment experience information provided by a supplier on its customer. Trade references are comprised of 7 base variables, which represent the credit-worthiness of the suppliers’ customers. The variables are: reporting date or as-of date, manner of payment, rolling 12-month high credit (highest amount of credit used), current total amount owing, current total past due, selling terms, and date of last sale.
Some trade references may not qualify for a variety of reasons, including the following:
D&B works together with thousands of nationwide vendors that report payment experiences on a regular basis. These data providers have requested to remain anonymous and cannot be added by a customer for trade reference.
Some types of companies do not respond to D&B’s requests for information within a reasonable time frame. D&B will make 6 attempts to contact a company that has been selected to provide trade reference, and will accept inbound references at any time. However, a customer may resubmit references at any time, after which D&B will make 6 more attempts.
Certain companies have proven, over time, to be less trustworthy. Accordingly, D&B has identified certain characteristics associated with companies and maintains policies related to the eligibility of that company to provide a reference.
The following kinds of trade references are amongst those that are not accepted by D&B:
Payments that have not yet been made but are anticipated
Payments to businesses that have shared principals or some other type of legal ownership relationship
Utilities and gas companies
Credit card companies