Equifax Inc. has announced that it has acquired Rapid Reporting Verification Company, a privately-held national provider of IRS tax transcript information and social security number authentication services. The addition of Rapid Reporting will enhance Equifax's ability to provide lenders with improved products, quality and services to help them better control fraud. Equifax will pay $72.5 million in cash for the company. "More than ever, today's lenders need better tools to determine creditworthiness before qualifying a loan," said Trey Loughran, Equifax's senior vice president, corporate development. "Rapid Reporting's capabilities will allow us to offer lenders new and improved products, as well as more advanced fraud management services. " Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Rapid Reporting offers products including IncomeChek, which provides IRS verification of income tax information, and DirectChek, which provides Social Security Administration verification of social security numbers and also meets USA Patriot Act compliance requirements. Operating through a secure Web-based portal, these products offer financial institutions an efficient and cost-effective means to confirm borrower identity and income. "This transaction is a logical next step for our company," said Jay Meadows, president and CEO of Rapid Reporting. "The combination of Rapid Reporting's assets with Equifax's mortgage-related and employment verification services will enable us to effectively mitigate fraud and offer more advanced products for mortgage lenders." "Overall, this transaction will enable us to compete more effectively in a dynamic and rapidly changing market and offer even more effective, value-added fraud verification services," said Loughran. For more information, visit www.equifax.com or www.rapidreporting.com.