CEO interview: Adrian Nazari, head of Credit Sesame

A few weeks ago, Credit Karma made news for its partnership with Google (GOOG). The web-based company allows consumers to monitor their credit and get free credit reports. Recently, we spoke to Adrian Nazari, founder and CEO of Credit Karma's competitor Credit Sesame, about this multimillion dollar deal, as well as on the future of this buzzed-about industry. Here's what he had to say.

adrian-nazari.jpg
Adrian Nazari
Credit Sesame
CBS MoneyWatch: How would you compare Credit Sesame to Credit Karma?

Adrian Nazari: We are both in the consumer credit space -- a new frontier in personal finance. We both provide consumers with their credit information, but we do it more in an advisory mode. Credit Karma is more of a credit-scoring company. We give you access to your score but also a complete view of your credit and all of the loans you have. The other difference is that Credit Karma has been investing in bringing advertisers on board. We invested in bringing in a scientific team from Stanford University [to help] consumers make sound financial decisions.

MW: Can you share a little more about your thoughts on the Credit Karma/Google deal?

AN: Google's investment in Credit Karma is good for Credit Karma but bad news for consumers. That's the real story. Google has been trying to get into consumer financial information for a very long time. They've knocked on our door trying to share consumer information for advertising, and we said no. Personal financial information is highly valuable in advertising. Advertisers want to reach people who have good credit, or bad credit. Let's just say that consumers who are using Credit Karma should not be surprised if they see a visual higher number of advertisers when they surf the web that is relating to their credit, like cars and mortgages.

MW: You've just added a new app to your products. Why do that now?

AN: It's not news that consumers are using mobile devices for daily needs. Identity theft does not wait until you are home. If you are standing in line at Starbucks and someone is checking your credit you should know that now.

MW: What's your best advice to budding entrepreneurs?

AN: People often ask me about their business model, or their ideas. I think the biggest mistake is thinking about funding as the big milestone. A good idea will get funding. But the milestone is figuring out what to do with that money and how to make it successful.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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