Data and TCF: Using data to drive postive customer outcomes

The full conversation with Dave Wilson and Rich Healey from PayLink Solutions. We chatted about the automation and digitalization of the customer journey. In particular, how the use of data, giving customers choices and the UI can really drive up adoption. Some interesting uptake stats and approaches here.

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Interview Transcript

0:01
So hi, everyone. I’m here today with Dave Wilson, who’s the commercial director of paling solutions, and rich Healy, who’s the product development director at paling solutions. Thanks very much both for joining me today. It’s great to have you here.

0:17
Um, you’re welcome. Good to meet you,

0:18
too. I suppose First off, I mean, we’re sitting, you know, the start of 2021. You know, 2020 was, was quite was quite a year, with, you know, with with the pandemic that’s come out, and it’d be good to hear sort of what how that sort of evolved from, from, from your business point of view, in terms of, you know, adoption of the product and what you’ve heard from clients?

0:41
Yeah, of course, I guess the main biggest thing we found is that lenders are gearing up for a mass amount to deal with a mass amount of customers at any one time. So we’re very much in the mind of the lenders and risk management system that says, actually, if I was to get X amount of customers that came to me all at one time, how do I cope with that? How do I deal with that? And how do I ensure that each customer is getting a best practice? correct result. And the way they do that is by using our application in a digital manner. So this gives them a lot of flexibility in the sense of they can deploy the application across a self serve journey, they can use this for the actual agents behind the phone as well. It’s all about the fact that you can deal with more customers at the same time. If and when that that kind of moment comes around.

1:28
Yeah, I mean, there’s a big sort of transfer across onto digital wasn’t there, which I think, you know, I mean, folks, like yourselves are sort of like really sort of picked up, you know, quite a bit of interest, I suppose, is sort of like we sort of like, you know, transform that digital journey has always been there. But it feels like that sort of gone on to, you know, gone on and on as this this has gone on. Is that was that kind of what you kind of fell.

1:48
Yeah, I agree. So we back end of 2019, we found that if you gave the customers choice between a digital and a phone route is about 60 65% split of people that were studio digital. So it’s always been the great route. When we look at the back of 2020, that’s reserved in some of our cases, with the lenders, we deal with up to about 75%. So even in the without kind of changing strategically how they deal with their customers. Because there was a generally started to get more towards doing something digital and a 15% rise in some cases over a year is, is quite abundant as to how important is I think this kind of comes into customers now have a purpose to complete this, because ultimately, they want to try and get as much information as we can. So that can be dealt with in the correct way as well.

2:39
Yeah. And I know you spend a lot of time in the IoT space, and you sort of help people that help people complete that sort of automated fashion. I mean, have you seen greater uptake as a result of financial difficulty? I mean, is that is that is that part of what’s been driving it? Or how’d you? How’d you feel about that?

2:56
Yeah. And we’ve seen a more substantial amount of customers that have ultimately, once they started the journey completed. So again, if we’re talking about back into 2019, kind of in app conversion was around about 70 75%. Again, in some cases, we’ve got reporting 90% conversion rate on people that start the journey to finish it. And I think this is all down to the fact that there’s now a greater purpose for the customer to complete on this information more ever than before, because of the kind of circumstances surrounding the UK market in a minute. And so we’ve made UI changes, design changes to adapt that for the customer’s needs to make it feel more like a journey that they are able to complete. But ultimately, what we found is that customer intent is higher than it ever has been before in terms of, I know we need to do something. So I’m going to get my email, I’m going to complete the journey. And I’m going to send this information back in again,

3:54
I think there’s a wider point as well. So you’re quite quite right to say that it’s that the customer has a need to kind of complete the journey. But I think what we’ve really found is there’s been a huge pivot in the way that companies have had to operate in a kind of COVID last year. So there’s been a whole raft of changes in the vast majority of people are now working from home, there’s been a raft of sort of FCA regulation changes with all the kind of payment holders coming in which to some degree has kind of pushed the some of the problems that we will face further down the line. And when sort of COVID first came in, there was a huge pressure on banks and their operations departments to manage all those those call volumes, just putting in place these payment holidays. So I think what that’s really led to is because banks struggled so much with that, and they have a half an eye on you know what is going to come further down the line. It’s really forced them to say, actually, we need more agility to be able to deal with those volumes. So rather than, you know, historically only offering an agent over the phone to, to have that kind of customer interaction. Actually, we think that there is a desire to have more kind of digital tools and give people a greater degree of choice. So if you want to still speak with an agent, of course, will, will honour that. But actually there are there will be a new cohort of people are perfectly happy just completing journeys via self service method.

5:24
I mean, and one of the things sort of had a few discussions on is, is what’s the balance between sort of the digital journey and the fully digital journey and the human interaction. And we’re sort of in this in this world or sort of like changing from, you know, what was, let’s say was, it was a more manual process with digital options to now almost like being almost like 100%, automated, let’s take an extreme. And, and where do you think we draw the balance? I mean, is that are we going to go too far? Or is that is there a sweet spot that we need to that, that we need to try and reach? Yeah, I

5:55
guess the guess where we play right now is we allow the customer to create their affordability profile, and we give them the tools to be able to do that. But ultimately, what we do is we’re helping a customer package their data and their situation into into financial tool, digital tool, they can then refer back off to the lender, what we haven’t done is rep is take the whole process and automate it. So right there, and then he sets it with a payment plan for X amount of months, that then he’s kind of automatically reordered. Now, we know further down the line, that probably the way that the future holds up. But right now what we’re doing is we’re giving the customer the tools to build this financial capability themselves. But ultimately, we’re still allowing the lender to make decisions on actually what’s happening. And we haven’t completely removed that interaction with the lenders, what we do is we allow the lenders have as much data upfront as possible. So when you have those conversations, suddenly you’re not having hour and a half conversations, having short sharp conversation, because the data is there, the we’ve already been gathered, and the customer has also got a good idea on what that outcome looks like, because they’ve been the ones that have driven this process through as well.

7:04
And, you know, we were chatting and Dave, were chatting the other day, a little bit about customer choice and the role of customer choice. And I mean, what’s the role of customer choice in automated journeys? Because that that was quite an interesting idea, I think you were chatting about?

7:20
Yeah, so it’s, I think, we recognise that everybody’s different. Some people will be happy to have the traditional telephone conversation, some are happy to go down a self service journey. But actually, there’s some people that would like a bit of a hybrid approach. So it may be okay, I’ll give self service a try. But if there’s something that I don’t understand, can I go back to an Asian or use a chatbot, or some kind of digital tools that will help me to kind of get over the the little hurdle, a little kind of bump in the road that perhaps don’t understand, which is why rather than mandating, this is the way this is the only single way that we can actually access information. I think by giving people choice, it helps your your take breaks, essentially. And ultimately, it helps the the lender to to improve the customer journey that is so important for for all lenders these days.

8:15
I think exactly right, Dave. So we’ve seen a lot of instances where what application as you do, if you get three steps through the five, you can, like say, if you get that bump, or that hurdle you need to get over, you can actually pass over what you’ve done so far for the lender to to complete on that. So actually, if I’m a customer, and suddenly I’ve got some bits that I want to chat through with someone, I can share what I’ve done so far with the lender who can then chat where we speak, they can actually pass it back to me as well if it if they want to do that. So you can you can really bespoke the the journey based on the individual requirements of the customer, which ultimately is data that the what the most important things you can do right now is to give them the flexibility to be able to do this.

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8:54
So it’s about getting the digital process to help people rather than to do it for them.

8:59
Absolutely.

9:01
Yeah. And one of the one of the one of the tools that we’ve been talking quite a lot about in the industry has been open banking. And I know you guys have got experience working with that as well. And I think certainly I’m on the front end, in terms of some of the, you know, the decisioning and adjudication, there’s been quite a good uptake on open banking, but it’s always sort of struggled a little bit in, in collections, just in terms of what the the value exchanges are suppose for it from a customer point of view. I mean, I know you’ve seen some great sort of some uptake rates and I’d be good to just explore a little bit and find out a little bit about why you think that is and what are some of the secrets of success. I mean, what’s what’s the use case that’s really sort of going to drive adoption

9:40
Do you think absolutely so we like anyone else we work to open banking at try to be with credit kudos is or is it ISP, and the original thought process was if a customer keeps their account, we’re going to have a fantastic budget that’s built off the back of that and we’re gonna make this journey a whole lot shorter shop for that customer. Wait The way we positioned this To now is that this is an ad for that customer. And we get the customer choice around Do you want to automate this project creation process? Or do you want to manually go through that that process itself now where we started to use that kind of terminology, and our designs reflect that customer choice option. If you are with a lender that you don’t have your current account with, we’re seeing around about a 60% uptake of open banking adoption rate with the end user. And I think that’s because the customer is comfortable. But if I’m doing my affordability with with lender, a, and my bank to lender a, I’m going to make the connection between the two, I’m going to pull that information back and start to pre populate the budget, it’s going to save me time, it’s going to help me with accuracy, it means I don’t have to think of all the penances the the application is going to do the work for me in that sense. We’re still seeing and what we’re trying to do now is try and engage with customers that give them comfort that if I’m actually doing the open banking pool with with lender A, but my current accounts, lender B, we still see that there’s a resilience to make that connection between the two. And in the customers mind what the thinking is actually I’ve done if I want to kind of cross contaminate my data is across lenders. So in that scenario, we see about a 40% uptake. So we will see about 20% drop off based on which lender, which current account you have, and what when customers are going through this.

11:24
One of the things that kind of strikes me is is quite interesting that even if you’ve got the current account with them, then you still go through the open banking process just from ease of use almost in some ways.

11:34
Absolutely. And I guess what we find is that there still isn’t a silver bullet to create a perfect budget, especially within collections that we still, we use as a tool for the customer to help to to build that data centre, we use this as a tool for them to save time improve the accuracy of the information they’re pulling back. But we still find that there is you couldn’t just take open banking data, give that to the lender and say, make repayments In addition, because actually, there’s so many, so many more variables that you need to do. So we are very much position this for the customers Haylock save time, improve the accuracy, help us get a kind of a a better solution for using this this information. But ultimately, it isn’t still a silver bullet to to create a perfect budget just because you’ve used an open bank.

12:22
What’s What’s the view into? Like? Where does open banking go? Where does it go? What do you think the future is going to be? I mean, so we’ve got some initial adoption, where it was sort of helping with the automation. But you know, is that is that is the more we can do the more data sources we can get you think?

12:38
Yeah, I think if you look back at the purpose behind open banking, it was the intention was to democratise banking services by by making them more open. So the the body that was actually set up by the CMA, the open banking implementation entity, they’ve actually recorded that the the number of people adopting open banking has more than doubled since since January 2020, despite all the kind of issues that COVID-19 has actually caught. So I think that’s for a variety of reasons, you know, that that people are actually adopting open banking, some people are using it to to have better access to credit. Some people are looking at open banking, to help when they’re applying for mortgages. Some people use open banking as a tool to give you greater visibility across all of your banking products, almost kind of aggregating the accounts that you have with with numerous banks. And of course, as we’ve been speaking about here, it’s had a tremendous application and use in the data management world. So I think, as a, as a financial services, FinTech, what we’ve tried to do is to take advantage of near the tools and the technology that’s available to to make a process easier, to make it more transparent, and to ultimately improve the kind of customer journey and and to help adoption rates actually increase. So I think having over 2 million people in the UK using open banking now is a good start. Yeah, it was a million last year now it’s 2 million. So I think doubled. Double is always good. But I think because people are becoming more used to the concept of open banking, I think, you know, there will be additional kind of products and services that other fintechs and other organisations to kind of bring into market. And because the the the end user benefits are so vast, I think from from a debt management perspective, what is really helpful is that it allows you to have a greater level of granular detail, not just to understand what is consumers circumstances today, but actually what’s going to be happening over the sort of next three to six months. So if I give you a real example, the FCA is mandating that we have to We perform affordability assessments at the end of every mortgage payment holiday. And so all that activity is going to be, you know, pushed on to lenders, perhaps in the next kind of couple of months, which you know, which has kind of a challenge associated with it. But if people’s income levels have actually reduced, and you have made arrangements with a consumer to set up repayment plans or partial repayment plans, once you’ve actually made that arrangement, can open banking provide you with more granular ongoing data to ensure that that arrangement is sustainable? Does it allow you to highlight any potential issues such as gambling money going into gambling? Have we seen, you know, reductions in income, because income has been, you know, quite spiky? So I think open banking really is not just a tool to allow you to access credit, or to give you a once and done assessment of your affordability. I think it has far more wide ranging applications that perhaps haven’t been fully explored by people.

16:10
I suppose one of the sticking points have that as always been around, suppose the 90 day permissions, you have to get permission every 90 days? I mean, is that I mean, I don’t think that’s going to go away. I mean, that’s, that’s that’s kind of those are the kind of the rules I’m not arguing that it’s actually going to change, but But what do we do to try and make it more sticky? So people are more comfortable with using making because you can get to all of those other things in terms of pre collections pre arrears, some of those kinds of things is, is is what what are your thoughts on that in terms of happening? Is it about stickiness? How do you make your the applications and the interaction more sticky?

16:43
I guess we were you need to do you need to give the customer a reason to keep making that connection between the two. So you need to show value by the fact that using this application, they’ve they’ve got to assume solution. It’s about giving the customer a reason to do that. Now there are lots of other things you can do as part of this, as they touched on that is more than just the application right? Now you can use an open banking. So you can look at, for example, how can help customer save money within another product. So actually, if you can send that customer’s data set, you can set them up with a plan that they can then regenerate through, actually, what else can you offer that customer as part of this journey? Can you offer them? Where you can only see the overspending in certain areas? Can you offer them budgeting advice, can you direct them towards get better deals? Absolutely, then, as a customer, now, I have got more than just my original solution out of it. I’ve actually may have saved money and have an income maximisation. So actually, I’ve got value out of that. So as a customer, I’m going to keep making that reconnection and keep engaging. And that’s going to keep that kind of data coming through. Because it’s a, it’s a purpose. For me, it’s a value for me to be able to do that. And it’s those extra products, which is what takes it from doing a one time collections process through to actually having something that’s a substantial application you can use for financial management.

18:00
So there’s a story that came out recently, and it’s about about online adoption. And as far as and it was, the figure is actually quite surprising, actually was like 50 or 60% of people so that I still have concerns with online banking, I think I think it was, and obviously, we know, we spend a lot of time talking about digital adoption and digital products and those kind of things. But there are these sort of, you know, people who are adopters and people are used to it, and they’re in the habit of using online and then and particularly for some of the banks, I mean, that they have to serve as everyone, right, they got you and they got people who aren’t necessarily, you know, you know, savvy or as comfortable with online servicing? I mean, what’s what’s your view in terms like, how do we do that mean? Is it just a gradual migration? Or are the the tools to try and include people in other ways? Or, because I think that’s a problem for some sectors and some some parts of the industry as well.

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18:46
Yeah, it is, it’s also very difficult in a customer journey to explain what’s about to happen within a couple of sentences. So what you don’t want to do is, is a balance between overburden the customer with information that’s going to, they’re not going to digest or they’re going to turn away or read off, between actually and incidents done and what of what you’re about to do by reading the first sentence. And I think it’s that piece where you’ve got to try to hit a sweet spot for the customer. And the best way of doing that is understanding who that customer is what the customer wants to get out of the journey and create bespoke and different UIs based on the actual customer and said that this dealer knew in the first place so each customer will do something slightly different and it’s about knowing who those quote cohorts of customers our understanding the kind of way they want to interact an application and then the UI adapting based on that, which is you start to get really clever in the way that the the actual application works with dying customer.

19:41
It does feel like you know, we’ve all got much more in touch with the habit or just tried it to certain extent at all. You’re like there’s some of these things I didn’t try beforehand, sort of like that, that, you know, the lockdowns are really sort of like forced me to try different things like I don’t know. You know, online supermarket shopping I mean like plastic right? I agree with the kids. Yeah, exactly. You know, YouTube exercise videos, and all of the things we will try during lockdown. But and and then we adopt some of them right? I mean, do you think that’s going to happen as as as well?

20:15
Yeah, I mean, we certainly don’t see the likelihood of digital now dropping off the way that a lot of the lenders, kind of who we’re talking to is, they see this as a way that they can get a regular touch point with that customer in where they say, for example, it feels like going to the dentist once a year, or actually, I need to get an update on your financial circumstances. And then customer, I think, well, I need to do something manually. How am I going to do that. And we see that recycling of using application in that method. And so from that perspective, we don’t see any kind of lesser uptake of the application being used. If anything, I think we’re going to find the repeat service if not only ever done a one time hit to create more affordability portfolio, but it’s the repeat, okay, six months have gone on the plan, how did you fall with look now go in check in go through that process. And I see that part growing exponentially, but over the next few years,

21:12
and one of the challenges has been, you know, customers have to do income expenditures multiple times, right. So you have to do with multiple issues. And, and data portability was always the the Holy Grail, we’re always trying to get to and it begins. I mean, they may just get your view around sort of how you feel from almost like from I mean, there’s a commercial question there as well, I suppose to certain extent, I mean, how do you feel around sort of industry sharing and industry sharing around some of that some of the some of some of the data, I suppose, to certain extent,

21:42
ultimately, data belongs to the customer. So they have to give permission to it to allow it to be passed between different parties. So when we look at the demographics of open banking, we first saw people in their 20s, being sort of the early adopters. Now it’s up to sort of early 30s. And one of the points you’re just making in terms of the pandemic has made us adopting a new tools and new technologies, I think a lot of that would have actually come anyway. But we’ve almost been forced to adopt it, you know, three or four years ahead of the curve. So very much they are here to stay. So I think open banking is only going to grow.

22:22
I’m also interested in your perspective on, you know, operations and call centres. And I know there’s you obviously spend time working with them as well, you know, and this move towards digital, you know, is what, what do you think the impact is going to be on the call centre industry? And sort of, you know, I mean, is that is that, is that going to mean, they’ve already come down from what we’re, you know, really largely manual people based organisations over the longest time? I mean, do you think, do you think it’s going to fundamentally change what we do over the longer term with impacts on that, too?

22:53
I think there’s a couple of kind of ways of answering that. So have call centres changed, I think, arguably, yes. Because the there are, ultimately a call centre is made up of a number of different agents, and agents that were traditionally used to working in one particular office location, there are a lot of people that have never had any exposure to or an ability to work from home, that perhaps will actually enjoy that. So I think they will be a hybrid between actually having people in traditional office, but also having, you know, some people kind of working from home as well, which could potentially help with the, you know, attraction retention issue that a lot of call centres typically tend to have. I think that’s kind of one point, the next point I’d really make is that, it if you look at all of the routes that a customer would have to just speak with, with a company with a bank, be a retailer, traditionally, the, there’s been no content memory between these different channels. So you could have a conversation with one person over the phone, maybe have another conversation with a chatbot, or another conversation via email. And there was, it wasn’t always the case, that that information was sort of seamlessly transferred between the kind of different sources. So there wasn’t that kind of content memory, I think what what will be important kind of moving forward for call centres is to improve the kind of customer experience and raise the quality of the level. And so that there is this expectation that if I have started to speak to an agent, and then I’m, you know, having to kind of give my permission to allow open banking, I can go in and I can do some steps myself. And then actually, if I if I hit a bump, and there’s a question I don’t fully understand, I can go back to the agent. So there’s that I think it’d be a more seamless, no pass through between self service and digital. I think that’s going to be one of the main sort of changes you’re gonna see over the next couple of years.

24:49
It feels to me like that all had the very nature, particularly collections departments, almost like it’s been changing or something’s been changing over the last 10 years where you use tools like no like the I need tools and if you comes around, like how do you then work with the customer to help them understand it help them understand what their options are, it’s quite a different conversation than, than it used to be even like 10 years ago, leaving, let alone 20 years ago. And the whole nature of that seems to be changed the nature of collections call centres in terms of like the human interaction seems to be changing.

25:20
Yeah, and it’s definitely more of an education element. Now as part of this journey, so actually, if I’m a customer, I understand how I’ve built up my proposals and how my plans work. We see we see better sticky rates on those plans as well, because now as a Christmas, I kind of understand my situation, maybe where before, I haven’t physically written everything down myself, work through that would definitely find in that if a customer understands, and we tried to educate them on their financial situation, we see a better uptake. And we actually see a better throughput of plans as well, people stick to their plans for longer, because there’s that knowledge of will have a format my plan? Well, this is a kind of promo plans built.

25:58
We’re obviously all working remotely. Now. I mean, how are you finding that from, you know, a client point of view from, you know, from from from a business point of view in terms of interacting with each other? I mean, is that, you know, is it a good thing is a bad thing? What are the what are the things that are working well or not?

26:14
So I guess, firstly, we were really worried because when we firstly we love going out and seeing people we’d have weekly, and these weekly meetings where we physically go and sit in Linda Linda’s office, and we chat through so first week, we were quite worried about the fact that that too, but am I going to have to keep this this closer to the team actually wants to complete opposite we we speak to our customers more than we did do previously. We have kind of shorter, sharper meetings rather than kind of more elongated meetings. But actually, we’ve onboarding more customers than we ever have before. Over the last 12 months, we compete on more projects than we have done before, over the last year as well. And generally, the relations have actually strengthened based on that. And there’s always a feeling of actually, we’re all in the same boat here as well, in the sense that we know what you’re going to do, because we’ve got kids screaming in the background, and we’ve got the postman coming every five minutes. And say there is a kind of sense of patience, I think that they kind of gels teams together. And there’ll be we’ve definitely found over the last 12 months,

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27:13
I’d completely echo that. I think, at first it was the concern that people would have, you know, Zoom fatigue, because you were having more meetings in a day than you’ve ever had. But I think, because meetings have tended to be a little bit more informal. As Richard mentioned, we’re on this kind of same boat, I think there’s an appreciation that we were able to kind of pivot from all being, you know, office based to providing the same level of service. And we were able to do it quickly, partly because of you know, being a FinTech, you have to have all of the tools available to allow you to, to work remotely. So it probably wasn’t as as harder transition for us as it was it was for others. But But I read Rich’s point, I think, relationships have actually been strengthened. I think you’re all seeing each other’s homes, which you never kind of did before. So yeah, I think, you know, moving forward, clearly, we’d still like to physically go and see clients and sit in their offices, but I think there’ll be a combination of of those meetings, but you know, we’ll continue to, to have these kind of virtuals

28:17
would certainly be sort of like, like 10 minutes, sort of almost like video shorts, where you sort of just you end up getting on the video call with someone chatting with someone and sort of getting it done. I mean, I think that those are definitely been a boon. I think it certainly feels like there’s a building relationships closer, it’s just in the long term, you know, you know, we probably still need to have a little bit of face to face time, I think just to build relationships and sort of like, you know, you know, shake someone’s hand or look them in the eye, shaking someone’s hand for a year.

28:44
That’s because you’ve got to sanitise afterwards.

28:48
And I hear you on the on the postman. I mean, I think certainly before Christmas, when we were all getting deliveries at home, and it was like as everyone’s doorbells were going it was, it was a occupational hazard.

29:00
I think the other thing is, well, it does it, I find it takes things away from email as well. So I find email, a really difficult place to there’s a lot of ambiguity in email, a lot of sense of tone, that seems to reduce and people are more likely now to pick up, pick up and I’ll do a quick team’s dial. And then to write an email, which is perfect, because then you actually get to speak somewhere before even if you say in the same office, the moment an email. And I think that that definitely helps you to actually be able to talk to someone so weirdly, working remotely, we’re probably talking more than we ever have done before. Yeah,

29:35
I the one thing I think that has been hard to replicate has been almost like the almost like the surprise conversations where you’re running past someone in the hallway, those kind of things. So I think we’re still going to try and work that out. So, okay, well, thanks very much. I mean, could just just to finish off if we could just to get a bit of your perspective on what you think the future holds for for the for this year. We’ve gone into the start of this year. And obviously, you know, it’s been, I think, for me, at least anyway, it’s been a tough couple of weeks, just, you know, who’ve gone back into lockdown, and sort of just like coming back off, off off the holidays and those kind of things, but, but it’s like, you know, we’re obviously we’re now picking up speed, it’d be good to hear about what, what what you think is going to happen this year. And you know, what you think the future holds really

30:19
charged start on this one. So I think I mentioned beforehand that because of the unprecedented situation we’ve found ourselves in, the government has had to step in, in ways that they would never have considered previously, you know, furloughs been extended mortgage payment holders been in for three months, and then sort of being extended and extended. So I think there is a greater appreciation that there will be more people with quite a levels of debt than they perhaps would have expected to have had before. So I think being in debt and having having debts, perhaps we’ll have less of a stigma. And then it’s then it’s previously had before, I think what it’s also highlighted, is that, you know, all the lenders we speak to, are really concerned about, not just operation resilience, but you know, really being there for, for their customers in their hour of need. So the ability to give people choice in terms of how they want to interact with a lender, I think is a big tick and has been welcomed. I think the fact that a number of people will be having to kind of put arrangements in place that that have never had to do that before. I think lenders are really, really open to their consumers having more debt advice. So actually, rather than just saying, You owe me some money, let’s put an arrangement in a place where you’re gonna pay x pounds, or x x percent on a monthly basis. And that’s fine. But that’s, that’s quite transactional. I think people are more understanding more emotive and saying, Actually, can we help you? Can we provide some kind of debt counselling advice? So that yeah, so that it’s going to the next level saying, actually, it looks as though you may be overpaying on your utility bills? Are there comparison sites, you can actually take advantage of, to actually start to, you know, give give you additional kind of income level? So, it’s not just looking at, you owe me money, can you pay me? It’s naturally how can we help our end consumer, I think, I think that sort of the empathy and that sort of emotional intelligence, if that’s correct, the correct term. And I think that’s, that’s been one of the kind of positives that have kind of come out of this, this experience,

32:39
we understand that people in the situation, they understand people better maybe, to be able to help them more.

32:44
And I think going back onto the kind of stigma point, there, there will be people that are in debt that never expected to be in debt, and perhaps would feel a little uncomfortable having this kind of face to face kind of conversation with an advisor about that. So actually being able to utilise the sort of self service tools. And I think that that that will undoubtedly, you know, help and appeal to, to a certain demographic. Yeah.

33:12
So Rich, give you a context about kind of the state what we see now we’ve, we had across applications, I mean, we’ve got hundreds of 1000s of people use our apps, but 20 people on Christmas Day, use our application and complete an affordability process on Christmas Day this year. And I think that really gives context as to yesterday, say know exactly what’s happening right now. And people are worried and people want to kind of get a resolution in place, that the biggest thing I think we’ll do from a technology perspective and offering perspective is we the minute collections is very reactive. So something happens, you miss a payment, and therefore you then need to use application or you need to speak to someone in order to make that resolution. Well, I think we want to try and help the industry get to is more of a kind of proactive arrays collection, we’re actually before the customer has missed that payment, we’re able to step in and help them so we can use either via open banking, that technology, by customer behaviour, previous data, we know that a customer is likely to miss a payment, maybe for the EU in some circumstances, and we can do something proactively about that before we hit that the kind of collections point, I think that’s the biggest one of the biggest switch and that’s going to help our lenders do we’re working with lenders everyday to see how that looks and feels like but that’s the kind of switched it on to try and mate to avoid this very reactive collections process that we currently have.

34:35
And that’s why I think some of the psychology stuff we talked about is so interesting, because it’s almost like, as much of that is as much as the functionality is how do you persuade people to to interact with you? Right, which is almost like a psychological question rather than a, you know, a pure process. Question.

34:49
Absolutely. And like I say, we’ve seen a lot. We’ve seen a lot more with a rise in people that do. God he’s on Christmas Day, late in the evenings on the weekends, that that’s risen over the past 12 months. And as well as the general adoption of people doing that and use actly, right? It’s to do with that psychology now I’ve actually, I now need to do something. Whereas before, my vision of am I in trouble financially, maybe slightly different to what it is now. And it’s getting onto the understanding what the customer actually thinks about customer, we have many customers who have two two grands worth of debt, that is the end of the world to them, they really need to get this sorted on that day, we were the crystals with larger sets of debts, of course, larger sets and lenders were previously for them, there Will there still wasn’t a problem, because the two people think very differently about the situation, we now definitely see a more of a propensity where customer knows that they need to do something and therefore the their kind of intent is definitely growing.

35:49
So like the guardrails have changed a little bit in terms of people’s perception. Absolutely. Well, Dave, and Rich, thanks very much for joining me. I really, really, really appreciate it. It’s, it’s been it’s been great fascinating to hear some of the stories in terms of where you where you are, you know, some of the some of the stuff you’ve done is has been great, and it was a really interesting conversation. So thanks very much, and we’ll speak again soon.

36:11
You’re welcome. Thanks, Chris. Thank you. Thanks.

36:12
Thanks. Bye


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