Delivering digital tools to help customers in financial difficulty

10th March 2022.

The Challenge

Digital bank, Zopa, wanted a more efficient and accurate way of assisting loan and cards customers in financial difficulty who required repayment plans. Previously, agents had to send a form to customers to print out, complete, scan and email back – a lengthy and laborious process for both parties. 

The Paylink Solution

Paylink Solutions was selected and we subsequently delivered our flagship cloud-based digital income and expenditure (I&E) application, Embark. 

Embark collects all relevant data to understand customers’ affordability, including their incomings, outgoings and debts. 

The platform, which now helps Zopa to fulfil FCA requirements, also incorporates features, such as Open Banking, digital triage, arrangement proposals and auto requests for future affordability assessments.

Zopa is able to invite customers to provide an update of their financial situation through digital channels, either by SMS or by email, which are aligned with Zopa’s brand guidelines. Customers can access Embark through a link on the Zopa website, so they can self-serve and provide the information at a convenient time for them.

Integration of Open Banking and customer credit report information within the journey has made the process much slicker for customers and drives operational efficiencies across Zopa. Embedded SFS (Standard Financial Statement) guidelines also ensure customers’ repayment plans are affordable and sustainable.

During the process, customers can access our sister company, PayPlan, for free debt advice with their budget information sent over via an API. Customers can choose either a call back from PayPlan or live chat with a debt advisor from Zopa’s platform – without having to repeat their I&E information.

Results

Integrating Embark into Zopa’s customer service operations has seen a significant increase in the number of loan customers in financial difficulty completing affordability assessments – from 53% to 81%. 

Removing manual physical form-filling processes also allows more customers to easily share financial difficulties and receive relevant support.

For customers who’ve had a change in circumstance and require a payment plan, the platform allows Zopa to seamlessly gather data from leading credit referencing agencies to provide a holistic view of their financial situation. Almost 80% of customers consent to having their data gathered in this way.

Our software has enabled Zopa to support their loan and credit card customers who have been financially affected by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Providing a quick, accurate and fully digital customer service has seen the number of people completing their journey this way increasing by 262% in just three months.

Plus, it’s reduced the time it takes for customers to complete their I&E from an average of 45 minutes (using Zopa’s previous process) to just 23.

What Zopa said

Tabitha Sherwood, Product Manager from Zopa, said: “The cloud-based digital income and expenditure product delivered by Paylink Solutions helps our customers who are in financial difficulty and allows us to offer affordable solutions. 

“The use of Open Banking means the journey can be completed much faster, customers are offered flexibility in how they complete their budget – and our agents are freed up to support even more people.

“It is evident Paylink Solutions has developed and provided the technology needed for customers and creditors to engage in a quick and seamless way during these unprecedented times where the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted millions of people across the UK.”

What Paylink Solutions said

Andrew Alder, Development and Partnerships Director, said: “We are thrilled to see our software supporting Zopa and its customers with fast-paced and class-leading digital support and with the operational results to back it up.”

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