Money Advice Scotland has revealed it will pilot a new webchat service that is powered by technology from Experian.
The Affordability Passport could help speed up the process of gathering vital income and expenditure data, as well as a statement of consumer credit debts.
Normally this procedure would take weeks or even months and require several advice appointments. However, with the new tool, this can be done in just a few minutes. The information is used to ensure that customers can quickly share their financial position, enabling the money charity to offer the best support using trusted data.
Experian’s tool is a web-based technology which allows organisations to offer customers a secure platform through which they can share bank account transaction data. It delivers a clear and comprehensive picture of people’s income and expenditure.
David Hilferty, deputy CEO at Money Advice Scotland, said: “Dealing with problem debt is increasingly complex as advisers face the repercussions of a decade of welfare reform, stagnating incomes, and rising personal debt levels among households on the lowest incomes.
“Our service presents the opportunity to bring speed and precision to the process of understanding a full picture of someone’s financial circumstances.
“Making use of open banking means we can help the client get this information in a matter of minutes, so they are prepared for their first appointment and can start getting help straight away. We hope this can free up valuable time for agencies to focus on specialist advice.”
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Lisa Fretwell, Managing Director of Data Services at Experian: “Our open banking tool helps debt advisers to help more people in trouble and offer them a faster, improved service.
“Talking about debt is an awkward conversation for people in financial difficulty, and the stress of rummaging through kitchen drawers to find the right paperwork is just another barrier to them getting help.
“Using our advanced analytics technology, Money Advice Scotland can remove that hurdle and get accurate, up-to-date insights on the financial position people are in, so they can plot the best route to get them back on track.”
The partnership between the charity and Experian is part of the pilot project, which is due to run until March 2020.