Redefining money management for the consumer
According to a recent study, nine out of 10 UK consumers feel that they're undereducated in terms of personal finance - a worrying statistic as the nation heads towards one of the deepest recessions on record.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Aryza is working with financial services businesses to help them provide a digital solution to their customers who may be struggling with their finances or managing payment breaks. Here, Andy Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer at the Aryza Group, discusses how it's been working to develop digital solutions, accessible anytime, and from anywhere, to help people take control of their money and make healthier financial decisions.
Few people feel comfortable discussing their finances, especially if they are struggling or in arrears. Knowing where to turn can be difficult and many feel overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the debt management, restructuring and repayment process. If you combine this with the pressure on businesses to search for alternatives to call centres as the epidemic continues, there’s a real need to explore user-friendly alternatives, designed to guide consumers and provide essential support.
A recent survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 25% of respondents reported feeling anxious or nervous when discussing their finances, deeming it a ‘no go’ topic of conversation.
Aryza Recover is designed to restore consumer faith, digitally guiding consumers step by step through their money management journey, explaining their options in an easy to understand format and helping to improve their overall financial wellbeing.
By utilising open banking data and smart software, the system connects customer accounts, cards, debts, and assets, identifying the most appropriate and helpful offers available. Helping to bring peace of mind to an individual during a stressful situation, it also ensures that consumers and lenders can access all the information they need via a single system.
We also wanted to build in checks to help identify vulnerability and ensure this was considered by the automated decision systems built into the solution. If the consumer prefers, there is always the option to speak to an advisor who can help them through the journey.
Once this data is collated, consumers can view the repayment options available to them, and depending on what the affordability check calculates, decide to continue with their existing journey or consider other options such as payment breaks or revised payment plans - eliminating lengthy telephone calls or in branch discussions.
Of course, people are rightly sceptical of handing over their personal and financial data online, and it is a completely new idea to ask customers to give up so much information via a digital solution. Around 50% of consumers still prefer to input the data manually over open banking, and we envisage it’ll be a while before certain demographics feel fully at ease with the process.
The ability to log in using fingerprint or facial recognition software, or with a username and password from their mobile device also removes many of the hurdles that would previously have prevented a person from seeking help. Already, we are noticing higher engagement rates where we’d previously seen minimal levels, with engagement up by 13% for consumers deep in arrears and a 30% increase for those classed as ‘struggling financially’.
This really is a revolution in the way consumers engage with lenders and with a wave of economic uncertainty approaching, we’re determined to empower consumers to help themselves out of tough financial situations.
This article was contributed by Andy Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer, The Aryza Group