NatWest Group have been working with open banking and affordability software specialists, Paylink Solutions, on developing their digital I&E tool to support their agents and better understand customers currently in arrears or coming to the end of payment holidays.
Paylink has designed, built and developed financial services software for over 20 years and their flagship Embark I&E tool has supported leading banks and building societies to provide digital affordability solutions to support customers struggling with their finances.
In March 2020, NatWest Group approached Paylink to work alongside their digital experts from NatWest and RBS on developing end-to-end digital journeys segmented by product type (overdrafts, mortgages, credit cards etc.) that integrated with NatWest Group’s AI chatbot, Cora, to give their customers access to tailored outcomes depending on their individual circumstances.
Paylink’s Embark I&E has enabled NatWest Group’s customers to fully self-serve and securely upload personal information for the banks’ agents to assess. With this pre-prepared oversight of the customer’s overall affordability, agents can understand the individual better and offer a suitable repayment plan. In addition to this, the Embark tool can identify vulnerable clients to ensure they are offered tailored support with a NatWest Group agent via phone or live chat.
The new digital journeys allow customers wishing to either request or extend a payment holiday to do so using insights gathered throughout their online journey. Customers can also quickly understand how much they can afford to pay if they wish to resume payments and get the new repayment amount quickly agreed with an agent.
In instances where a customer is not able to repay anything or requires further support and assistance, the application also allows NatWest Group’s agents to seamlessly and instantly refer their customers to their advice partner PayPlan to get free debt advice.
Chris Laverick, Head of DMO Supplier Management at NatWest Group, said:
“We know, for some people, there is a stigma associated with debt and in particular having to speak to people about it.
“The introduction of the Embark I&E is not only efficient, but more importantly allows customers to self-serve if that’s their preferred choice, and it can be done out of hours which is working well for the customer. Introducing CRA and Open Banking makes it easier and quicker for customers to get a full view of their financial statement, which they can also download for future use.”
Sue Rann, CEO of Paylink Solutions, said:
“We are thrilled to see the impact that our Embark tool has had on two of the UK’s leading banks’ collections processes.
“These are unprecedented times we live in, and it’s vital that customers get the financial support they need with as little friction as possible, particularly with the halting of payment holidays and redundancies on the horizon.”