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Paylink, PayPlan, OpenWrks and Tully to merge in transformative deal for debt advice sector and wider financial services ecosystem

11th May 2021 – Today, Paylink Solutions announces the intended merger of four companies from the debt advice and FinTech sectors: Paylink, PayPlan, OpenWrks and Tully. The merger will deliver a tech-enabled debt advice, financial wellbeing and credit solutions group that can deliver transformative support to customers and clients across the UK.

The intention of the merger is to bring together highly complementary companies in debt advice, credit risk and collections industries with unique specialisms in open banking, technology and data science to improve and diversify access to debt advice for customers and drive innovation in transformative technology for customers and clients.

Exponent is supporting the merger by providing investment to the newly-formed group. Exponent’s involvement will accelerate innovation and growth within the group benefitting existing and future clients and customers alike.

For clients and partners, Paylink, the innovative onboarding and collections software provider, and OpenWrks, the UK based provider of open banking applications, will combine to deliver a transformative suite of solutions to the collections and lending sector.

Susan Rann, CEO of Paylink Solutions said: “We’re very excited about this new venture, and look forward to combining the expertise, experience and technology of each of these companies to deliver a new group with huge potential in the FinTech space. In the meantime, our clients should be reassured that we will continue to operate ‘business as usual’ and look forward to delivering a number of software solutions contracts in the coming months.”

Steve Bradford, Co-Founder of OpenWrks Group, said: “We believe the combined capabilities from this merger will be hugely beneficial to our clients and partners. The merger will provide us with the scale to further establish our services in the UK whilst also helping us to accelerate our growth internationally.”

For customers, the combination of PayPlan, one of the UK’s foremost free debt advice providers, and Tully, the world’s first digital debt adviser, will create a new flexible, omnichannel debt advice service, offering everything from human debt advisers to digital interfaces. The new full-service offering will allow the group to meet current and future demands in the sector whilst improving the customer experience to deliver better customer outcomes and improve financial wellbeing.

Rachel Duffey, CEO of PayPlan, said: “It is widely known that the demand for debt advice is increasing and there’s also a clear need for better accessibility for vulnerable customers struggling with problem debt. I’m thrilled that this new collaboration will give us the opportunity to use innovative technology and investment to support the sectoral response to this demand, increasing the capacity, accessibility and quality of free debt advice.”

Stuart Bungay, Co-Founder of Tully, said: “We are delighted to be merging the businesses together and broaden our reach to customers across the UK. This is particularly timely given the need to significantly increase free to consumer debt advice is anticipated to exceed all previous levels next year.”

The companies within the new group will remain operationally separate until further notice as the group identify the most beneficial route forward for clients and customers. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.