Designing Solutions for the Financially Squeezed

Designing Solutions for the Financially Squeezed
By Steve Bradford

In the UK and USA alone there are over 100m people classified as financially struggling or squeezed. This population struggles to keep up with bills, they fall behind on repayments and enter arrears with less than $100 in savings.

This lack of savings makes them vulnerable to shock costs as small as a minor car repair. Many turn to short term, high-cost credit as a solution, which increases their debts and starts a debilitating process into more and more debt. Historically, supporting the people that need it the most has been a cost drain to Financial Services Companies and innovation has been limited.

Using rich historical data sourced via open banking transactional data, it is possible to forecast the future stability of a consumer’s budget, and shift the market from using a one-off snapshot to assess a consumer’s affordability to a more accurate, real-time and dynamic budget.

This innovation is delivering services that can improve financial capability through the blending of rich external data sources with user-contributed data, using conversational AI to surface questions that help consumers complete a full picture of their finances.

As a case study, we have analysed millions of transactional META data, thousands of keywords and created hundreds of categories to accurately help consumers build an understanding of their finances.

We’ve created over 3,000 decision logic nodes that take into account the household circumstances, incoming, outgoing and debts to produce a budget and advice pack that is realistic, sustainable and personalised to each person. And we have delivered that direct to consumers in a world first, a digital budget and debt advice service. We apply behavioural science and design principles from the gaming industry, encouraging engagement and incentivising sustainable behavioural change for the people that need it the most.

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