Press Release, July 29, 2020
Leading Open Banking platform and applications provider OpenWrks is working with The Money and Pensions Service to provide digital affordability assessments as part of their digital enhancement to debt advice. With the aim of streamlining and increasing the volume of debt advice sessions consumers receive, The Money and Pensions service selected OpenWrks to supply digital affordability assessments in their PACE (Pilot of Adviser Capacity and Efficiency) project.
Using Open Banking and Conversational AI, MyBudget will enable consumers to quickly and easily share their transactional account information to complete a digital affordability assessment, allowing them to share their budget with advisers from one of the three participating charity partners that are delivering the debt advice sessions. MyBudget uses the transactional account information that Open Banking provides and adds levels of contextual information using Conversational AI, so that every budget is accurate and realistic to the consumer.
Director of Partnerships at OpenWrks, Mark Hover commented: ‘We’re thrilled to be working with The Money and Pensions Service to help more people get the debt advice they need, quicker, easier and from the comfort of their own home. As practitioners of Open Banking, we know first-hand the highs and lows of assessing affordability digitally. In short, Open Banking isn’t enough on its own. Context is needed to solve for missing payments, un-connected accounts, refunds and the complexities of a person’s bank account - which OpenWrks MyBudget solves.”
Following referrals from creditors, the PACE project debt advisers will be able to refer customers to MyBudget for help in completing a digital affordability assessment. Once completed, customers will share their OpenWrks MyBudget outcome with one of the participating debt charities, Money Advice Trust, the Citizens Advice and StepChange to get the right debt advice for them and their circumstances.
Daniel Kelly, Coordination and Engagement Manager at the Money and Pensions Service added: “The PACE project ultimately aims to serve customers better as well as increasing the volume of debt advice provided in the sector, which is even more important in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The successful introduction of the Standard Financial Statement has helped debt advisers to assess a customer’s incomings and outgoings in a consistent way across the sector. Now we are looking forward to building on this through exploring the use of Open Banking data with OpenWrks, seeking to increase the ease, accuracy and speed of the process so customers receive debt advice that is best tailored to their circumstances.”