Building fully supported, innovate software solutions within the financial sector
The Application Workflow (Example)
This workflow is an example of one used by a well-known HCSTC brand.
This flow can be completely customised to suit your business’ individual needs. Bespoke integrations are built to support various third party suppliers, including those that are not currently supported.
The generic product model application journeys are totally flexible, designed in a modular way that can be customised to best meet your specific requirements.
The product has the ability to add in or remove data fields, on-page verification and steps within the application journey. The journey can even be split over multiple pages or kept to one page in the semantic flow of the data entry to analyse what works best for your particular product and customer base. The progress bar at the top can be completely customised too.
The application has full reporting capability integrated within it, so that you can use tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar to measure engagement and activity on the site. This can in turn allow a set up for bespoke, automated follow-up communications to be sent at the various drop off stages.
Depending on your requirements and needs, different third party plugins can be integrated within the application form to assist with users as they go through the application journey. This could assist a prospective customer when entering information such as their address or card or bank account information.
The loan decisioning engine has been constructed using a workflow model as shown on the Application Workflow (example). Every step of the loan decisioning process can be altered depending on your individual appetite for risk, and can even be moved to change the cascading flow of the loan decisioning journey to save on more costly checks.
Included within the loan decisioning engine is a series of pre-checks, which will remove non-applicable applications before they move fully into the engine, to optimise efficiency and reduce the need for more costly checks. After this, more extensive checks are performed which include:
- Pre-affordability check
- Anti fraud and device matching check
- Real time credit check
- Automated affordability check
- Customer card verification
- CIFAS matching
- Mobile and email check
- Full standard credit check Customer bank check
Included within the loan decisioning service is the ability to get more information from a customer (e.g. an extensive income and expenditure check using open banking) and even a Direct Debit set up to add peace of mind for collections. Loan agreements and Direct Debit agreements are all signed online within the loan decisioning journey, without the need for manual oversight or intervention.
The decisioning process is designed to minimise human intervention. Windows Workflow Foundations toolset is leveraged, allowing processing to be adaptable to your individual needs. Application checks are built into smaller chunks which can be moved around within the process. By using this more flexible approach, you are able to manipulate the process graphically, adjusting the process that your customers follow without additional development time.
Credit Risk Scorecard
The largest partner using the platform, PiggyBank, uses a standard 'scorecard' approach when assessing whether lending to an applicant represents an acceptable risk. A scorecard assigns a score (very much like a standard credit score) to an application; the higher the score, the lower risk the business considers the applicant to be. Each scorecard is built up from dozens of individual data points, taken from the application, and the applicant's credit file. For example, owning a credit card may be worth 50 points; having a verified previous address, 30 points; having had a recent defaulted store card may subtract 60 points, etc.
Scoring applications in this way has been standard practice across the industry for decades.
Originally, this was because scores had to be calculated by hand, so the process had to be simple. But even with the advent of powerful computers and more nuanced methods of assessing 'good' or 'bad' risk, the market still prefer scorecards; they are straightforward to build, and the resulting decisions are easily understood. This is generally not true for more modern approaches of decisioning, e.g., neural networks: the underlying reasons for a decision may not be fully understood, even by the person who built it. It is true that machine learning (which includes neural networks) may make better lending decisions in the long run, but a good scorecard should be accurate enough to make the trade-off (better understanding versus a marginal drop in efficiency) acceptable.
The technical team behind the business’ products and services can help you build your own scorecard using the business’ generic model as a starting point.
The platform has current working integration with Credit Kudos, to allow the use of open banking. This provides the additional transactional history of customers. Where applications may have been declined in the past due to thin credit files or inaccurate self-declared income and expenditure forms, open banking enables the loan underwriters to make informed decisions on a customer’s affordability and/ or creditworthiness.
The other huge benefit experienced by Open Banking from both a Manual Underwriting and Automated Decisioning perspective, is the amount of time it saves, looking at data online, rather than waiting to receive the customer’s bank statements by post, or bad quality photos/screenshots uploaded as evidence of affordability. It also allows the underwriting team to cross reference the data that the customer has input in the I&E section of their application, meaning they can be even more accurate on the loan decision.
Some of the key benefits of using Open Banking are:
- Additional data and clarity for thin credit files
- Time saving against using traditional bank statements
- Further clarity on burn rate and spend dynamics
- Categorisation and grouping payments automatically
- Making more informed decisions on creditworthiness
The Customer Relationship Management System
The Customer Admin system is the bespoke data hub created to store information about customers. This tends to predominantly be used by customer facing teams. This CRM system includes all the information that is stored about a particular customer (including contact details, credit file and loan decision responses) and enables the teams to store further information regarding the particular customer.
Different tabs within the CRM system can be created to suit your operation’s needs, to portion information into helpful sections. The information within each tab can be further filtered and restricted in order to only present the user with specifically what they want or need to see. Actions can also be locked down and restricted based on permissions to allow for control over agent ability to complete specific actions.
It is a completely customisable tool that can be set at individual user level, team level or department level. Information is only ever displayed where it is necessary to do so.
The CRM system stores records of all communications had with a customer, working synergistically with the E-Comms system and case listing tools detailed later in this brochure. There is functionality built into the main communication hub of the CRM that allows the user to create a note with only one click. This feature can be used to quickly note the contact attempts made to a customer’s personal, home or work phone, and if that call was no answer, voicemail, unavailable or wrong number, removing the need to manually type frequently used notes.
Flow Based Customer Management
Much in the same way that the development style is a workflow, a similar approach has been applied to the CRM system when it comes to handling contact with a customer.
The Flows system has been designed with consistency and efficiency in mind for all customer facing agents.
The Flows is a tool that guides a user through a conversation or investigation with a customer, by signposting the potential questions that should be asked, actions that should be taken, and outcomes that may be available for each customer and their specific requirements. This system leads to more consistent outcomes for customers, which in turn leads to better quality assurance results for customer facing agents.
The stages within The Flows can be completely customised to reflect your operational processes, and different flows can be designed to cater to different teams and departments.
The individual actions taken while using The Flows system have been built to accommodate full reporting and MI oversight, and important actions are automatically recorded as a note within the main CRM, which promotes a better and more efficient case knowledge from an agent perspective.
The Flows also provide a kind of bookmarking functionality; it will lead a user to the place that the last user left a case, leading to a more seamless transition and a better customer experience.
The Caselisting System makes managing accounts simple, efficient and organised. The tool has the ability to service functions across all areas of a business, for different customer cohorts including sales, collections, communications and investments. It compliments the CRM Customer Admin system and allows agents to navigate to key information in a streamlined way.
Cases within Caselists are typically organised in reverse chronological order, so that the customer who has been waiting the longest appears at the top of the list, but this can be configured to suit your needs. Filters and categories can be applied to provide a certain dataset of customers where required, and certain flags can be built into the system to bring specific cases to agents attention. There is also the ability to refer individual cases for management approval, with full reporting and MI capability over this.
Where chronological order does not work for your business’ needs, the Caselisting System also has a built in triage functionality, so that you can delegate work priority in accordance with your customer’s specific needs and operational SLAs.
Work can be distributed to an agent individually so that they have their own group of customer accounts to handle, or you can have agents working from the same list. There is a “lock-in” functionality that means a user cannot get into a case from the Caselisting System if another agent has already “locked” it, which removes the risk of more than one agent working on the same case.
The product stores data in a way that it is readily built for reporting and MI. Some examples of reports include current lend performance, % paybacks, what is due and values of debtors, among a suite of various other reports for all aspects of business monitoring. This is updated in real time, directly from the system.
The product has been developed to store everything at a transactional level, which means it can be easily exported into accounting platforms, with minimal intervention. The product also has a bank statement reader built in, meaning that a standard bank statement with customer payments on can be added to the system and allocated to a customer’s account automatically.
The product has a bespoke communications system for transactional, follow up, collections and marketing emails. The follow up emails and SMS include reminders to customers to complete the application journey and requests for further information. The SMS and emails that are sent through the communications system are all fully customisable, to suit your needs.
The E-Comms system has been designed to seamlessly connect multiple email inboxes and the CRM platform. Emails received through any of the configured inboxes will be incepted into the E-Comms system and a copy of the communication inserted into the customer’s account within the CRM system to allow maximum visibility of customer communications to anyone with delegated access.
The E-Comms system provides a hub that makes responding to customer’s email communications across multiple inboxes simple, efficient and allows prioritisation of the customers that require a more urgent response.
Agents are able to apply tags to emails which define the priority/urgency. E.g. A customer who has explained that they would like to cancel their CPA would be identified as a urgent priority and customers who are asking general questions would be a medium priority. A service is currently in development to provide an automatic priority based on the content of the customer’s email and the status of their account.
Communications within the E-Comms system are typically organised in reverse chronological order, (grouped by priority) so that the customer who has been waiting the longest, with the highest priority, appears at the top of the list, but this can be configured to suit your needs. Filters and categories can be applied to provide a certain dataset of customers where required. E.g. you could choose to only view the customer communications from people who are within a ‘debt recovery’ status.
Work can be distributed to an agent individually so that they have their own group of customer accounts to handle, or you can have agents working from the same list collaboratively. There is a “lock-in” functionality that means a user cannot get into a case from the E-Comms System if another agent has already “locked” it, which removes the risk of more than one agent working on the same case.