Sopra Steria Financial Services Designs Bespoke Digital Tool to Help People in Vulnerable Situations
A new digital solution that helps identify and support people in vulnerable situations has been launched at one of the UK’s leading credit unions.
Developed by Sopra Steria Financial Services, a subsidiary of the purpose-led digital transformation provider, Sopra Steria, and in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, Support Point will soon be available to all members at Capital Credit Union.
The tool enables people to self-disclose if they are in a vulnerable situation – whether it is work, money, health or wellbeing related. It coaches users to better understand their needs and request appropriate support directly from their credit union or other service provider.
Following a successful pilot at Capital Credit Union, a community-based organisation that provides ethical, fair and affordable financial services, Support Point will be used to further enhance the invaluable support it provides to its members as cost-of-living pressures continue to increase.
Designed with a primary focus on treating customers fairly and in line with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance, the tool guides members through a set of simple questions about their personal circumstances.
Support Point provides customers with access to a range of free, accessible and targeted assistance from government, charities and community groups. It also signposts users to other relevant support options that can help build longer term financial, health and emotional resilience.
Insights gained from the tool mean service providers can better understand and report on the nature, scale and impact of vulnerabilities across their member or customer base, helping them to meet their regulatory obligations for vulnerable customers.
With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to impact a large proportion of the population, Support Point has been developed for use by both public and private sector organisations. This includes those operating in central and local government, utilities, and financial services, such as banks, building societies and insurers, which can all use Support Point to provide better outcomes for customers in vulnerable situations.
Capital Credit Union Chief Executive, Marlene Shiels, explained:
“Capital Credit Union has a strong history of promoting financial resilience and improving our members’ financial choices, so the opportunity to provide a tool that supports vulnerable members in a quick, pro-active and practical way, was very attractive.
“Empowering our members through self-help guides and clear signposting to appropriate services complements the work that CCU provides internally. It’s been exciting to pilot and now launch this tool, helping to shape its development, and see how it can benefit our members and make a positive impact across society more generally.”
Rob McElroy, CEO at Sopra Steria Financial Services, said:
“To develop Support Point we formed an inclusive design panel, collaborating with people who have lived experience of various vulnerabilities. This was critical to ensure the tool is inclusive and accessible to all.
“We’re delighted to see the tool being used to support those who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances and we’ll further enhance the solution through user insights, including the introduction of new features and functionality. This solution enhances our end-to-end service within financial services, where we’re helping our clients better support and understand their customers.”
Project leader and Professor of Financial Services Marketing and Consumption at the University of Edinburgh, Tina Harrison, said:
“It can be very easy for people to become overwhelmed by the deluge of information out there and make choices which could harm their long-term financial wellbeing.
“Support providers are also under enormous pressure to respond to extraordinary demand. Support Point offers organisations a tool their customers can use free of charge to self-identify their needs and access the right support, at the right time.”
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