Pegasystems, the software company empowering digital transformation at the world’s leading enterprises, today announced that it has worked with StepChange Debt Charity, a UK-based non-profit offering free debt advice and solutions, to provide a new online product enabling citizens in debt to quickly and easily apply for financial relief from the organisation.
It is estimated that around two million people in the UK will be adversely affected by major debt due to income reduction, job losses, and the end of the government furlough scheme following the COVID-19 outbreak. StepChange has helped more than five million people get back on their financial feet and repaid £4 billion of their debts over the past 25 years. To assist in the impending debt crisis, the organization today launched its Covid Payment Plan (CVPP), a new online service providing short-term assistance for those who qualify for up to a year.
Quickly designed and built within weeks on Pega Customer Service by our Pega gold partner Aaseya, the StepChange CVPP product assesses candidate suitability with six online questions. Those that qualify are routed to complete a more detailed income and expenditure analysis that helps StepChange develop its assistance plan. CVPP also leverages Pega Chat to support online conversations between applicant and StepChange experts. With demand expected to be high, the service can scale up to 10,000 concurrent users per hour.
After analysing what the client owes and what they’re able to pay, StepChange manages and helps pay their bills. StepChange centrally liaises with all creditors to manage the client’s debt. Clients make just one consolidated monthly payment over the next 12 months until they are solvent enough to exit the program or need to switch to a different debt solution.
StepChange already uses the Pega Customer Service application as the backbone of its Pulse customer support system, this was designed and built over the past two years, through this, they support customers needing free debt advice via online and telephone enquiries. The new CVPP product is able to leverage components from the existing Pulse solution to help with the rapid creation of this new product.
Applicants are now able to register their interest in a StepChange CVPP before the plans will begin to go live on24 November) at: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/covid-payment-plan.aspx
“In the wake of the pandemic, the people who are coming to us for help are not just our typical user base,” says Phil Andrew, CEO, StepChange. “Many families are walking a financial tightrope that could tip either way as the emergency support schemes wind down. We needed to quickly stand up a solution to assess eligibility and get help to people as fast as possible. We see a specific need to bridge the gap between how life was pre-COVID-19 and the new and unprecedented world we’re currently facing. To do that, we needed proven technology to build an online platform that can be rapidly deployed to meet the new need. We’ve got a solid history of working with Pega, so naturally we turned to them as we knew they could offer a robust solution very quickly.”
“We’ve worked with StepChange for some time now and anticipated that their services would be vitally important in the wake of the financial crisis that was sure to follow the pandemic,” said Kieran Tarrant, VP, UK&I, Pegasystems. “Some of the most meaningful and rewarding work we do is when we can see how technology helps in very difficult human situations. We’re very grateful that, along with our partner, Aaseya, we could rapidly deploy a solution that is so very needed right now.”
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