Financial services, like the majority of the world’s largest industries, regularly deals with customers who are vulnerable. All customers are at risk of becoming vulnerable, but this risk is increased by having characteristics of vulnerability. These characteristics can include poor health, experiencing life events such as new caring responsibilities, or low resilience.
In financial services and beyond, it’s imperative that businesses do everything they can to ensure consumers are protected from contractual harm while maintaining commercial success. And in a post-pandemic world, this becomes more crucial than ever.
According to a recent report, the number of customers displaying vulnerability characteristics has increased by 1.5 million since lockdowns first began. Financial regulators have therefore been looking to bring about holistic change in the industry to help customers whose finances have been impacted by coronavirus, and ensure the fair treatment of clients throughout the customer journey.
As such, legislation and policies are continuing to shift and evolve. The Financial Conduct Authority is developing a practical, flexible framework to help identify vulnerable customers, and ensure they receive the best possible support in a post-pandemic world.
At Rdentify, we want to move forward with the FCA’s guidance to put customer care at the heart of financial business. Legislation and policies aren’t just about spotting those who may be vulnerable; they’re about delivering positive outcomes and resolutions to at-risk customers, across all firms and sectors within financial services.
Recognising those at risk
This kind of action is hugely positive for the finance industry. But as we know all too well, there will be some customers out there who will continue to slip through the net. In our fast-paced digital world, common warning signs can still be missed, which can lead to severe consequences for both the consumer and the operator.
Financial policies play a significant part in helping businesses keep customers safe, but more needs to be done to recognise signs of vulnerability in real time. If customers are struggling to open up about their financial issues or indicate that something is wrong, then it is down to organisations to recognise those at risk and protect them from harm.
As we continue to serve customers in difficult times, organisations will need to harness every tool in their arsenal to do right by at-risk consumers. Research from both the FCA and the Federal Reserve confirm that if organisations are to stay both competitive and agile, they need the right knowledge, capability and technology to recognise and respond to the individual needs of vulnerable customers.
This means that frontline finance staff should understand how their role affects the fair treatment of vulnerable consumers, and have the essential skills and capability to recognise and respond to a range of characteristics of vulnerability. With the right tools, finance firms will be able to detect, monitor, and protect at-risk customers effectively, while adhering to the policies and standards expected of them.
And this is where our sophisticated Rdentify software can help.
Keeping customers safe
Keeping customers safe is something that we take seriously. Our experts have used their decades of experience in high-risk regulated sectors to build an innovative platform that enables financial firms to recognise and protect vulnerable customers with ease.
Rdentify provides a historical analysis of customer chats and emails, facilitating data-driven decision making. This means that signs of vulnerability can be assessed appropriately, and gives space for consumers to disclose their needs accordingly.
Blending seamlessly with your current in-house systems, our advanced customer risk software uses cutting-edge machine learning and linguistics research to provide front line staff with a risk-based score in real time. Customer service managers can then audit team live chats to ensure that they are properly interactive with high-risk customers, and deliver the appropriate outcomes.
Use of our platform also allows firms to identify at-risk consumers looking for quick cash, and prevent them from making fake claims online. For customers who are deemed vulnerable, we offer automated customer journeys that ensure at-risk consumers are referred to the support channels they need. This means that customers who are spending or taking on debt that they can’t afford can then be identified, monitored, and protected in real time.
By partnering with Rdentify, finance businesses can deliver appropriate customer service that responds flexibly to the needs of at-risk consumers. At a time when consumers are becoming increasingly vulnerable, finance operators need to ensure they are implementing appropriate processes and software that meets the needs of vulnerable customers. In turn, this has the capacity to future proof individual businesses, and raise standards across the industry at large.
If you’re ready to invest in the technology that can help protect your customers and finance business simultaneously, get in touch with our expert team today.
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