Vulnerability among customers is something that can exist at any point in the lifecycle of their relationship with lenders. Ian Barrell explains.
While, more often than not, we might think of ourselves as relatively healthy, functional adults, the likelihood is that at some point in our lives, we will become vulnerable to a greater or lesser extent.
Factors such as bereavements, relationships and physical and mental ill health are things that all of us experience at different times, while, sadly, for a number of people, issues such as addiction also play a part.
While these issues do not necessarily lead to financial problems, they can and frequently do intersect. Indeed, they can also exist over and above many assessments that simply look at suitability at point of application.
It is, then, a balancing act that all lenders must take seriously, and work hard at to strike the right balance between intervention and dealing with customers at scale.
Take the example of the gaming industry. Last year alone the Gambling Commission issued penalty charges of £18m to UK gaming operators for anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings. You might wonder what gaming has to with credit industry, the simple answer is that both are held to high levels of regulatory standards and accountability when it comes identity verification and ongoing account checks. Both are targets for fraud and money laundering.
The challenge for bookmakers and online gaming providers, just like lenders, is to balance their regulatory responsibilities with the need to accept as many customers as possible and drive revenue responsibly.
Overcoming this challenge was a key element in the development of Pay360’s risk management platform, Optimize.
Of course, the use of automation is crucial in increasing efficiency and businesses ignore the potential benefits of automation at their own risk – every credit provider is looking at how increased automated intelligence can help reduce cost and focus resource where its most needed.
Going back to the gaming example, using Optimize’s powerful rules engine, businesses can build payment acceptance strategies for online casino, poker, bingo and sports betting to suit specific scenarios, from simple checklists to complex strategies, in just a few simple clicks, and all in real-time.
This means that customers who enjoy a flutter can do so, but those with vulnerabilities related to gaming can be managed more carefully – a good example here is the application of ‘self-exclusion lists’ as part of the on-boarding process.
Optimize also provides an automated workflow management system which prioritises deferred tasks across global teams to support streamlined working. This means that your high value, business critical tasks are resolved more quickly, with lower operational costs. In fact, using Optimize, customers are seeing a reduction in manual case review times of more than 40 percent.
It’s vitally important, of course, that these decisions are correct. According to Barclays, more than one in five of all declined online payments in the UK turn out to be false positives – a huge amount of potential custom to lose for any business.
Optimize therefore also facilitates the combining of your own data with specialised data from an array of trusted third-party sources all through a single API. You can enhance customer authentication and easily identify those customers, gamers and payments that are genuine. By accepting more genuine transactions, the number of false positives is minimised, providing the reassurance of knowing your ‘good’ customers aren’t being put off transacting.
By the same token, using the advanced identify verification resources available as part of the Optimize suite, businesses will have the reassurance of knowing more about their customers in the gaming industry making it easier to identify problem gamblers, prevent bonus abuse and support anti-money laundering.
The comparisons and benefits are clear, lenders and the gaming industry can cultivate their customer base while remaining vigilant to potential customer vulnerabilities. Everyone’s a winner.