Debt charity plots tech revamp

Improvements include integrating the debt charity’s online and telephone support and making it easier for advisers to offer help.

Joe Lepper | 26th Sep 18

Debt charity StepChange is planning to overhaul the technology it uses to offer advice, as part of a £30m strategy aimed at doubling the number of people it helps.

The charity’s four-year strategy sets out an aim to support 600,000 people a year from 2022, doubling the current figure of 300,000. The strategy also includes a strong focus on offering help at an earlier stage.

Technology improvements planned include integrating the charity’s automated online debt advice service, Debt Remedy, with its telephone service, so that callers do not have to repeat their details and specific debt concerns.

Advisers also currently work from a number of different systems when looking at cases and the charity is looking to streamline that process to make it easier for them to access and input information.

Keeping up with clients’ needs

“We know that the technology we all use in our day-to-day lives is changing rapidly,” states the strategy.

“If we’re to keep up with the needs of our clients then we need to change too. That’s why we’re investing almost £30 million into transforming how we work and the technology that we use. By doing this we hope to double the number of people we help without a corresponding increase in costs.

“This will mean better services for our clients and a better workplace for our colleagues. It’s also a vital investment to make sure we have the flexibility and agility to gear up our service in line with demand.”

Phil Andrew, StepChange Chief Executive Officer, added: “Our new strategy goes beyond triaging and treating problem debt, and will also look for new ways to work in partnership to reach people earlier and deal with problems sooner.

“There are 1,500 people who work at StepChange and most of them talk to our clients every day, so they know what people facing debt problems need.

“Each and every one of my colleagues has had a hand in developing our new approach. Their passion is the magic ingredient that will help our plans succeed, and I am deeply grateful to them for their commitment, through which we anticipate providing full, free debt advice to over 1.7 million people over the four years to 2022.”