Experian’s Support Hub to make accessing essential services easier for disabled people

Experian’s Support Hub to make accessing essential services easier for disabled people

(IN BRIEF) Experian, a UK-based credit reporting company, is launching a pilot program called Support Hub to help people with disabilities and additional support needs gain easier access to essential services like banking and utilities. The Support Hub offers a one-stop portal for consumers to tell multiple businesses their preferred method of communication and support needs to access their service, without having to repeatedly disclose their disability. The program aims to address the frustration, exhaustion, and financial detriment that many people with disabilities face when interacting with multiple organizations. The Support Hub has been developed in collaboration with accessibility experts and major financial services firms and charities.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 25-Apr-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Experian is piloting a new service that aims to help disabled people get easier access to essential services like banking and utilities.

It is estimated that 25 million* consumers in the UK have a disability or support need that makes it harder to interact with organisations. Having to repeatedly tell multiple organisations of their support needs can cause frustration, emotional and physical exhaustion, wasted time, and in some cases, financial detriment.

The Support Hub pilot offers a single one-stop portal for consumers to tell multiple businesses how they need to be contacted and what support they need to access their service. This could include preferred method of communication such as letter, telephone, or email, or other requirements such as needing a longer appointment, or being accompanied by another adult to assist them.

Crucially, it does not require consumers to disclose their disability – only the support they require from the organisations they use. Users have complete control over which organisations they share with, and what needs they share, and can remove their permission at any time.

It is the culmination of three years’ work and collaboration between Experian, disability and accessibility experts Chris Fitch and Dan Holloway, and a network of founder members of major financial services firms and charities.

Jose Luiz Rossi, Managing Director, Experian UK&I, said: “By involving vulnerability experts and consumers from the very start of the development process, we’ve been able to truly engage with accessibility issues faced by disabled people and those with additional support needs.

“Those issues can be frustrating and overwhelming. Support Hub solves a genuine consumer problem and will be offered across a range of sectors, empowering consumers to get on with their lives, and supporting businesses to help better identify their customers who need additional support and develop appropriate services for them.”

Experian believes the service will help businesses in meeting new regulations. From July, the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Duty will introduce new obligations on firms, compelling them to provide better communication methods and better identify vulnerable customers, so they can put in place appropriate support.

It will enable firms to meet this challenge, identifying at scale which consumers require further support, and then, by acting upon that information, improve and develop their processes which will drive better outcomes for vulnerable customers.

The development of the initial pilot has been funded by the Experian Social Innovation Fund which aims to build products that will have a positive impact on the financial health of consumers around the world, and solve any pain points they face in managing their everyday lives.

About Support Hub

  • Support Hub is a “tell it once” service that allows people to share their support needs with multiple businesses in a simple, standardised way.
  • All information submitted is consumer-consented, meaning users are fully in control about the information they submit and how it is used. Support Hub does not ask for, or share, medical conditions or vulnerabilities, just the action consumers want firms to take
  • The user can login to their account at any time to add, change or revoke their support needs and organisations they are sharing with.
  • Support Hub is initially launching with domains related to sight, hearing, mental health or dementia, with new domains added in the near future.
  • Support Hub is an Experian service but is entirely separate from our credit bureau and other Experian services. Any information provided to Support Hub will have no impact on a person’s credit scores or their ability to apply for credit.
  • Organisations and business using Support Hub will not be able to inform or take any lending decision based on the information provided. Nor will they be able to use the information for marketing purposes.
  • A taxonomy of support needs – The Support List – has also been developed with vulnerability experts, consumers and firms, so organisations can learn directly from consumers about how they can offer new and appropriate support. This is available at WhatWeNeed.Support

Chris Fitch Biography

Chris Fitch is Vulnerability Lead at the Money Advice Trust, a Research Fellow at the Personal Finance Research Centre (University of Bristol), a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, and is co-founder of the Vulnerability Academy (a partnership between UK Finance and the Money Advice Trust) and the Regulators’ Vulnerability Academy (with UK Regulators’ Network and Money Advice Trust).

Dan Holloway Biography

Dan Holloway is a disability activist, Co-convenor the Futures Thinking Network at The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities, CEO and founder of Rogue Interrobang, a spin-out of the University of Oxford.

To find out more about Support Hub visit www.experian.co.uk/business-products/support-hub

*Financial Conduct Authority Financial Lives Survey 2022

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 21,700 people operating across 30 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people, and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.

Media Contact:

Robert Goodman
PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian
Tel: +44 7989 398 498
Email: Robert.Goodman@Experian.com

Brands2Life for Experian

SOURCE: Experian


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