The UK’s largest water and wastewater company Thames Water has partnered with customer affordability software provider Paylink Solutions, in the latest effort to support UK customers with rising costs.
While the UK continues to battle against the cost-of-living crisis, Thames Water is looking to support its customers directly with a partnership with Paylink Solutions. Thames Water customers are now able to use Paylink’s ‘Embark’ application to access a breakdown of their circumstances.
This enables Thames Water to set up a sustainable payment plan for these customers, based on affordability. Customers will also be able to use open banking to request a new payment proposal for managing water bills.
Automated benefits identification is also integrated into the application, enabling users to see which benefits they are entitled to. Alongside this feature, Embark also offers specialist support for customers thanks to the application’s integration with debt advice provider PayPlan.
PayPlan offers free debt advice to Thames Water customers via the Embark application. If given consent, PayPlan’s advisors can see the income and expenditure information of customers. This enables the service to review a customer’s financial circumstances in real-time.
By making it easier to access support for customers, and by increasing how much relevant advice can be given with increased amounts of information, Thames Water is looking to support its customers during financial hardship.
Supporting Thames Water customers
Andrew Alder, director of development and partnerships at Paylink Solutions, commented on the timing of the partnership with Thames Water.
He explained: “We’re delighted to be working with Thames Water who have made a significant investment in supporting their staff and customers; as the cost of living and number of customers struggling financially increases, this couldn’t have been done at a better time.”
Nina White, director of financial customer care at Thames Water, commented on the news. White said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our customer service. We’re pleased to be working with Paylink to create a journey for customers that allows us to understand their needs and access our wide range of support, as smoothly as possible.
“This is really important to us at this time as the cost-of-living continues to rise and we need to make it as easy as possible for our customers to engage with us.”
The Thames Water and Paylink Solutions partnership demonstrates a continuation of support for customers in the South of England. The water company already offers a number of financial support schemes for its customers. Thames Water revealed that it currently supports over 300,000 households with discounted bills.
Its ‘WaterHelp’ scheme offers a 50 per cent discount on customers’ bills if they are on a low income. The income threshold was recently increased for this scheme to £17,005in the Thames Valley. Londoners may also access the scheme should they earn £21,749 or below. These rises were established in response to increasing numbers of people struggling financially due to the cost-of-living crisis.