Ethical Banking Europe Trending

Utilities Providers Can Be a UK Consumer’s Knight in Shining Armour By Helping With Cost-Of-Living

The cost-of-living crisis has hit the UK hard. With more and more people searching for help to survive, new research from Tink, the payments services and data enrichment platform, has revealed that 66 per cent of UK consumers believe utilities providers should do more to help.

With uncertainty around further energy price cap increases, Tink found that one in five (18 per cent) surveyed UK consumers are currently struggling to keep on top of changes in their regular payments, including increases in monthly utilities bills.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) respondents have defaulted on their regular bills and gone into a debt collection process. Meanwhile, one in five (21 per cent) forgot about a bill. Consequently, an overdraft fee had to pay.

The research reveals that consumers want greater control when dealing with their monthly payments, as over half of Brits (51 per cent) say they would welcome more control over how and when they pay their utility bills.

A business opportunity for utility providers

As competition starts to heat up again in the energy market and people search for the best deal, there’s an opportunity for providers to improve the payments experience – to serve their customers in a way that better fits the flow of incomings and outgoings from their account.

An estimated one in five (21 per cent) consumers would switch utilities providers if offered the flexibility to change the amount they pay each month, while 17 per cent would consider switching providers if offered the opportunity to change the date of their bill payments.

Utilities providers who invest in payment methods that offer more control and transparency have the potential to reduce churn, and enjoy greater customer acquisition and retention.

Andrew Boyajian, VP of product for payments and CX at Tink
Andrew Boyajian, VP of product for payments and CX at Tink

Andrew Boyajian, VP of product for payments and CX at Tink comments: “During the colder months, when energy and utility bills typically rise, consumers are under increasing financial strain – meaning growing demand for utilities providers to offer more support with managing their bills.

“With payment flexibility a particular sticking point, investing in data-driven financial services enables utilities providers to give customers greater control over their payments – which is especially important during difficult economic times.

“Open banking solutions like VRP (variable recurring payments) can help utilities providers offer support to customers struggling to stay on top of monthly outgoings, with features such as agreed maximum payment amounts and automated retries meaning both parties can have more peace of mind and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. More flexible payment methods can also be powered by VRP, for example, an agreement with the utility provider to split bills into multiple payments.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Related posts

MyEtherWallet Launches User-Friendly Web Extension for Polkadot

Nathan Gore

This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 12/08

Claire Woffenden

The Emergence of a Token Information Marketplace

Manisha Patel