When it comes down to it, our customers and the underlying belief that every hard-working individual deserves a hand in reaching a better financial future is what motivates us to go to work everyday and challenge the status quo in consumer credit. For this reason, we’re delighted that our customers have voted us into the final round of the Consumer Credit Awards in the “Best Finance App” and “Innovation of the Year” categories. (You can read some of their great feedback here).
Increasingly, consumers have moved the management of their financial lives online, and with smartphone penetration and internet access on the rise globally, the option to do so should be available for everybody. Data shows that smartphone penetration reached 81% of the UK’s population in 2016, up from 52% in 2012. This has enabled us to completely reimagine the way our customers access and manage their loans, and led to the launch of our award-winning mobile app in 2016, which today has over 50,000 downloads.
Our latest update to the app in April saw the launch of our rewards programme, Oakam Grow, which empowers customers to put money back in their wallets when they make responsible financial choices. Drawing from the concepts of gamification and social currency theory, we’ve created an engaging, interactive way for customers to manage their loans and brush up on their financial knowledge in order to earn points redeemable for lower interest rates, cash-back and other rewards.
The CFSI estimates that the poverty premium paid by financially excluded individuals is £1,300 per year with much of this is due to outdated, analogue business models. We don’t believe that financial service providers should do well at the expense of their customers, and are focused on eliminating unnecessary excess costs that are adding to the burden of financially excluded consumers. We understand that when our customers do well, so do we, and this is why we’ll keep trying to do things differently.
Since the launch of Oakam Grow three months ago, we’ve already seen almost 10,000 downloads and on average, a 19% improvement in on-time payment for “medium” payers and 12.5% improvement for “good” payers. Participating customers have earned more than 840,000 points. For our business, this has led to a marked reduction in late payments debts and lower customer acquisition costs through our in-app referral programme. For customers, better repayment behaviour leads to improved credit scores and the chance to secure lower interest rates or larger loans in the future.
It’s been an exciting year, but we’re just getting started. With customer-centricity as our guiding principle, we’ll continue to work closely with our customers through panels, polls and focus groups to better understand their goals and build solution-oriented products designed to help them get there.
Now that we’ve made it through to the finalist stage, we’re proud to join an A-Z of leading consumer credit firms, from American Express and Amigo Loans all the way to Zopa and Zuto, all vying to take home an award. For those of you who believe in what we’re working to accomplish, we’d appreciate your vote here until July 2nd!
Winners are going to be announced on July 13th in London.
Thanks to our dedicated team who have helped us get this far, and of course to our customers who believe that we’re offering something different, and better (our 9.6 Trustpilot score says it all).
You can read more about the Consumer Credit Awards here.
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