FICO partners with OpenWrks to deliver affordability assessments

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Global analytics and decision management provider FICO has partnered with OpenWrks – a leading provider of Open Banking based digital engagement applications. The partnership comes at a time when Creditors are wrestling with how to deal with consumers once the unprecedented number of payment holidays that have been put in place as a result of the COVID-19 crisis come to an end. Under the partnership, FICO plans to combine OpenWrks financial budgeting and conversational AI technology with FICO’s market-leading integrated collections and omni channel platform to assist creditors in making the most appropriate customer decisions during the crisis and beyond.

Open Banking has created transparency about how customers manage their finances.  Being able to access this transparency in a user-friendly way is expected to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of up to 200 million affordability assessments undertaken annually before credit terms are offered. Increasing speed and accuracy will not only save money but also improve the overall customer experience.

Traditionally, affordability assessments for customers in collections are time-consuming, taking on average 45 minutes to complete; expensive, at between £15-£20 per assessment; and can have a significant margin of error, on average up to £3,600, meaning the decisions Creditors are making are sub-optimal and at risk of creating further customer detriment.

OpenWrks’ MyBudget application combines Open Banking data with conversational AI to enable consumers to complete self-service income and expenditure assessments online. Seamless integration into the FICO® Debt Manager™ platform gives an accurate assessment about customer affordability, complete with payment and schedule options in under five minutes.

Neil Cunningham, senior partner, UKI FS & Nordics, FICO, said, “We have a rich heritage in transaction data analytics, so we’re excited about the complementary blend of capabilities and innovation this partnership will deliver. Having completed a strategic assessment of the market, OpenWrks is the clear market leader in delivering engaging consumer-facing applications and have an impressive record of innovation and scaling their Open Banking services, managing over 500,000 customers and 100 million API calls per month. This partnership covers the full credit lifecycle, however in the near term the integration of the OpenWrks technology with FICO’s market-leading collections and omni channel platforms make this an exceptionally rounded collection and recovery solution set and continues our focus on market-leading capabilities in this area of the credit lifecycle. A very real ask from the market right now.”

Steve Bradford, co-founder & chief commercial officer at OpenWrks, said, “Our MyBudget application uses a blend of Open Banking and user-contributed data to deliver a more accurate, holistic picture of someone’s finances. Using affordability metrics as part of customer management and collections strategies is not only a compliance exercise but also a way of engaging and building trust with customers.

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