PayPlan’s highlights of 2019

20 December 2019

From campaigning to end imprisonment for council tax arrears, to launching the industry’s first creditor data sharing service, PayPlan has been determined to change the face of debt advice throughout 2019.

Its training team has delivered hundreds of technical sessions to creditors and the free advice sector, as well as financial wellbeing courses to attendees right the way from primary school students to employees of large organisations.

1. January: Launch of the industry’s first data sharing service

Thousands of customers receive debt advice but remain invisible to their creditors because they don’t pro-actively share their I&E and advice outcome. Many customers are reluctant to engage with their creditors and some don’t have the time or confidence to do so. PayPlan has created an industry-first data sharing service. With customer consent, participating creditors receive the customer’s full income and expenditure, vulnerability information and advice recommendation.

2. February: Employee financial wellbeing

At the beginning of 2019, PayPlan launched its Financial Wellbeing Toolkit for employers. Since then, the free debt advice provider has worked with organisations to deliver a free debt advice service for their employees. This financial wellbeing training supports employees to become more financially capable; and the secure, measurable referral methods demonstrate the impact of an organisation’s financial wellbeing interventions.

3. March: PayPlan CEO Rachel Duffey wins two women in credit awards

Chief Executive of PayPlan, Rachel Duffey, was named as Business Leader of the Year and winner of the Transformation of the Year in the non-creditor categories at the 2019 Women in Credit Awards. Credit Strategy launched the Women in Credit Awards last year to empower, connect, support and uncover achievements among women in the profession.

4. April: Launch of the Secure Referral Form toolkit

Of those partners who use PayPlan’s Secure Referral Form, 83% believe they are quick, easy, and simple to use. The new referral toolkit and training materials also help partner organisations to refer and spot the early signs of debt. Changes to the secure online referral form include a date picker, preferred contact method and reasons for referral.

5. May: 85% of PayPlan clients report being in debt impacted their mental health before seeking advice

Over 85% of clients reported that being in debt negatively impacted their mental health, reporting feelings of stress (91%), anxiety (84%) and depression (68%). Almost half of those surveyed visited their doctor about the affect debt was having on their mental health, yet doctors only recommended them to seek advice in a third of cases. PayPlan campaigned to make people aware of the benefits of seeking free debt advice.

6. June: Are over fifty-fives finding it harder to retire due to debt?

Thousands of clients aged over 55 were asked various questions about their financial health, debt levels and retirement prospects:

  • 10% said that they planned to retire on time
  • one in three said that they’ve had to cut down on heating in order to pay off their debts
  • of those who’ve already retired, 68% didn’t feel comfortable in their retirement due to their finances.

7. July: Broxtowe Women’s Project – small, but mighty

PayPlan’s desire to understand more about survivors of domestic abuse, their barriers in escaping and rebuilding lives led them to start working with Broxtowe Women’s Project. A small charity based in Nottingham, Broxtowe Women’s Project supported PayPlan in reforming its internal processes and to develop a training package on the links between financial abuse and domestic abuse.

8. August: Why choose PayPlan?

After the success of its INFORMED leaflet, PayPlan’s new client facing leaflet is for anyone who would like to find out more about free, confidential, debt advice.

9. September: Samaritans and PayPlan talk on suicide prevention

Every year in September, organisations around the world campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention. PayPlan teamed up with the Samaritans to talk about suicide prevention ready for #WorldSuicidePreventionDay.

10. October: PayPlan wins debt advice provider of the year 2019

Credit Strategy’s industry leading Collections & Customer Service (CCS) Awards announced PayPlan as the 2019 Debt Advice Provider of the Year. PayPlan went on to win a second award at the Turn Around Restructuring and Insolvency awards in November.

11. November: PayPlan supports charity’s collaboration to tackle financial harms

GamCare, the leading national provider of gambling support, launched a new initiative to tackle financial harms. Alongside PayPlan, this new collaboration includes organisations that address gambling related financial harm, such as representatives from banking, debt advice, gambling treatment and the gambling industry.

12. December: Politicians pressured to abolish council tax imprisonment in England.

Two leading names in the campaign against council tax imprisonment turned up the heat on MPs and major political parties. The IMA and PayPlan asked party leaders and Members of Parliament to support the call for reform in England. Prison should be reserved for serious criminals who pose a threat to society – not for people who have not paid a local bill.

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