Money Advice Scotland is piloting open banking technology from Experian which could help them to speed up the initial stages of debt advice.

 The money charity’s new webchat service uses Experian’s open banking tool, the Affordability Passport, to gather crucial income and expenditure data, as well as a statement of consumer credit debts. It takes just minutes, as opposed to the weeks and months it can take to gather this information over several advice appointments.

The information is used to ensure that customers can quickly share their financial position, enabling Money Advice Scotland to offer the best support using trusted data.

The partnership comes at the same time as the launch of the very first national webchat gateway into money advice, which aims to ease pressure on money advisers. It will seamlessly allow more people to receive expert debt advice.

Anyone with financial worries can speak to an adviser who will answer an any initial crisis questions and refer them to a regulated provider.

David Hilferty, Deputy CEO at Money Advice Scotland, said: “Dealing with problem debt is increasingly complex as advisers face the repercussions of a decade of welfare reform, stagnating incomes, and rising personal debt levels among households on the lowest incomes.”

“Our service presents the opportunity to bring speed and precision to the process of understanding a full picture of someone’s financial circumstances.”

“Making use of open banking means we can help the client get this information in a matter of minutes, so they are prepared for their first appointment and can start getting help straight away. We hope this can free up valuable time for agencies to focus on specialist advice.”

 Lisa Fretwell, Managing Director of Data Services at Experian said “Our open banking tool helps debt advisers to help more people in trouble and offer them a faster, improved service.”

“Talking about debt is an awkward conversation for people in financial difficulty, and the stress of rummaging through kitchen drawers to find the right paperwork is just another barrier to them getting help. Using our advanced analytics technology, Money Advice Scotland can remove that hurdle and get accurate, up-to-date insights on the financial position people are in, so they can plot the best route to get them back on track.”