RECLAIMING money is often an awkward and painful experience, especially if you’re dealing with large international banks.
It’s a problem Gateshead-based AYO Media is trying to address in a recent project, working with Real Time Claims on a site which gives customers a more automated service and allows them to track their claim online.
The site is aimed at people claiming Payment Protection Insurance, a loan set up to cover payments if the payer loses their job or falls ill.
Problem is, the Financial Services Authority has indicated many of these policies were mis-sold, and successfully defended a High Court appeal earlier this year which means banks have since had to put aside more than £7bn to deal with customer claims for compensation.
The FSA said last month that PPI complaint cases rose by 23% in the first half of the year to 531,667, and it expects that volume to rise. However, AYO’s managing director Rob Mathieson said customers will also become familiar with a drawn-out process of “to-ing and fro-ing”, which can take a few months.
As a result, AYO has been working with Real Time Claims on a site which reduces the complexity of the process. He said: “It’s only something that people have started dealing with in the last 12 months or so.
“What we’re trying to do is capture all the data online so we can automate as much as possible. We’ve brought in a system to create an electronic signature online, rather than require a paper-based signature. At the moment, very little is being done by hand. A lot of it is speaking to customers and making sure everything is OK.
“It’s normal for a company to take 10 to 20 claims a day, but they’re working with around 100.”
Customers will put their personal details into the system, which can then generate claims forms and email them back. The forms are sent to the banks electronically and the bank can then return a settlement figure.
AYO recognises there’s a small window for companies wishing to provide services for those claiming back mis-sold PPI, but is working on a second phase of the project which includes a more robust database and further streamlining.
AYO hopes to introduce a further feature to the system, which would send the settlement offer direct to your mobile via text and allow you to accept by replying.
Mathieson said Real Time Claims is the first company in the UK to allow users to “track” PPI claims.
Andie Stokoe, business development director at Real Time Claims, said: “Originally, we had just intended to work with AYO Media to create an internal management system and user portal system for customers to manage their claims.
“However, after researching the market and working closely with AYO Media’s technical experts, we were able to link the internal requirements with the front-end website.
“This functionality allowed us to devise a simple, step-by-step online process that not only removes the complexity of the claim process but also allows people to manage their entire claim online without ever needing to pick up the phone.”