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  • by Karma Loveday

United Utilities pilots instant access financial support using open banking

United Utilities has reported early success from a pilot scheme that uses open banking to provide instant access for customers to its financial support schemes.

The company piloted a scheme with 147 customers between February and July which provided the option to have financial support approved there and then instead of going through the usual, lengthy paperwork exchange process. Using open banking, customers were able to share some bank account data while they were already on the phone to an advisor. 94% of those who tried the service said they would use it again and recommend it to family and friends.

The scheme was introduced after talks between United Utilities and local money advice experts, and the company now plans to offer the service more widely.

Affordability and data share manager Chris Lea said: “The real benefit for customers is in saving fuss during the affordability assessment. Often they don’t have the information we need to hand and we can talk through the steps to set up an Open Banking account while they’re on the phone. Not everyone wants to do it, but in a survey, those that did were really positive about it.”

Fifty-nine of the 100 most deprived neighbourhoods in the country are in the North West.


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