There’s now an estimated £19bn in unclaimed benefit entitlement and social tariffs in the UK.
Simply put, this means people in some of the most financially vulnerable circumstances across the country are missing out on vital income.
Income maximisation tools like benefit calculators and grant checkers play an important role in helping people access the support they’re entitled to.
We’ve been working with lenders, loan management system providers and social purpose driven fintech organisations like Inbest.ai, Policy In Practice and Lightning Reach to implement income maximisation tools into a range of different customer journeys – making it simpler and easier for people to boost their income with missing grants or benefit entitlement.
Using behavioural insights to maximise uptake
We commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to explore how behavioural insights could be used to ensure as many people as possible complete these journeys and go on to apply for benefits and grants.
Their research found:
- People’s journey to finding out their results was generally easy and wouldn’t take them too long if they were using the calculator on their own
- Results from benefit calculators and grant checkers were comprehensive and having information in one place motivated people to explore their options further
- A large majority of interviewees said they would recommend the tools to people they know
Alongside this positive feedback, interviewees also helped identify areas of improvement including signposting upfront to documents that would be useful to have to hand, having clearer statements on how people’s information would be used and providing tips on helping people answer specific questions.
You can read more about the research in BIT’s blog here.
More lenders are adopting these tools
Affordable lending is one of the best journeys to incorporate a benefits check, as people often turn to these organisations for emergency cash, and in many cases they are entitled to benefits.
According to Inbest data, at least 45 Credit Unions and CDFIs now offer a benefits calculator on their websites. And 17 of them have integrated a benefits calculator into their lending journeys and members’ areas.
We are also seeing wider adoption across high street lenders, many of whom are now also providing links to benefits calculators as part of their commitments to support customers financial wellbeing.
Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Nationwide all have signposted to the Turn2US benefits and grant calculator in the money worries sections of their websites.
TSB have teamed up with Lightning Reach to provide a link to their grant calculator portal on their Money Worries page. And NatWest have even integrated the Inbest Benefit Calculators into their financial checks, helping NatWest customers identify all the benefits and discounts they are eligible for. One customer identified an additional £1,600 a month.
Nationwide have had a long term partnership with Income Max and the average successful claim for a member has been £3,000. One customer had increase of £23,891 due to backdated payments and access to previously unclaimed benefits.
What else can organisations do
We encourage all financial services providers to explore how they can proactively increase awareness of unclaimed entitlements and access to support.
We’re working with loan management system providers including Incuto, SOAR, CU Apps, Nivo, and Nest Egg to seamlessly integrate a benefit check within their lending, declines and member portal journeys.
If you’re a community finance lender using these systems, you can get in touch with these providers directly to see how this might benefit your customers. In addition, we’re offering to fund the first year usage fee for a limited number of credit unions and CDFIs, to allow us to assess the impact of this feature on financial resilience.
Contact Ayesha Begum at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about incorporating benefit calculators and grant checkers into your customer journeys, and how we might be able to support you.