Giving customers a single, centralised, place for them to seek lost money represents the ultimate evolution for customer reconnection, rather than each firm individually providing this self-service functionality.
If we collectively bring together the historic data, it will empower customers to resolve multiple problems through a single channel, saving them time, money, inconvenience and stress - factors which often contribute to customers putting off the act of reconnecting.
Furthermore, as an industry we need to work smarter to adopt a technology-led approach which allows consumers to quickly and easily self-serve.
This will give firms a chance to reconnect with lost customers who have historically been reluctant to respond to traditional outreach methods, such as “unsolicited” letters and phone calls.
A digital-first approach also ensures firms remain connected by providing up to date and secure contact channels.
While this might seem counterintuitive from the perspective of a firm which benefits by holding large unclaimed or dormant balances, the increasing scrutiny of regulators such as the FCA is creating a drive for fairer treatment of longstanding customers.
At Gretel we believe we have already come up with the solution and keen to work with the industry to solve this big issue, and are particularly keen to help the 27m adults in the UK the FCA has identified as vulnerable.
Any solution which supports improved customer outcomes will almost certainly be well received by the regulator. As the FCA guidance states: “Ultimately, we want to see firms doing the right thing for vulnerable consumers and embedding this in their culture.”
For this to work we need digitisation and collaborative action from the industry to deliver. As an industry we now need to put dormant assets to work.
Duncan Stevens is chief executive of Gretel