Home Business News Two thirds of Brits want greater support from their utilities provider

Two thirds of Brits want greater support from their utilities provider

by Amy Johnson LLB Finance Reporter
21st Feb 24 9:23 am

Amidst demand from consumers for greater flexibility on monthly payments, there is an opportunity for utility providers to unlock greater customer loyalty by investing in payment methods that offer more control and transparency.

That’s according to new research of more than 2,000 UK consumers by Tink, a market-leading payment services and data enrichment platform.

Findings reveal that amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis, an estimated two thirds (66%) of UK consumers believe that utilities providers have a duty to support customers struggling to pay their bills.

Consumers need greater control and support with monthly payments

With uncertainty around further energy price cap increases, one in five (18%) surveyed UK consumers are currently struggling to keep on top of changes in their regular payments, including increases in monthly utilities bills.

Nearly one in five (18%) respondents have defaulted on their regular bills and gone into a debt collection process. While one in five (21%) surveyed have also forgotten about a bill and been charged for going into their overdraft.

The research reveals that consumers want greater control when dealing with their monthly payments, as over half of Brits (51%) say they would welcome more control over how and when they pay their utility bills.

A business opportunity for utility providers

As competition starts to heat up again in the energy market and people search for the best deal, there’s an opportunity for providers to improve the payments experience – to serve their customers in a way that better fits the flow of incomings and outgoings from their account.

An estimated one in five (21%) consumers would switch utilities providers if offered the flexibility to change the amount they pay each month, while 17% would consider switching providers if offered the opportunity to change the date of their bill payments.

Utilities providers who invest in payment methods that offer more control and transparency have the potential to reduce churn, and enjoy greater customer acquisition and retention.

Andrew Boyajian, VP of Product for Payments & CX at Tink said, “During the colder months, when energy and utility bills typically rise, consumers are under increasing financial strain – meaning growing demand for utilities providers to offer more support with managing their bills. With payment flexibility a particular sticking point, investing in data-driven financial services enables utilities providers to give customers greater control over their payments – which is especially important during difficult economic times.

“Open banking solutions like VRP (Variable Recurring Payments) can help utilities providers offer support to customers struggling to stay on top of monthly outgoings, with features such as agreed maximum payment amounts and automated retries meaning both parties can have more peace of mind and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. More flexible payment methods can also be powered by VRP, for example, an agreement with the utility provider to split bills into multiple payments.”

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