Sector Challenge Programme

Financial Wellbeing

Challenges around sharing documents securely and accessing support independently

The COVID-19 crisis has magnified many financial wellbeing challenges, particularly amongst low paid workers, women and ethnic minorities. Young people are 2.5 times more likely than people in older age groups to work in a sector hit by COVID-19, and job losses among young people are accelerating. Women are about a third more likely than men to work in a sector that has been affected by lockdown.

We are supporting four sector challenges for organisations that support individuals to develop a sense of security and a feeling that they have enough money to support their needs. These challenges have come from a series of open discussions between Shift and organisations working in financial wellbeing as part of Beyond.

Challenge 9: Claiming Universal Credit remotely▼

We want to prototype, test and identify a pain-free way to provide remote support for online Universal Credit claims, so the 33% of people currently failing to register can make a timely and successful claim.

The job losses associated with COVID-19 have led to an upsurge in new claims for Universal Credit. DWP reported in their Universal Credit Full Service Survey that only 54% of Universal Credit claimants can make a claim independently. 25% of those who need support fail to register their claim. Reasons for this include a lack of digital skills, language skills or mental health issues.

We are looking for three organisations who focus on this area, to join a funded opportunity to work collaboratively with an expert digital partner over 11 weeks to design and test a pain-free way to provide remote support.

If you're not able to apply for the grant, we'd love you to contribute your ideas through paid consultations. Sign up below and we'll be in touch.

Apply for this challengeSign up for consultation

Challenge 10: Creating secure documentation sharing for people accessing debt advice▼

Can we create or adapt a platform (or another simple way) for people needing debt advice to securely upload and share documents with debt advice providers?

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) predicts an increase of circa 3 million more people needing debt advice in 2020/21 due to COVID-19. For debt advice providers, an early stage step in helping clients address debt is to gather documentation associated with debt, such as unpaid bills and credit card statements.

Since the onset of COVID-19, debt advice provision that was previously face-to-face has shifted to phone and video calls and documentation is collected by post (slowing the process), in-person drop offs (risking health) or by WhatsApp (which comes with privacy and security issues).

We are looking for three organisations who focus on this area, to join a funded opportunity and work collaboratively with an expert digital partner over 11 weeks to design and test a pain-free way to upload and share documents with debt advice providers.

If you're not able to apply for the grant, we'd love you to contribute your ideas through paid consultations. Sign up below and we'll be in touch.

Apply for this challengeSign up for consultation

Challenge 11: Coordinating end-to-end advice to those resolving debt issues▼

Can we prototype a way for multiple advice providers to take a coordinated approach in supporting a client’s end-to-end need to resolve their debt issue, without having to repeat their story and without causing added emotional stress?

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) predicts an increase of circa 3 million more people needing money and debt advice in 2020/21 due to COVID-19.

We’ve heard that when people take the step to access money and debt advice in order to address debt issues, they typically get signposted from pillar to post. This is because people accessing advice often have multiple needs that require different types of specialist advice. This results in a poor user experience and clients dropping off before their issues are resolved. This complexity is particularly problematic as almost half of people with problem debt, also have a mental health problem.

We are looking for three organisations who focus on this area, to join a funded opportunity and work collaboratively with an expert digital partner over 11 weeks to design and test a coordinated approach to advice that doesn’t add emotional stress.

If you're not able to apply for the grant, we'd love you to contribute your ideas through paid consultations. Sign up below and we'll be in touch.

Apply for this challengeSign up for consultation

Challenge 12: Enabling self-serve debt resolution▼

Can we prototype and test a self-serve, automated triaging product/service that provides users with a simple, tailored action plan to resolve their own issues?

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) predicts an increase of circa 3 million more people needing money and debt advice in 2020/21 due to COVID-19. There is now more demand than current in-person, advisor-led service provision can supply. In fact even prior to the crisis, MaPS estimated that 8m people need debt advice, but only 1.1m receive it.

While professional in-person triaging and advice is needed by some people, others have the desire and ability to self-triage/self-serve and tackle their money and debt issues themselves. In fact, 77% of people would prefer to access advice via online channels if they were  available and trusted. Even though digital content exists, there is currently a gap in the market for a trusted self-serve option.

We are looking for three organisations who focus on this area, to join a funded opportunity and work collaboratively with an expert digital partner over 11 weeks to design and test a way to help users resolve their own issues with a simple, tailored action plan.

If you're not able to apply for the grant, we'd love you to contribute your ideas through paid consultations. Sign up below and we'll be in touch.

Apply for this challengeSign up for consultation

This is one of four themes in the Sector Challenge Programme.

You'll find more information about the programme, eligiblity criteria, and how to apply here:

Find out more and apply