Flexys launches innovative debt management software after 12 months of development
Debt management software startup Flexys has launched an innovative product designed to help both lenders and borrowers collaborate to avoid mounting debt.
The company has created a research and innovation team Flexys Labs, which is working on projects to incorporate sentiment analysis, machine learning, and new PSD2 open banking standards into its core platform, Ctrl+C. Based at Bristol’s tech and science innovation hub Future Space, Flexys was set up by Jon Hickman, Brian Smith and Joe Heath in January 2017 with the aim of creating a market-leading tool that will benefit both creditors and their customers by spotting potential problems early and offering fair and sustainable solutions.
Since moving into their office at Future Space, which is based on the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol’s Frenchay campus, Flexys has successfully raised a first round of capital from angel investors. This has allowed the three founders to grow their team to 16 since September, taking on Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction and Scala programming language experts as well as sales and marketing professionals.
After 12 months of development work, Ctrl+C, which will eventually offer everything from front end digital services to call centre management, is launched and has already been snapped up by Flexys’ first customer. Flexys aims to sign a number of customers this year and is targeting banks, building societies, financial services, utility companies, telecoms providers and any businesses which offer large volumes of consumer credit.
“We’ve created a debt management platform for the digital age which seeks to help lenders work with their customers in a collaborative way” explains CEO Jon Hickman, who has 30 years’ experience working for debt collection software companies.
"Traditional debt management systems promote an adversarial and one dimensional view of customers in arrears.This can end up with skewed and potentially unfair outcomes with customers being offered solutions that are not helpful because of the incomplete or biased information available to the creditor.
“We’ve created a self-service platform to help the customers work together with businesses to resolve their debt issues.”
The solution requests access to a customer’s bank account, using open banking standards and with the customer’s permission it then collects and analyses all their transactions to calculate an accurate monthly disposable income figure. From this the system can formulate a sustainable repayment plan. The banking details are not shared with anyone, including the lender, but are used purely to help the borrower reach a repayment agreement they can adhere to. Customers can make their repayment easily online, removing the hassle and embarrassment traditionally associated with taking debt management calls.
Flexys is working with a number of customers on data projects using machine learning and sentiment analysis to pick up on certain behaviour patterns. The same technology will also alert companies when a customer looks likely to default on payment, so they can provide the necessary support and advice as early as possible.
“We’ve built a solution for creditors which will allow them to better understand both their customer’s emotional and financial position so they can treat them as three dimensional human beings rather than just numbers on a balance sheet.” Jon said.
“Ultimately this will lead to fairer, more sustainable outcomes for everyone involved”
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