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What is Digital Financial CapabilityUsing technology to increase skills, motivation,confidence and knowledge around money matters.The Ministry of Thrift does this by• Providing better access to relevant information• Organising and present the information moreeffectively• Designing digital tools for behavioural changeregarding money
But there are also significant opportunitiesand benefits such as:Empowering people -choice and control andaccess to lower-cost,better services.Efficiency savings –£340m in annual savings forlandlords in communicationscosts alone.£530m in annualconsumer savings toresidents.Even the lowest incomefamilies will save up to£170 a year from onlinedeals.
Making the most of digital accessOf the 58% of residents online, many may not be making the most of the internet, someof it due to skills, and confidence but also due to motivation, engagement and design.However if we understand which online applications are being used, this caninform the design of solutions.Most popular:42 million UK Facebook users32.2 million Twitter users30.6 million -Google, Yahoo and HotmailThere are 41.9 million adults in the UK
“10 times more customers hadtaken out loans via their mobilephones in 2011 (than through web)and nearly 1,000 people weredownloading a Wonga iPhoneapp every day.”On Google Play, downloadswere over 100,000Payday lenders are successfully engagingthe financially vulnerable
Support services are oftenless visibleMany support services suffer from a lack ofvisibility, poor design, less engaging userinterface, and perhaps too much focus on the‘problems’This may be due to lack of resources, but alsolack of expertise and perhaps not beingcompletely comfortable with new technologythemselves.
We can do itWhilst there is an argument that generally privateentities have the financial clout to make theirmarketing activities more successful and theirservices better designed.It is also true that the rise of social media andopen source software has leveled the playing fieldmuch more, and for those with the will and a muchmore modest investment better use and creationof digital tools is possible
An Android tabletcan be purchasedfor around £50including keyboardand coverThey are affordable –A Samsungsmartphone can beobtained free on a £7a month subscriptionWhere are people at: Mobile
Where are people at: SMSSMS is the most widely used data application worldwide, andwhilst chat applications like Whats App appear to be takingover, SMS has a key advantage, even a basic ‘dumb’ phonecan send and receive SMS so everyone with a phone hasaccess. As 92% of adults in the UK personally own a phonethen designing solutions around SMS could be a usefuloption.Currently there are a range of options available allowingtexting via computer as you could an email, email to SMSand vice versa. Also many of the big players Facebook,Twitter and some daily discount sites offer information andinteraction via text message.
Where are people at: AppsAlthough can sometimes be seen as a fad, due to the influenceof Apple many apps present a better user interface andexperience than many websites. They have been designed tobe intuitive, so they can used with little explanation. However,that is not a given, apps and mobile sites must be welldesigned.Currently many apps as well as being well designed, come withtutorials and overlayed visual instructions that are very helpful.In fact M-learning, personalized, relevant learning experiencesfor the individual is a growing trend.Since 2010 app usage has been increasing by about 4 millionusers per year. 2012 figure is estimated to be 28.66 millionusers
Case StudyHammersmith & Fulham Report It appIn terms of cost a very basic app may cost as little as £500and something very complicated could cost £30,000upwards and of course there is the maintenance to befactored in.Case Study –Hammersmith and Fulham a local authority in London,implemented the Report It app last year. The ‘Report It’ appthat enables residents to report issues such as graffiti, fly-tipping, pot holes etc and is available across all mobileplatforms and the web. They invested £23,695 in theprogramme, which may have included marketing initiativesalso, but have already boasted efficiency savings of£23,000.
Mobile websites: A good optionMobile websites are sites that have beendesigned for use on a smartphone or tablet.They can often look and feel like an appand can often provide a better version ofthe original site.They are also much cheaper to develop asthey run from the internet rather than withinthe phone. The user experience may notbe quite as good as having a nativeapplication and will get interrupted whenthere is no internet access but it may be acost effective way to pilot an intervention.
Where are people at: LocationLocation, location, locationHaving IT training centres is an important tool in the mix ofsolutions, but we should also consider the need to go wherepeople are, particularly when considering the most disengaged.We have come across some fantastic examples of how bringingtechnology to where people are can help provide the motivation forthem to get engaged.Why not take some tech to an actual café rather than internet café?What about a digibus like Peabody ‘s or the ‘Our Digital Planet’outdoor exhibition that toured up and down the country. http://www.ourdigitalplanet.co.uk/#exhibition-imagesWe can take tech to people and make it part of everyday life
Our initiativesMoney Guides Plus - Welfare Reform SupportUsing Instant chat coupled with screen sharetechnology residents could be supported incompleting benefits applications as well assupporting with other money issues remotely.Housing associations could use existing staff tofurther reduce costs.
Our initiativesMoney GuidesAn online money mentor or peer-peertype initiative.Money Guide volunteers help people viainstant chat to navigate and find usefulinformation on money matters, includingsignposting to support agencies such asTurn2Us.
Our initiativesMoney MapsThis initiative is designed for light internet users, particularlythose who are more likely to operate geographically close tohome. The purpose is to draw people to the site to makeuse of hyper local discounts which they benefit from butalso create highly visible links to information andorganisations regarding money matters such as budgeting,affordable credit and other online tools.This tool will also provide deals by text message.
Access for all via SMSProviding information to people via SMSsubscriptionsThe SMS subscription version of our MoneyManagement Stationery provides the details forresidents to receive free SMS notifications relating tovarious topics such as budgeting tips, where to gethelp with debts, affordable credit and more.Our initiatives