Sanctuary Housing has revolutionised the way it manages the finances of residents by launching a new Direct Debit app.
The app, which has been designed by our in-house technology team, allows income officers to work more efficiently on the move, reducing the amount of paperwork and enabling them to spend more time with residents.
With just a few taps on the screen of their tablet, Sanctuary staff are able to create, change or cancel Direct Debits on the doorstep, meaning a resident no longer has to complete forms by hand.
Not only does this save time for income officers it also allows residents to have greater control over their finances and avoid getting into arrears. Instead of setting up standing orders or using payment cards, rent is paid automatically from their account when they want – something made more pertinent following the introduction of Universal Credit.
Significantly, income officers attending court hearings can set up Direct Debits immediately via the app without the need to arrange a new appointment with the resident.
All of this is designed to improve efficiency and promote a more mobile way of working in the modern world.
Paul McCabe, Senior Income Manager – CIT, said: “Income officers are primarily concerned with taking payments and Direct Debit is the best option for nearly all of our customers.
“The ability to manage Direct Debits out in the field will assist income officers to
promote this method of payment and reduce telephone calls into our central
“The app will increase the visibility of our staff and enhance greater levels of customer satisfaction.”
Income officer Faye Waddy, who is one of the first people to use the app, added: “It’s easy to use because it’s an app on a tablet, it’s really simple and Direct Debits can take two to three minutes to set up.
“Residents might only want to speak to us for a few minutes so if we can get a Direct Debit set up in that time that’s really useful.
“It’s handy for court rulings and payment plans as well because we can set up Direct Debits straight after the hearing. It’s great to have that option available.”
In addition to Direct Debits, the app allows income officers to manage their workload and schedule away from the confines of the office, helping to reduce travelling time and mileage costs.
Electronic signatures will also be incorporated into the app, again reducing the need for pens and paper.