What is the PACE debt advice pilot?
Pilot of Adviser Capacity and Efficiency (PACE) is a technology-focused pilot to simplify how people access and experience the debt advice journey, while increasing efficiency to allow us to help more people in need to receive free debt advice.
PACE will be delivered by the ‘Money Adviser Network’, a new support network developed in partnership with MaPS, where customers will be engaged with specialist teams of expert debt advisers from a range of high quality, free and impartial debt advice agencies.
Starting in March 2020, the first phase of PACE will be testing three key innovations:
- Virtual contact centre to improve the customer journey by directing clients to an agency with capacity to help immediately or, where one isn’t available, the MaPS contact centre.
- Open data proposition utilising credit reference, open banking and other data to improve the customer journey by increasing the accuracy and ease of data collection.
- Improved progress feedback to allow creditors to receive updates on client progress throughout the debt advice journey to tailor collection activities.
Why is PACE needed?
17.2% of UK adults are over indebted – around 9 million people. Of these, only 32% have sought or are seeking debt advice.
The Independent Wyman Review put the gap between the supply and demand of debt advice at approximately 600,000 people per year.
In collaboration with the sector, we want to tackle this and better support the increasing number of people in the UK who struggle with problem debt by:
- Helping more people as early as possible through an efficient, effective client journey.
- Understanding impact and fostering improvement at all stages of the client journey.
- Developing and implementing a sustainable funding model that incentivises the best possible client outcomes and encourages collaboration across advice providers.
- Building improvements in quality, consistency and client experience into all aspects of advice agency and creditor practice.
- Building debt advice as an appealing, aspirational profession.
What are the timings of PACE?
The first phase of the pilot will run for approximately nine months where we will test, learn about and refine the three innovations and discover if they work well for customers. Dependent on the findings of this first phase, we currently intend to run a second phase from early 2021 which will operate with better integrated technology and which will include a larger number of referring creditors and debt advice partners.
Support for PACE
“This innovative scheme will help people struggling with debt get the right advice at the right time. Working together – and enabled by technology – debt advice charities will be able to give even more rapid and efficient support to those with problem debt.”
Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice
“The PACE pilot is an exciting opportunity to streamline the client journey in to debt advice. It is crucial that people in financial difficulty have access to the advice they need, through the most appropriate channel for their situation as early as possible.”
David Cheadle, Chief Operating Officer at the Money Advice Trust
“Ensuring that people in problem debt know that there is help is out there is vital. Too many people wait too long to seek the support they need because they don’t know what their options are. The PACE pilot is one of the ways that our creditors and partners can signpost more people to the help that they need.”
Vikki Brownridge, Director of Charity Development, StepChange Debt Charity
Find out more
If you have any questions regarding PACE, we have put together this Frequently Asked Questions document to help you answer them.
You can also listen to our PACE webinar with Craig Simmons – Head of Debt Policy and Strategy.