Credit card debt is a huge problem in New Zealand with many thousands struggling to understand and manage their debts. The resulting mental stress can be a paralysing force that keeps people from taking active steps to improve their situation.
Westpac wanted to improve the financial wellness of their customers and so created a programme for identified debt-revolvers. Debt-revolvers are credit card holders who have had debt sitting on their credit card for at least 12 months. The campaign used the wealth of data that Westpac holds to understand their specific debt-profiles and craft supportive, empowering and positive interventions.
Using direct communications tonally adjusted for customers’ life stage, scale and duration of debt, Westpac broke down the emotional barriers with reassurance and simple empowering actions to get them on the path to becoming debt-free.
Research shows that people in debt are reluctant to seek help and 27 percent admitted to hiding their financial situation from those close to them The goal was to get the debt-holder to acknowledge their problem and make contact with the bank to plan a path to becoming debt-free together.
This engagement was encouraged with specific recommendations tailored to their individual product portfolio and usage patterns to encourage the more reluctant debt-holders to take empowering steps. Suggestions included decreasing their limit, turning off cash advances, moving to a personal loan or switching to a Low Rate credit card.
Once a debt-revolver was engaged, their progress was acknowledged, congratulated, and supported to take further actions.
Only five months after the programme launched with phased groups, Westpac have achieved fantastic success with 7.5% of customers making a step to becoming debt free and 5.3% of customers have come into branch to create a personalised plan (Your Story) with a consultant.