Virgin Money and Flexys pioneer digital PAYG journey for BBLS customers

Virgin Money and Flexys pioneer digital PAYG journey for BBLS customers

The Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) formed the backbone of support for British businesses who saw their revenue disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Figures show that £47 billion of loans were made available to 1.67 million SMEs across the UK with Virgin Money lending £1 billion to over 34,000 businesses. In September 2020, additional measures were announced in the form of Pay As You Grow (PAYG) repayment options.

In 2021, Virgin Money selected Flexys Solutions to create a bespoke BBLS platform to help business customers manage the repayment process, including PAYG options. The resulting digital journey enables Virgin Money customers to manage their loan over the full term and provides a clear and detailed illustration of how each PAYG option affects the parameters of the loan: instalment amount, interest and term. This helps the business owner make an informed decision about which option, if any, is appropriate for them.

The system provided by Flexys fully complies with Financial Conduct Authority guidance on providing fair and consistent outcomes based on each individual customer’s situation. Customers have seven initial options available to them under PAYG and are able to return and make a further selection three months from their next capital repayment.

A customer can complete this journey up to five times during the life of the loan and, each time an option is chosen, a detailed repayment schedule and total cost which reflects the choices made must be displayed.

Because of this complexity, Virgin Money thought the best customer experience would be a self-service, fully digital solution. The solution developed with Flexys is the first of its kind deployed by Virgin Money and to date over 10,000 BBLS loan restructures have been completed via PAYG.

Graeme Sands, Head of Business Products & Lending at Virgin Money, said, “By working with Flexys we were able to provide customers with an end-to-end digital self-serve solution for the very complex combination of options available under PAYG. The tight regulatory timeframes for deployment meant there was a significant degree of pressure to deploy but the considerable time, effort and commitment from both Virgin Money and Flexys colleagues allowed us to provide slick and modern ongoing support to our customers impacted by the pandemic.”

Jon Hickman (pictured), CEO of Flexys, said, “Working with the Virgin Money team to create an entirely new business banking system has been a rewarding experience. PAYG options for Bounce Back Loans were brought in swiftly and, as an agile business, Flexys was able to develop a bespoke platform with complex features to correspond with the pressing timescales. Central to our aim was to enable Virgin Money to adapt to regulatory requirements quickly, inform customers about the impact of the options available to them and deliver excellent service via a 24/7 digital channel for maximum convenience.”