“In RingCentral, we have a platform in which we have absolute confidence plus a shared ethos that believes that almost anything is possible!” Paul Strinati, Founding Partner & IT Director, Optimum Credit
Following the lessons learnt from the credit crunch of 2008, five colleagues working for a mid-sized financial services provider saw an opportunity to shake up the market for second charge mortgages. With investment from a private equity backer and funding lines from a major UK bank, Optimum Credit was born.
Based in Cardiff, Optimum Credit offers a range of variable, fixed, and discounted second charge mortgages for homeowners in England, Wales, and Scotland, either directly through its fully qualified mortgage advisors or via its Broker Intermediaries.
Its innovative approach to pricing delivers prices that reflect individual customer circumstances which has seen it advance funds totalling over £380m since launching, growing rapidly to 26% market share.
The company also offers flexible overpayment options, allowing clients to either reduce the term of their second charge mortgage or reduce monthly repayments to suit circumstances.
“This agility and flexibility is something that we strive for both commercially and in terms of technology. We are proudly a cloud-first business,” says Paul Strinati, Founding Partner & IT Director at Optimum Credit.
Strinati initially promoted the use of off-the-shelf software and a number of SaaS and cloud services to allow the firm to launch quickly with the minimum of cost, yet with the ability to scale as needed.
Within the highly regulated financial services sector, Optimum underwent significant due diligence examining each supplier for resilience, security, and compliance against best practice standards such as ISO-27001.
“We successfully paid out our first deal in June 2014 and quickly grew, but it was as a result of the need to comply with the requirements of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard that it became clear our existing telephony service just wasn’t up to the task, so we put out a new tender,” he explains.
Communications System Requirements for a Growing Business
Optimum had several criteria for the new communications solution:
- Absolute reliability with the option to scale with the growing business
- Ability to integrate with Optimum’s in-house Lending Platform
- Support for self-service functionality through IVR integration
- Omnichannel contact centre capabilities supported by granular MI
- The need to support a flexible and secure method for card detail capture whilst meeting the requirement to record calls
- Ability to adapt to future regulatory changes
“We spoke to and had demonstrations from several telecommunication service providers, but what struck us most about the RingCentral team was their sheer enthusiasm,” says Strinati,
“In many ways they are like us, a technology-driven business with a can-do attitude; even in our initial meeting when we raised issues that the incumbent service provider had said were difficult, and often expensive to overcome, they were already discussing solutions that they had previously deployed that they were sure would work for us—it was refreshing
Ready for the Challenge
Optimum chose the RingCentral MVP and Contact Centre solution for its company-wide and customer-facing communication platform.
The deployment focused on voice and intelligent IVR with self-service options to help customers connect more quickly to the agent best able to handle their needs along with integration into its CRM systems.
“RingCentral adapted its system to allow our clients to securely enter card details whilst still recording the audio portion of the calls,” explains Strinati,
“It was one of a number of integration features and capabilities within the application that really impressed us and highlighted the ability to customise the solution to our needs; it also highlighted the potential for the future.”
Through the plethora of open APIs available, Optimum Credit’s application development team is constantly adding more automation features to its platforms to further enhance the customer experience.
Recognising that customers are increasingly keen to communicate across different paths, Optimum Credit is embracing an omnichannel strategy that is adding elements such as webchat to its telephone service.
“With RingCentral, we can manage different channels within a unified contact centre queue,” says Strinati, “this is a useful capability as we start to offer more direct-to-consumer products.”
In terms of deployment, the company has largely done away with traditional handsets with 95% of its employees using the desktop clients and a few executives using the mobile client.
“We are now looking at flexible working patterns that could allow our mortgage advisors and call agents to work from home while still meeting our security and regulatory requirements,” says Strinati, “In RingCentral, we have a platform in which we have absolute confidence plus a shared ethos that believes that almost anything is possible!”
“RingCentral’s integration features and capabilities really impressed us and highlighted the ability to customise the solution to our needs but also the potential for the future.” Paul Strinati, Founding Partner & IT Director, Optimum Credit