PRESS RELEASE: Consumer insight and anti-fraud company Transactis has been named SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Team of the Year in the 2014 Management Today Analytics in Action Awards for its work in support of efforts by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce fraud and error related to tax credits. The company’s use of analytics, drawing on data from multiple consumer data sources as well as the information held by the Government, has created template that could save HMRC billions of pounds in the long run.
The successful distribution of tax credits, which include incentives to work, assistance for children in low-income families and added support for households facing , relies heavily on recipients promptly and honestly updating HMRC about changing circumstances – such as children leaving home, new sources of income and an employed adult moving in. Constantly monitoring the five million families and close to eight million children supported by tax credits is virtually impossible to do directly and so HMRC was concerned about excessive levels of wrong information and fraud.
Transactis, which counts Nationwide Building Society, Shop Direct and Betfair among its clients, ran a successful three-month pilot that demonstrated HMRC could make significant inroads towards its target of reducing loss due to error and fraud to no more than 5% of tax credit spending by enabling the Government department to better address one of the root causes behind the misallocation of these benefits: multiple occupancy by recipients with a people earning income. Transactis analysed reference data from more than 20 sources to identify 50,000 ‘at risk’ cases that could manageably be followed up, reducing losses due to fraud and error by £19 million – which projects to £2 billion in savings if the HMRC rolls out the programme across the tax credit programme.
The Analytics in Action Awards judges noted: “A terrific example of meeting a complex challenge to implement actionable insights for a huge government agency, challenging culture and assumptions in a political climate when there are data privacy concerns. Transactis has added real value, and saved taxpayers’ money in the process.”
Paul Daley, head of public sector at Transactis, said: “The use of analytics enabled Transactis to determine which variables most effectively indicated ‘risky’ tax credit cases and to use those to create an algorithm for selecting which should be investigated. Analytics even allowed us to test some previously unproven assumptions – gut feelings. For example, during workshops, HMRC staff voiced opinions that there was bound to be a correlation between overclaiming of childcare payments and the distance travelled to the childcare provider from home. Our analysis revealed that this was indeed a factor to take into consideration.”
The Analytics in Action Awards recognise “beacons of excellence”: companies that are innovating and leading the way in the use of data analysis to achieve growth, savings or other targets. In bestowing the awards, the judges – who included data experts from British Airways, Visa and Accenture – looked for companies that were seeking to change the way data is used, putting analytics at the heart of the solutions they provide.
Transactis is a customer insight, data management and anti-fraud services business, providing marketing, fraud prevention and customer management solutions to some of the most successful organisations in the UK. The company is one of the UK’s leading specialists in combining data from multiple sources to provide a detailed and actionable understanding of individual consumer behaviour, risk and opportunity. Using its unique data resources, specialist knowledge and innovative technology, Transactis delivers products and services that allow their clients to make better, faster and more informed decisions to generate greater efficiencies, profit and an enhanced experience for their customers. The company was recently honoured with awards for innovation and overall achievement at the 2013 Retail Fraud Awards. For more information, visit www.transactis.co.uk