MyTVH: a digital service in housing

MyTVH logo

Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTV) asked dxw digital to help them increase the number of residents using their online customer service to pay rent, log and track repairs, and register and pay for parking permits, and reduce the burden on their call centre staff.

 

Result

The dxw-designed system – MyTVH – has completely transformed the user experience and encouraged significantly more residents to go online.  

By developing a simple, practical service, we’ve helped to create a digital service that makes life better for residents. It also saves time and money for call centre staff who are now able to focus on more complicated queries and supporting vulnerable residents. It has been widely cited as an example of innovative digital services in housing.

Since the project launched, £42.7 million payments and over 145,000 transactions have happened online.  £7 million payments were taken in 2018 alone. MyTVH is now the payment channel of choice for residents in receipt of Universal Credit, with 44% using MyTVH and just 23% with direct debits and 13% with standing orders. Over 6,500 repairs have been submitted online.

 

“What is refreshing about dxw digital,  is their approach to building websites: they are very user- focussed, not just asking what needs to be on a website, but why too”

Metropolitan Thames Valley

What we did

MTV’s goal was to build a digital service so good that residents would prefer to use it. They needed a partner in dxw that could address complex back-end technical requirements and ensure that user needs remained at the core of the project.

MTV and dxw worked with residents and staff to gather requirements: we wrote user stories, analysed the ways in which residents used the existing website and ran exercises to understand how different user groups intuitively seek out information online.  Further resident feedback was gained through a questionnaire and resident workshop.

The main priority for residents was to make payments and book repairs online quickly and easily. We identified many issues with the previous payment system. For example, users had to use one set of credentials to log on, and then remember a completely different set of credentials to use the banking service to pay their bills. Error messages were vague and meant users couldn’t sort issues for themselves: ‘There was a problem charging your card.’

We maintained this focus on MTV’s residents throughout the project, ensuring that all functionality was tested with users, refined and tested again. The service has several components, all of which dxw built using Ruby on Rails. Each is tailored to the problem it solves: one for the resident-facing service, one to manage back-end integration, and another to manage card payments.

MyTVH now provides an efficient and secure online service for residents. In the six months following its launch, 75% of registered users returned to use the service after registering, compared to only 7% of for the previous site.  New features have been added to the service continuously, allowing it to meet an increasing number of residents’ needs.

A service that keeps improving and saving money

In 2018,  we switched MyTVH’s payment provider from a traditional high street bank to Stripe, a specialist online payments provider, saving MTV thousands of pounds.

By moving MyTVH to Stripe, the housing authority now has a system which is certified Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant without any additional administrative burden on the organisation. It’s looked after by a specialist team 24/7.

Users were not disrupted at any time during the migration, nor was there any downtime, and no changes were made to the interface whilst they got used to the new process.