Adding or inviting secondary contacts to access my online account - Feature Idea

  • 27 November 2020
  • 5 replies
  • 219 views

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi,

I’ve been thinking about some more ideas recently, since the new billing platform really does have a LOT of potential. This one might be a bit more of a niche use case, but I’d be interested in thoughts.

The problem

As a member with Autism, I sometimes need some extra help to manage my account, so features such as the Priority Services Register, Implied Consent and Secondary Contacts can prove extremely useful.

While this is great for allowing someone else to contact OVO on my behalf and get duplicate copies of my bills, there might be times when it’s not appropriate to call the support team just for a quick question about my account balance or billing history. But there’s currently no other way to do that without accessing MyOVO.

And for security reasons, I can’t exactly hand over my login credentials for MyOVO either (that’s very unsafe!)…

A solution

For use cases like these (or possibly when you have a joint-account holder), something that might be handy would be the ability to grant some degree of access to MyOVO with a delegated set of permissions and dedicated user account with a different username/password to my own.

The idea here being that I can allow someone else to access my account on a self-service basis within MyOVO for the same sort of thing that I grant via Secondary Contact Non Financially Liable, but still keep my own credentials safe. Not sure on the best way to invite the second user (support team?), but that’s something which can be figured out later.

An example

Tim has recently added a Alice as secondary contact to his OVO account with Non-Financially Liable privileges, in order to help make sure his account stays in good shape. Since Alice is a trusted carer, Tim is happy to allow Alice to access MyOVO, but doesn’t want her to fiddle with the Direct Debit. Tim is already on PSR and OVO is aware of his needs.

A newly added feature was added which allows Tim to add a trusted contact to MyOVO with a dedicated password, so he sets Alice up with this. It’s a newly built feature currently in Beta and only a few customers on the Priority Services Register have been invited to the trial, so Alice had to be set up manually by the support team, but a self-service option is coming in the future once the feature is made public. Alice and Tim also know that the feature is still a bit experimental and has a few rough edges right now, but they’re OK with that.

With her delegated account set up, Alice can keep an eye on Tim’s account in MyOVO and make sure the account stays healthy and that the bills are paid, but can’t misuse her access to drain his account by extracting refunds out of it. Meanwhile, Tim keeps his own login details safe and whenever he logs in, he’s able to access everything as usual.

Six months later, Alice moves on to a new job, meaning she no longer needs access to MyOVO. She calls up the support team just before leaving and asks to be removed from Tim’s account. Because this doesn’t affect Tim’s access and Alice is removing herself from a Non Financially Liable privilege level, the support team can action the request immediately and notify Tim later. Alice is removed from his account as a secondary contact immediately and her MyOVO access is disabled the following day, leaving only Tim on the account going forwards.


5 replies

Userlevel 7

Yep this makes sense, @Blastoise186 - there’s clearly value in such a feature. 

 

It saves you or the secondary contact having to reach out to our Support team, which saves you effort and the company the cost of this contact. I’ll pass it on to our billing platform developers. 

 

For anyone else wanting more info on secondary contacts, financially liable contacts and their corresponding permissions, please see the guide we created here

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Thanks Tim! :sunglasses:

There’s also a security benefit here too, on the basis that Delegated Permissions/Multi-User Access can be set up in a way which means the other contact ONLY gets access to the stuff you grant permission for - and also helps to discourage password sharing.

There’s a few different ways you can make this work, ranging from just a simple Secondary Contact Mode that only unlocks a specific set of features that are the same in all cases, right through to different roles and permissions. It depends how much fun Kaluza wants to have! :stuck_out_tongue:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Just a quick update on this one for anyone who reads this thread.

I’m really pleased to report that I’ve had a status update on this suggestion. The latest info I’ve been given is that this one is no longer just a suggestion, but something that’s attracted a lot of attention and is definitely being considered as a new feature in the future.

I’ve not heard any timescales as to if or when this might become available, but it certainly sounds very likely to become a reality. :sunglasses:

Userlevel 6

This is great news, @Blastoise186 ! 

 

Great choice of username, I’m Jigglypuff girl myself.

 

I’m Amy, nice to meet you, it’s so good to see we have new users such as yourself, in the short time I’ve been away from the forum. 

 

Please feel free to give me a holla if there is anything you need from me. 

 

“You teach me and I’ll teach you” :blush:

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Oh? A wild @Amy_OVO appeared!

Blastoise threw a Master Ball at the wild Amy! :stuck_out_tongue:

Welcome back Amy. It’s good to finally meet you at last. And now I’ve caught you with a Master Ball, there’s no escaping this time…

But yup, a feature like this one is definitely something I’d get a lot of value out of. I don’t like giving out any of my login details at all to anyone - and you should always keep them secret - but my use case means it would be helpful if my secondary contact was able to check on the account from time to time. Being able to do so securely via a dedicated feature would make that so much easier.

:relaxed:

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