This project will establish a team of software specialists to deliver a set of research and innovation objectives in South-East Cornwall. The ESIF grant will directly fund nine new highly skilled jobs in a project team, which will continue beyond the life of the project, and a further four jobs will also be created.
The project’s research focuses on discovering new ways to securely store some data about the context of the purchase or contract a consumer has with a merchant. Currently this data is stored separately from the payment that a consumer makes to a merchant for their goods or services. The project will investigate a new way to store this data with the payment itself in a so-called payment ledger. In order to maintain the privacy of the data between the consumer and merchant, it will have to be anonymised and encrypted so that third parties involved in the transport of this data and clearing of the payment can’t access the data.
Another research and innovation focus for this project is the way recurring payments like household bills, gym memberships, rents and mortgages can be improved. Currently merchants who collect such recurring payments using Direct Debit are notifying their customers through a paper or electronic bill and then take payment two weeks later. The consumer is left to ensure that the account from which the direct debit will be taken in two weeks has enough money to fulfil the debit. This project will research and develop automated personal finance predictions models which can then be used to predict consumer spending behaviour and support them to avoid falling into debt or incurring unnecessary fees.
Collaborating organisations will be engaged in workshops to deliberate the research outcome more deeply and analyse how the findings could improve their business processes. Upon project completion, the research will be commercialised. This ensures that the employees and positions initiated by this project are transformed into sustainable jobs in Cornwall with well above average salaries.