Poplar HARCA is an award-winning Housing and Regeneration Community Association in East London. Today, they own and manage over 9,000 homes and, with partners, they are leading a £2.5bn place-shaping programme including new homes, education, healthcare, faith buildings, business and community spaces.
Developed by Element3 their online self-service portal, MyHARCA, provides residents and Poplar HARCA staff access to up-to-date information and services to manage property accounts online. Since its development and initial launch, MyHARCA has become central to the digital transformation strategy at Poplar HARCA with over half of their 10,000 residents now registered with the portal.
Element3 is excited to announce the development and launch of the new MyHARCA online payments feature. Designed to empower residents to make and manage secure payments on their accounts online and helping reduce the need to visit Poplar HARCA offices in person, or carry out telephone transactions.
In this blog post we will share the story behind MyHARCA, our shared vision with the Poplar HARCA Research & Development Team and our collaborative approach to further develop and enhance digital services at Poplar HARCA.
Our Approach – Working in Partnership
At Element3 we believe technology and innovation has the ability to empower people and transform businesses who are looking to effectively change the way they operate and provide their products and services. Our model is to work closely with our customers to fully understand their challenges and collaborate to design bespoke digital solutions, supplemented by strategic guidance and operational support to enable our clients to innovate in a creative, sustainable and scalable way.
When designing solutions, our primary focus is on the people at the heart of every process. We feel that great software should empower our clients and their customers with transformative and well considered solutions.
To us, working in true partnership is about seamless collaboration, communication, and creativity – working together to find new solutions to old challenges.
We have worked collaboratively to foster what we like to call an ‘innovation partnership’ with Poplar HARCA’s Business Support and Technical R&D teams, which has allowed us to accelerate our rate of development with each and every phase, while gaining a deeper, more thorough understanding of requirements every step of the way.
We are excited to continue our journey and further enable and empower the Poplar HARCA community!
“The MyHARCA portal is central to our digital transformation strategy at Poplar HARCA. We want to ensure our residents have access to the latest digital services that empower them, and improves their Poplar HARCA experience in a secure and accessible way. Working in partnership with Element3 has enabled us to realise our MyHARCA vision and strategy and I look forward to working on future collaborations”Nazmul Ahmed – Assistant Director, Business Support Services – Poplar HARCA
When we first set out, the project team’s goal was to create a customer facing online platform, integrated with Orchard their core housing management system, that enables online access to core resident and property services at a click of a button. This includes access to:
- view account balances
- making rent and parking permit payments
- download statements
- raise repairs
- request payment cards
- complete forms
- submit general enquiries
- update personal details
Traditionally these services were provided face to face by visiting Poplar HARCA offices, meeting with housing managers in person or by telephoning the main switchboard.
The portal includes a ‘staff access’ module built specifically to allow authorised Poplar HARCA support teams to securely access MyHARCA on behalf of residents, enabling them to provide immediate assistance and support for users either over the phone or in person.
Since its launch, over half of the 10,000 residents have registered with the portal.What’s even more staggering is that in 2020 alone, the number of users increased by 85% over the previous year. This demonstrates a fantastic uptake and trajectory for Poplar HARCA and is down to our combined efforts to drive a better experience for residents and internal support teams.
New Payment Method Developments
Most recently, the focus with MyHARCA has been to improve the user experience of their residents when making and viewing payments.
The goal was to make secure online payment services easier, faster and more transparent for residents, and to instil a more efficient process for internal finance and administrations teams. Efficiency and resident empowerment are always a priority, as it gives valuable time back to internal teams to better support residents.
Based on the globally recognised secure payment platform Opayo (formerly SagePay), our new payments design now enables residents to pay via a secure payment portal embedded within MyHARCA, without navigating them to another website and removing the need to retain and enter their unique payment reference number. The result is a simpler, more intuitive process for both residents and staff.
Poplar HARCA have processed over 2,000 secure online transactions since its launch in September 2021, and are actively engaging with users to gain more insights and feedback on how we can further improve the MyHARCA experience and services. The Element3 product team are looking forward to further enhancements and development of the MyHARCA self service portal and continuing to support digital transformation strategies at Poplar Harca.
Based in the UK Element3 is a bespoke technology consultancy and cross-platform software development house. We design and architect full stack development projects from MVP to production – specialising in API development, business process automation and digital enablement solutions.
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