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Cabot Financial

Delivering ongoing support and digital transformation via a Laravel website and app, designed to minimise stress for vulnerable users

Cabot Financial is a group of leading credit management service organisations, covering services including debt purchasing and business process outsourcing. Cyber-Duck has been delivering digital transformation solutions for Cabot since 2015. We created a new website portal and native app to give users more control of their financial experience and continue to implement ongoing new features and improvements. Transactions worth over £40 million were processed by our solutions within the first four years, and it was nominated for the Best Use of Technology with The Drum Agency Business Awards.

Key stats


Value of transactions made in first 4 years


Customers signed up in the first 12 months


Year-on-year growth in account signups

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How does Cyber-Duck support Cabot Financial?

Cabot Financial is a group of leading credit management service organisations. They cover several services, including debt purchasing and business process outsourcing. Cyber-Duck has a long-running relationship with Cabot, working as an extension of their team since 2015.

We had previously worked with debt recovery firm dlc to deliver their award-winning mydlc platform, which helped customers to resolve debt in the best way for them. The platform generated a 75.2% increase in the number of online transactions made – and won a UXUK Award for the Best Transactional Experience. After they acquired dlc in 2015, Cabot chose Cyber-Duck as their partner to kickstart their digital transformation. 

We initially developed a new website, mobile app, e-commerce portal and improved system architecture that gave Cabot’s users an improved user experience and more intuitive control of their accounts. Using our continuous Agile development approach, we have continued to provide ongoing technical support, hosting and new features for 8 years running, enabling them to keep providing outstanding services to their users.


  1. Design and deliver a new, user-friendly portal MVP in just 6 weeks, creating a streamlined user experience with intuitive journeys to make life easier and reduce stress for vulnerable users.
  2. Integrate backoffice API, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and 3rd parties’ tools.
  3. Establish a solid architecture and platform so we could white-label the web application. It is now translated and rolled out to 3 other brands and countries, all from a single codebase.
  4. Continuously improve the digital ecosystem through Agile methodology (we’re still actively improving it in 2023!)

Designing an intuitive, data-driven experience for vulnerable users

Streamlined, intuitive and easy user journeys were a key goal for us in this project. Cabot’s users are interacting with the platform because they are in debt; in many cases, they’re vulnerable, feeling stressed and emotional. Our aim was to make it as easy as possible for them to find information, navigate their finances successfully, and have a more positive relationship with Cabot so both sides can reach their goals.

The first step to delivering quality user experiences was to understand how users were engaging with the platform. To achieve this, we analysed Google Analytics data and mapped out the user journeys and actions taken.

We could see where users were going on the site, where they were encountering roadblocks, and identify opportunities for improvement. This data-driven approach was supported by information gathered during user interviews.

We validated the usability of each feature through user testing sessions, as well as confirming that each one was serving a valuable purpose.

Combining eye tracking analysis with user interviews, we were able to understand the user experience from end-to-end and therefore ensure key tasks could be completed with ease.

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Continuous Laravel and Agile development to meet ever-changing needs

Initially, we developed a new Laravel website and native mobile app with e-commerce features; a customer portal with payment gateway capabilities; and an improved system architecture. Our Laravel team implemented full integration with Cabot’s back-office system. Using Agile methodology with daily standups, we deployed an initial working product with core features live to the world in just 6 weeks.

Our Agile development is enabled by automated testing, via continuous integration, which we set up on four environments. Once QA was complete, we provided a limited number of customers with access to the closed alpha environment; this gave us the opportunity to gather feedback and validate the build, before making the necessary improvements.

We were then ready for public beta testing, which gave users a choice between the previous payment platform and the new beta environment.

Once we were satisfied that the new environment provided an improved user experience and was a stable, high-quality product, we launched from beta to live successfully.

Before we worked with Cabot, they were not very familiar with Web and Agile methodologies, so part of our work involved educating their team and embedding Agile into their culture. Our certified ScrumMasters ran Agile workshops and provided ScrumMaster training to their team of product and project managers. Cabot have now completely implemented Agile methodologies throughout their 400+ person organisation, thanks to the formal and informal upskilling we have provided throughout our working relationship.

The financial world Is continuously evolving as circumstances and regulations change. All these years since the initial launch, we continue to adapt the product to fulfil user needs, meeting market changes head on. This continuous innovation ensures Cabot keeps their customers satisfied while remaining compliant with relevant industry bodies, such as the Financial Conduct Authority.

Since the initial build was completed, we have upgraded the website and app by migrating to Laravel 9, which brought new benefits including greater security, access protection to different areas of the site, and encryption. Cabot is one of our key Laravel projects; we were chosen by the PHP platform as their first recognised partner in the UK.

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A bespoke Laravel system architecture for optimal performance

The customer-facing Laravel application was built to communicate seamlessly with the existing Cabot data stores and infrastructures via secure backoffice API.

Working with Cabot, we used the open standards REST API, and integrated their web platform with the Opayo payment gateway.

Our application was also able to communicate seamlessly with other technologies hosted by 3rd party API, such as Salesforce CRM. We provide ongoing support packages to continually upgrade, patch and refactor the application framework, avoiding technical debt.

We knew we needed to ensure that Cabot were covered for all potential incidents and use cases.

To achieve this, we worked with their team to develop comprehensive hosting documentation (including performance, backup, Disaster Recovery and security), as well as a dedicated runbook / escalation plan.

Cabot provides a 24/7 service to its customers, so the hosting environment must be configured to maintain a consistent service; operations must continue without downtime for system updates.

To accommodate this, we designed the hosting architecture with no single point of failure. This ensures customers won’t experience issues if a particular feature goes out of service. Cyber-Duck had been managing the DevOps pipelines and hosting support since 2015, and recently supported the migration of the entire web estate to MS Azure thanks to its security, efficiency and affordability benefits.

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Developing web and native apps to give users more choice

Throughout our working relationship, we have continued to build on the app’s strong UX and technical foundations to introduce more features and improve the user experience through data-driven design. Our work digitalised Cabot’s manual offline processes, helping improve the overall speed and quality of the process.

We used Cabot’s backend API to expose data to the user; this gives them greater autonomy and streamlines the user journey, so they can self-manage their account and make payments quickly and easily. The platform also integrates their important digital assets, such as online statements and financial documents.

Since the web application has been built on a strong Laravel framework and robust API, it has been white-labelled and rolled out to 4 other brands in Cabot’s group, across several countries.

This means that every application shares the same core business logic, giving consistency across all platforms, and even allows for some custom branding and featured-flagged functionalities so they can be tailored to meet specific user and business needs.

The native mobile app we developed gives customers another channel to self-manage their accounts. Built using hybrid Flutter technologies, one single codebase can be used to manage the native app across multiple platforms, such as Apple iPhone and Android with the same shared backend API and business rules.

We then further enhanced the user experience by incorporating native features like TouchID login.

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The initial platform demonstrated success very quickly, with 20,000 customers signing up within the first 12 months and 20% month-on-month growth in the new account signup. Within the first four years, the user base made transactions through the new platform. In 2019, the project was nominated for the Best Use of Technology with The Drum’s Agency Business Awards.

In 2023, we are still actively supporting the Cabot team with ongoing roadmap development, to provide their customers with more self-service features and increase the efficiency of the platform. We will be providing ongoing roadmap development as well as implementing the new features and improvements, continuing to act as their digital transformation and lead Laravel partner and help them to support the ever-changing needs of their users.

You can read more about our approach and how we work with clients to build, renew and scale Laravel applications and projects in our Laravel white paper.

We’re proud of the results and the long-lasting working relationship we have achieved with Cabot, and that we were able to help them deliver a seamless, stress-reducing experience for clients who may be going through difficult times. This aligns well with the objectives of the Consumer Duty Act from the UK FCA in 2023, which you can read more about here.

Key stats


Value of transactions made in first 4 years


Customers signed up in the first 12 months


Year-on-year growth in account signups

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