Can debt collection be handled effectively and sensitively, during this crisis?

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Written by Editorial Team

Published June 2020

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Handling debt collection in these uncertain times is a deeply challenging situation. On one hand, debt collection companies need to consider that many people may be furloughed and/or facing redundancy. So, those people may now have difficulty in making their payments, owing to circumstances that are, frankly, beyond their control. Of course, the collection companies are also there to collect the monies owed to their customers.

So, sensitivity must be a given during the pandemic, even as we hopefully ease out of it, but to what extent can companies continue with normal collection processes ? What should their collection strategy actually be?

Certainly, payments at some point will need to be made by the debtors and, for that to happen, the payment journey must be as easy as possible for them. Until recently, most companies performed collection activities in the traditional way: with phone calls and letters. Many have also incorporated SMS, to send collection messages, which may redirect debtors to online payment systems. More recently though, these technologies have moved on to incorporate ‘intelligent SMS’ and email distribution, which can track debtor behaviour and combine this with decisioning applications. This allows for much more precise communications catered to individual preferences.

For example, if the debtor prefers and, is more likely to respond to SMS messages, then these solutions can ensure that takes place. In fact, many debtors would rather not speak to an agent at all, if they can avoid it. So, presenting debtors with easy online payment options, and minimal friction, will help to maximise the likelihood of those debtors making payment. Providing this type of solution to Capita Pay360 customers has delivered increases of up to 10%* in speed of payments and up to 30%* reduction in costs, versus traditional operations.

Source: Collect AI, May2019

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