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Collections in Financial Services: The Self-Service Revolution

Consumer demand, the adoption of new payment methods, competition, regulation, digital transformation and security are powering the self-service revolution in banking.

This well-publicised transformation is fuelling something interesting under the surface – the collections process. The customer journey in banking is potentially one of the longest in the brand-to-consumer eco-system, possibly lasting from pocket money to pension. 

As the availability of credit has increased over the years, despite improved efforts and regulations which ensure better affordability criteria is in place, so too has the number of customers indebted to their banks.  That position can put a strain on the relationships that banks have with their customers.

Banks that use intelligent systems to understand and anticipate customers’ payment patterns can better help them, when a customer does miss or is in danger of missing a payment.

Personalised, self-service payment technologies and platforms are now changing the way that consumers view the collections process. New channels, such as mobile or online payments, gives the relationship between bank and customer a more positive tone, provides the customer with more choices and means less unnecessary time on the phone.

Some banks are beginning to ensure that the long-term view of a customer over the decades in which they rely on that institution, is reflected in the way that their collections services function.  Where traditionally a bank would rely on outbound diallers to reach out to their customers, they are now adopting strategies to encourage the customers to either call or interact with the bank using their preferred channel at a time that is convenient for the customer.

We believe that this function, as part of operating a customer-centric business, is a strategically important area to focus on.  A practical, helpful and personalised collections experience can turn what was traditionally a negative process into a rewarding one that encourages loyalty and increases revenues.

By using cost effective and relevant communications channels, partnered with genuinely innovative payment strategies and technologies, it’s possible to simplify and enhance the collections experience for customers and generate an increase in both early life and later stage arrears payments.



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