FST Technologies is to launch a revolutionary debt collection solution that gives consumers the chance to organise their repayments via the Internet if they are struggling with debt payments.
The solution is aimed at FST's core financial business clients but is applicable to any business which has to manage indebtedness or specialist collection agencies.
The Virtual Debt Collection solution (VDC) is a flexible web-portal solution that gives customers a discreet way of managing repayment. In addition to offering an easy way to settle outstanding debts, it also offers a vehicle for setting up payment plans, making one off payments, setting up direct debits, reviewing payment history and collecting additional contact / personal information on customers.
Ron Ramage, Managing Director at FST said: "The online portal allows the customer to be proactive about their financial situation, providing an alternative to the traditional process of chasing customer payment. VDC puts the customer in control, creating a more personalised and effective customer engagement. This results in a higher number of re-payments and the creation of payment plans that customers are more likely to complete.
"VDC also allows brands to realise significant cost reduction by migrating debt recovery communications from traditional print and telephony services to more cost-effective web and electronic channels."
According to Credit Action, £259m of debt interest is paid each day in the UK, however, the amount of debt rises by £268m in the same time period as people feel the credit pinch and put daily essentials on credit cards usually reserved for luxury goods.
FST believes this mounting debt problem needs a new solution to keep in check.
Ron Ramage explained: "The usual approach is to issue three letters or make three phone calls which are not only interruptive but can also be very intimidating, sometimes having a negative effect as the debtor trusts that things will improve in the next month.
"The VDC system gives people a chance to work out a personal payment plan with their credit provider. Integrated with the lender's own systems, a plan which falls within their criteria can be set up and benefits both sides. Importantly, it takes away the expense of letters and call centre time and is convenient to the customer. It also improves brand relations as it offers people a service they can engage with and the ability to take some form of control.
"Within the current economic climate more people than ever are feeling the credit pinch. Rising energy prices, especially for people who rely on their car to get to work, have meant costs have risen rapidly, potentially catching many people unawares. This might be a first missed payment on a credit card for a customer who has an otherwise exemplary record and a number of other financial products with the same provider. Rather than cast that person adrift, this approach lets them sort their finances and continue to be a good customer.
"The system can even send them text messages to remind them when payments are due, acknowledge payments made and provide balance updates/mini-statements. These are provided on an opt-in basis and have the further benefit of improving customer profiling for the end client or collection agency."
FST specialise in processing transactional communications for financial services clients, often integrating with third party credit scoring providers with strict adherence to their ISO2700/12 data security accreditation. This allows FST to instantly update a client's existing debt recovery database and link in with existing systems with the knowledge that FST provides a secure environment for the personal data.