How Can a System Collect Debts?

01 Jun 2016
System

At InDebted we embrace technology that allows us to collect more debts in less time than our competitors. We are undoubtedly the most technology-driven debt collection agency in the Australian market, employing considerably more software developers than collection officers.

Our proprietary collections platform is designed to reduce the manual workload on our collections staff, this way we can hire the best people and provide the best service. Even more, we want to do so in a way that reduces the burden on both our creditors and debtors. The key to achieving success with any collection is treating both parties fairly and respectfully. All of this begs the question, how can a system collect debts? Particularly better than their human counterparts.

When we began building our collections platform many people thought it would simply not be possible for a system to collect debts on its own. Whilst we certainly have plenty of debts that require some human involvement, this figure is decreasing daily and has a significant number of debts that are collected with no human involvement whatsoever. Let's take a look at why we believe this is the case.

DATA COLLECTION

Any debt recovery agency is only as good as the data they have available to them. If you are attempting to collect a debt from someone where you don’t know vital bits of information such as name, phone number, or address, then the task becomes near impossible. As is the case with having the vital information, having additional information (social media accounts, company history, credit scores etc.) further empowers collections agents and thus increases the probability of collection.

The process of gathering information on a debtor will usually only occur when either no information is present, or the information provided does not deliver. This process is often referred to as skip tracing. The problem with this approach is that it fails to consider alternatives such as “if we had more information about that debtor, could we have collected the debt in less time?”. This is where systems can really help.

When a debt enters our platform the system begins to immediately gather data about the debtor. Through a combination of free & paid resource and our machine learning algorithms, we can gather potentially thousands of data points in a little less than 1 second. Now tell me a human who can do that! No seriously tell me, they will have a job here instantly.

COMPLIANCE

The debt collection and recovery industry is heavily regulated in most parts of the world. Australia is no exception. Whilst each state manages its own licensing & regulations, the overall industry is managed by the ACCC, taking into account relevant ASIC and privacy legislation.

Compliance is an issue for all parties, not just a debt collection agency. Failure to comply with relevant regulations can put the creditor at risk and of course subject the debtor to unfair and illegal recovery practices.

The problem with traditional collections agencies is that they typically reward their collections officers based on the volume of debt collected. Whilst many organisations will claim that this can be done whilst remaining compliant, the very practice places the collections ahead of compliance. A variety of recent high-profile cases has seen large organisations fined over $100 million dollars for these very practices.

Our platform’s compliance engine enforces the relevant jurisdictional compliance not only on our “robot collectors” but also our human agents. This protects us, our customers, and those who owe the debt - and that is how it should be.