”Smart” software applications are rapidly expanding throughout the credit industry, and collections is one area that can greatly benefit from it. The reason is because many creditors face significant collection operation challenges in the form of manual activities, judgment-driven decisions, disconnected actions, and siloed processes. In addition, there is mounting pressure on operations to drive down cost and aptly adapt to the rapidly changing credit arena. A more intelligent collection software platform can help with these challenges and significantly improve your collections by providing: 1) increased automation capabilities, 2) better controls, 3) greater ease-of-use, and 4) more streamlined processes.

What makes a collection platform “smarter”? There is no single defining characteristic. Rather, a smart platform is the sum of more intelligent and cohesive components all working in unison to enable a higher level of collection productivity and proficiency. To help understand, you first need to know what is meant by “smart” when applied to technology. According to IGI Global, a global publisher of academic research and material, they describe it as:

The technologies that are capable of automatically adapting and modify behavior to fit the environment, by sensing things with technology sensors, thus providing data to analyze and infer from, and or draw conclusions from rules.

Applying this description to a collection platform means having a platform comprised of a broad and robust set of capabilities that:

Continually self-monitor all collection actions, activities, events, and changes

Instantly retain and utilize more data, from multiple sources – both internal and external – that are associated with a specific collection action, activity, event and or engagement

Automatically analyze, and draw conclusions from a given action, event, or change, using a broad set of detailed data that can be applied to complex rules, and or sophisticated decision processes

Immediately adapt and modify behavior for a given collection situation and or activity, and then systematically drive the execution of the appropriate next action

Seamlessly and efficiently operate with all components and functions in today’s collection operation (within and outside of the collection platform)

Forward-thinking software technology firms have recognized these needs in the collections arena and have recently brought to the market new “smarter” collection platforms that represent the next level of collection capabilities and functionality. These platforms offer better support for collection strategy optimization, provide more streamlined and automated processes, a better user experience, and seamless interoperability within the platform (and with other systems).

Making a collection platform “smarter” is no minor task. It is not a matter of bolting on a new component or installing a version upgrade to an existing collection software platform. It starts by having a collection platform built new, from the ground up, based on a modern technology stack, with new and more intelligent designs, and uses the latest proven software development tools.

This in turn enables more intelligent collection software capabilities, including:

Real-time automated processing – enables information, programs, activities and steps within the platform and in the user interface to be immediately processed and updated without human intervention

Highly extensible database – for the retention and use of a broader and more detailed set of data (internally and or externally derived)

Frictionless intra-operative ability – smooth connectivity between functions across all collection and recovery processes in the platform, as well as with external applications, databases, and services (including machine learning / AI applications (AI), and predictive analytics systems)

Powerful centralized decision engine – for easier implementation, and management of complex collection rules, sophisticated logic, and discrete strategies deployed across the platform

“Calm” desk top user display – places the most important information at the center of the user’s attention (and secondary info at the peripheral)

“One-click” user key strokes – minimalization / automation of manual desktop key strokes, data entry, look-ups, decisions, screen changes, and or next steps

Embedded digital channel messaging & engagement – built-in 1 & 2-way interactive SMS messaging, email, and agentless chat for communicating with customers via their preferred channels (supports omni-channel customer communication)

With these modern, more intelligent platforms now in the market, collection operation leaders should be taking a closer look at the capabilities of their own platform and comparing them against a new smart platform. The analysis will be like comparing a traditional mobile phone to a smart phone; the differences will be readily evident, and greater than expected. This is due to the broader and richer set of capabilities, and immediate access to more information; then having the ease-ability to use them readily to improve experiences and results.• Embedded digital channel messaging & engagement – built-in 1 & 2-way interactive SMS messaging, email, and agentless chat for communicating with customers via their preferred channels (supports omni-channel customer communication)

In conclusion, today’s collection environment has become extremely dynamic and highly demanding. Now, collection operations are required to perform at a much higher level with fewer resources, while also being more agile and adaptable on the fly. However, most existing collection platforms are just not up to the task of properly supporting these growing operational challenges. The answer to the situation may be in moving to a smarter collection platform.

These more intelligent platforms represent a major leap forward in terms of overall capabilities and are designed to help operations to more easily improve their collections. Those that make the move to a smarter collection platform can expect to achieve a higher level of effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance, while lowering expenses.

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