Last December I wrote an article for InsideARM that had a pretty straight forward message: The collection industry needed to start adopting newer technology. A few short months later the CFPB, who obviously circulated my article among their policy making staff, answered the call to arms by announcing a long awaited proposed rule change to the FDCPA. With the spotlight now on newer technology, especially technology related to communication channels, ideas of using text, email, and chat had gone from bleeding edge to cutting edge.
Now there was excitement to be had and conversations to follow but when the party was over there was an unmistakable void left in the room. An advisor of ours helped provide a different perspective, leading to a bigger conversation, and while I still couldn’t put a finger on what was missing, I felt a disconnect in how the application of newer technology in the collection industry was still being [under]valued.
Where is the value? How do you measure it? It’s hard to differentiate between all conjecture and sales pitches that make features seem like products made to increase collections overnight vs what’s real. What’s real isn’t always the first thing we want to admit either. It costs too much. It’s not a priority. Who else is doing? Those are frequent objections that are consistent responses from valueless technology where, in an atmosphere like this, everyone has become an expert and we tend to hear what we want, from who we want. In reality we have very little data sourced from this industry that shows where the true value is. Don’t hold your breath for the CFPB either, they aren’t going to write a technical business strategy for any of us.
If we start to tune out the noise we’ll find that there are groups, like the Consumer Relations Consortium and Innovation Council working on ways to help explain what all this means. It goes to show this industry can be incredibly proactive if it works together. So the question isn’t what feature we need, because all of them are useful, its where do we start, what do we start with, and what is the new order of operations that provides a reliable benchmark we can use to leverage against the rest. In other words, show me the proof.
While not claiming to have all the answers, there are people like myself who have fully immersed themselves in the process of digitizing a collection strategy. As luck just so has it, a few of us are hosting an ARM-U panel this fall in an appropriately titled session: Digitize Your Collections.
During the presentation you’ll learn how to go from getting your feet wet to jumping in to using newer technology, in a strategical way, from people who have done it before.
It’s not the CFPB holding back innovation, it’s facing down our technical debt, the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution instead of using a better one, that no one wants to readily admit as the reason for why these growing pains exist. The “Digitize Your Collections” session is hosted by those who’ve bucked the trend because they saw a misalignment of contact strategies and didn’t hesitate to question the status quo in order to start solving the problem.
You can register for free today and submit your questions now by clicking here. ARM-U is a series put on by InsideARM.