Twice as many agencies plan to adopt Virtual Debt Negotiation in 2016 – 17.8% in 2015 to 35.6% in 2016 – and there was a significant increase in the planned adoption of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – rising from 25.6% to 47.8%.
BillingTree’s 4th annual ARM Industry Operations, Technology & Payments report shows technology integration has become collection agencies key issue, with planned adoption of virtual debt negotiation and Interactive Voice Response rising dramatically. The integration of different payment collection technologies rated a top priority, with interest in mobile payments growing.
The report also found CFPB complaints and Regulation-E are not the top compliance concerns– while still ranking very high.
Healthcare was once again the major source of collections work for agencies participating in the ARM survey, which comprised 200 accounts receivable management companies of various sizes that took part in February 2016. Of these agencies, 33.4% indicated clear interest in accepting payments from medical savings and spending accounts (HSA/FSA), though only 33.3% already do so. Other leading sources or work included Utility/Telecom at 48.2%, Commercial at 46.4% and Banking at 42.7%.
BillingTree says by 2017, they expect to see prevailing trends in terms of payment technology adoption to continue, with cash payments and live agent assistance declining, debit/credit and ACH payments rising and automated technologies like IVR and virtual debt negotiation continuing to grow. At the same time, until uncertainty around the use of mobile phones is resolved from a regulatory and compliance standpoint, they expect the gap to widen between consumer adoption of mobile technology and its role in collections.
As the compliance picture becomes clearer, new opportunities for agencies to further streamline operations and adopt new, even more innovative ways to serve the needs of their clients will emerge. The technology and expertise exists; partners who can help their clients to navigate the complexities of compliance policies and practices in an evolving marketplace to mitigate compliance risk will win their clients trust and share in the rewards.
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