-- Auto finance arm of Lloyds Banking Group uses interactive texts to help borrowers resolve late payments and overdue debt
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111010/CG83314LOGO [http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111010/CG83314LOGO])
"Our innovative approach means we can collect payments in arrears anytime," said
The first step in making payment plans is a call from a Black Horse advisor. "Arrangements to pay that are made without fully understanding the customer's commitments or circumstances are often unrealistic, and therefore likely to fail," said Morpeth. "Our 'Straight Talking' dialogue initiative focuses on building trust and increasing customer care through enhanced questioning and listening techniques. Our advisors use this approach to reach a resolution for the customer that enables them to bring their accounts up to date."
Once the payment plan is arranged, Black Horse uses the Arrange-to-Pay application, based on FICO(®) Customer Communication Services [http://www.fico.com/en/products/fico-customer-communications-services-originations/], to automatically manage collections contacts in a phased approach. Two days before payment is due, an SMS reminder is automatically sent to the customer. The text directs the customer to the Black Horse Make a Payment / Manage My Account website, where payments can be made 24/7, including the option of using a card -- a feature that very few finance companies offer to their overdue customers. Using this approach, Black Horse has reduced the number of calls to its Contact Centre, as well as reducing the percentage of arrangements that fail because the customer forgets to pay.
Customers who have not paid by the due date receive a SMS via FICO. The interactive SMS message includes the option for the customer to request an immediate call back. FICO's outbound voice application then helps the customer make a payment using an Autopay facility.
"Customers who responded to the interactive SMS are more likely to resolve, as the call is triggered at the customer's convenience," said
If payment has not been received two days after the deadline, a reminder text is sent to the customer. Customers are scored for risk, and based on their risk level may receive a grace period of 2 to 10 days.
Knowing customers are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet, Black Horse redesigned its Make a Payment/Manage My Account website to optimize it for mobile payments. Visits to the site from a mobile device increased by 19 percent from
Black Horse is now in the process of implementing a continuous payment authority for arrangement to pay, which will enable its advisors to set customers up with a new arrangement to pay using payments automatically taken from a nominated card.
"Black Horse is using technology to make life easier for clients who are having credit problems," said
For the last 15 years, the Financial World Innovation Awards [http://fwia.ifslearning.ac.uk/index] have recognized innovative initiatives that demonstrate excellence, inspiration and creativity in the financial services industry.
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