Compliance is far and away the number one issue facing collections organizations today. Not only are requirements growing in number and complexity, but the risks associated with non-compliance are skyrocketing.
As a result, maintaining compliance for collections requires more than legal awareness. Success requires refining your outbound contact strategies to work within a complex regulatory environment. In the United States, for example, the “Big 3” compliance rules and regulations impacting outbound debt collection communications are as follows:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Unfortunately, whether in the US or other parts of the world, many organizations are working overtime trying to comply with the numerous requirements which govern outbound collections communications. At the same time, these organization are often using disparate tools and systems, many of which make it frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive to customize business rules for outbound contact strategies.
As we know, being non-compliant can result in huge penalties, depending on the specific statute or regulation that gets violated. Litigation is expensive and potential damages often cost millions, particularly where class actions are concerned. In fact, there were more than 12,500 debt collection lawsuits in 2014, and not only can these cases result in a big financial burden to companies, but they can also bring bad publicity, negatively impacting the brand and customer relationships.
We’re living in a world where government regulations and internal business rules subject organizations to strict requirements. This dictates when, how frequently, and via which channels companies can contact consumers regarding late payments and outstanding debt – across both agent-assisted and agentless channels.
Modern day collections organizations need modern day solutions — including predictive dialing, outbound interactive voice response (IVR), and text messaging — that enable companies to not only meet legal requirements, but also to dynamically create business rules that optimize the success of their outbound calls — this can be over landline and mobile phones, as well as for sending text messages to customers.
Maintaining compliance is almost always less costly than fines levied for non-compliance. Every organization must determine a comfortable balance between risk tolerance, time and effort, and the costs of compliance. While no two organizations are the same, there are best practices that virtually every collections organization should consider, helping you:
- Reduce errors to mitigate compliance risk and costs
- Maintain compliance
- Increase collection rates
- Improve the customer experience
To cater to today’s multichannel consumers, the latest solutions enable collectors to proactively send payment reminders and launch collections calls over a variety of channels, including outbound IVR, predictive dialer, email, and text messaging. Delivered across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployments, modern outbound solutions are proven to increase contact rates, improve agent productivity, and ultimately provide a better customer experience — all of which work together to drive up the overall amount of payments collected.
Genesys simplifies compliance efforts for outbound communications by including self-service tools that enable organizations to customize their outbound contact strategies and dynamically respond to evolving requirements, while also preserving the customer experience. Genesys also offers an integrated customer opt-in program that enables organizations to grow, store, and maintain their customer opt-in database by leveraging existing customer communications (such as credit and loan applications, account statements, and agent and IVR scripts). You can also create new outbound campaigns designed specifically to obtain customer opt-ins.
For the collections industry, contacting debtors does not have to be a compliance nightmare. Becoming familiar with the various regulations, laws, and government agencies is a big step in the right direction. There is clarity, if not comfort, in being aware of the legal requirements and limitations placed on collection agencies, debt buyers, and collection attorneys. Non-compliance is expensive – not just from a financial perspective but because it can have a direct impact on your organization’s reputation and customer loyalty.
To find out more about the largest challenge to the collections industry and how to overcome it, download the Compliance Tips for Outbound Debt Collection Communications white paper today!