A digital approach to collections could dramatically improve payment of outstanding debt. Here’s how

There's an increased likelihood of payment and the organisation can facilitate immediate payment of the outstanding amount directly from the collections notice.

Johannesburg, 05 Mar 2020
Read time 2min 50sec
Mia Papanicolaou.
Mia Papanicolaou.

Organisations around the world are embracing digital transformation more eagerly than ever, investing more than US$1.20-trillion in new technologies in 2019.

Many companies are now able to interact using the customer’s preferred channel, one of the most important outcomes of digital transformation initiatives. The savviest of them understand that digital customer communications can dramatically improve the customer experience and also assist in meeting more specific business KPAs.

An example of this is how digital collection notices can help companies reduce days’ sales outstanding (DSO).

Sending collection notices via digital channels has proven to provide many benefits to the organisation, not least an improvement in cash flow, thanks to faster payments and fewer defaults.

The case for digital collections

On the face of it, the case for digital collection notices should be obvious. When you send a collection notice via mail, it is likely to end up in a pile with other mail, where it is easily forgotten or ignored. Compare that with a digital notice, received by e-mail or text message, which is seen immediately because it arrives on a device that the customer has with them at all times.

Research by McKinsey shows that when people are sent digital collection notices, they are 12% more likely to pay in early delinquency than when receiving paper notices, and 30% more likely to pay should it reach late delinquency.

The increased likelihood of payment isn’t the only benefit. The organisation can facilitate immediate payment of the outstanding amount directly from the collections notice. This simple and efficient addition to the process has a direct impact on DSO.

Putting CX first

Adding a ‘click to pay’ button to a digital message is just one example of how an organisation can improve the CX of the payment journey. Customers only have to enter their payment details once, and are able to pay future bills with a single click.

Compared with the hassle of having to enter all the correct details from a paper bill every month, being able to make immediate electronic payment is a far better experience.

Payment isn’t the only customer convenience that digital communication offers. Other calls-to-action can be included, such as allowing customers to view their past bills or contact a service representative just by clicking a button on the collections notice.

Mia Papanicolaou heads up the North, Central and South American operations, providing strategy and direction for internal teams and clients alike. Papanicolaou is a regular speaker on digital customer communication and improving the customer experience. She started her career in SA in the media sector before moving to the electronic messaging space, where she served as business director for e-mail marketing eMessageX. She joined Striata in 2006 as Head of E-mail Marketing. Papanicolaou moved to the UK as Head of Operations in 2010. Thereafter, she moved to the US in 2013 to take up the post of General Manager of the US region. 

Striata

Striata provides strategy, software and professional services that enable digital communication across multiple channels and devices. We are experts in message design, generation, security, delivery and storage.

Clients choose our technology and services to encrypt, send and store confidential documents; execute integrated marketing campaigns; and distribute high volume electronic communications.

The world’s largest financial services, utility, insurance, retail and telecommunications companies trust us to achieve unrivalled results in digital adoption and transformation.

We have operations in New York, London, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Sydney and partners in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific.  

Editorial contacts
Irvine Partners Stuart Thomas stuart@irvinepartners.co.za