Debt collection agencies are constantly eying new and innovative online payment solutions to simplify transactions and streamline productivity. Fortunately, today’s electronic, automated payment processing options can manage most debt collections activities, leaving staff to perform the most critical work of the company: finding and connecting with debtors.
Choosing and Implementing an Online Payment Portal
A payment “portal” is used to move money into and out of financial accounts via the web. The many varying payment portals, or gateways, use different methods to complete those transactions. Some methods may be more effective for one industry than another. While some solutions aim to simply complete a money transfer, others also offer accounting and project management services.
There are two primary concerns to consider when choosing a payment gateway the best suited for corporate needs: data security and ease of use.
Data security is Critical in Keeping Corporate and Client Records Safe
Some portals offer a “third party” process where both the client and the company share financial data with the outside vendor, but not with each other. This option leaves data security management in the hands of the vendor, in turn, reducing demand and cost for the collector. Other payment processors connect their payment platform directly to the collection firm’s website, so consumers can click directly through it to reach their payment portal.
Ease of Use
A payment portal is only useful if customers are using it. Accordingly, the portal should easy to navigate and easy to use. In a tech-savvy world, it is imperative the payment portals are optimized for use on smart devices.
Be Flexible With Payment Plans
The flexibility of payment gateways gives debt collectors an unrivalled opportunity to establish payment plans unique to their needs. Every loan — and every customer — is different, so offering the most flexibility to customers to complete their payment(s) increases the likelihood that they will follow through with timely installments. Traditional payment methods, such as cash, check or money order are still available – but require personal effort on the part of the customer that can be inconvenient at times. Often, it is this requirement that bogs down traditional payment plans.
Instead, online payment options allow debt collectors to accept credit or debit cards, direct deposits, and even payments through gift cards and vouchers.
Offer Phone Support
Another service becoming more critical to the success of today’s debt collections agencies is the rise of customer call centers and virtual terminals. An unstable economy remains the reality in many regions of the country, and even debtors with the best of intentions are unable to submit their payments promptly. Providing them with the opportunity to access a polite customer service representative gives both the consumer and the agency the assurance that a delayed payment won’t become a neglected payment.
Use First-Party, Third -Party, and Early Out Collections
Following up on collections activities is sometimes better managed by an outside vendor.
- A first-party collections vendor acts as an extension of the creditor agency (not the collections agency) and assists the company’s direct customers to meet their payment plan objectives.
- A third-party collections agency is the traditional “collections agency” that is hired by a company to collect its outstanding debt. Third-party collections typically receive a percentage of the collected amount as payment for their services.
- Not all debts or debtors are the same, and some are able and willing to pay as soon as they learn they are in default. Collections services that use “early out” processes can trigger payments, often with 60 days of receiving notice of the debt.
PaymentVision provides a wide variety of payment portals, credit and debit card processing, and online payment counseling to help every debt collections agency maximize efforts and profits. Ready to simplify your collections processes? Contact us today!