Some US industries can still thrive on accounts receivable systems that amount to an empty cigar box with a slit cut into the lid — financial services is not one of them. In the November-December 2016 issue of Collection Advisor magazine, British expert Steven Preston writes: “technology is the ‘must have’ commodity [and] investment in technology is definitely the key to future economic viability.”
Following suit with his advice, most successful debt collection agencies use a variety of security and technology advances that offer the finest systems management and data protection while being compliant with the latest government regulations. These processes instill confidence and trust among clients and their consumers.
Single Source Solutions
Some software producers address nearly every aspect of the industry, so it is best to identify specific needs and “must haves” before going on a shopping spree. For example, CollectOne provides solutions for workflow automation, letter generation, predictive dialing, document storage, skiptracing, account scoring, performance tracking and many more.
Other vendors such as DAKCS Software Systems, WebAR, Esperian and Ontario Systems focus on packages for specialized A/R management. Ontario’s Artiva RM automates business rules, database management, report generation, segmentation, electronic payment processing, client statements, transaction auditing and improved compliance.
Interactive Voice Response
Interactive voice response (IVR) technology directs consumers to their preferred destination without live operators via prerecorded messages and menu options that are selected via keypad or voice commands. With effective programming, these systems represent time-saving opportunities for providers and consumers alike as calls are properly routed to the intended destination. In addition to efficiency, IVR offers the potential for improved customer service, around-the-clock access and full customization.
Using the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, debt collection agencies safely handle sensitive consumer data to instill greater confidence with clients. These standards are established by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council and are frequently updated with new versions to offer greater protection. The organization is a “global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination and implementation of security standards for account data protection.” The primary goal is to provide safe systems for sensitive payment card information.
The council offers “programs to train, test and qualify organizations and individuals who assess and validate compliance, in order to help merchants successfully implement PCI standards and solutions. The council also qualifies payment hardware and software so that companies select and implement approved solutions for securing payment data and systems.”
Secure Reporting and Auditing
Debt collection agencies in compliance with the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) as established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offer the finest auditing procedures in the nation. The process was introduced as SAP 29 in October 1958 while the latest version (SSAE 16) became effective in April 2010.
SSAE 16 provides the clients of debt collection agencies with the ability to inspect the “processes around receiving placements, processing collections, receipt of payments, reconciliation of receipts and reporting of debts collected.” This level of transparency provides clients with the assurance that their consumer data is “handled securely and debt payment is provided completely, timely and accurately.”
Voluntary Security Measures
Conscientious debt collection agencies also implement additional layers of security to protect the account information of consumers. These measures include 24-hour closed-circuit television cameras and recorders, employee background checks and drug screening, strict badge-only access, and the prohibiting of personal electronic devices such as mobile phones in call centers.
Optio Solutions is committed to each and every level of security and technology detailed above.
Furthermore, the agency has taken security to an even higher level by establishing a formal Disaster Recovery Plan to ensure business continuity for clients and their access to consumer data. The approach utilizes systems by Agility Recovery as well as power generators, mobile trucks and functional portables. Full recovery is guaranteed within 48 hours.
Optio can provide you with the highest level of security and technology as well as transparency and return on investment in the financial services industry. Contact us today to discuss the creation of an individualized program for your company.