Digital Payment Platforms V. Traditional Debt Recovery Services

Combining digital contact and payment technology with traditional debt recovery drives debtor engagement and portfolio performance.

Every credit professional knows that early intervention and outbound debtor contact is the key to minimising overdue and bad debt. In the past decade, the emergence of digital technologies including email, SMS and electronic payment platforms, has allowed debt collection agencies to offer a new range of debtor contact tools, making the old fashioned letter of demand almost redundant. In 2015 AMPAC released its first digital contact strategy using a combination of email and SMS combined with a direct link to a debtor payment portal, making it one of the first collection agencies in Australia to go almost paperless. The benefits were obvious, both for AMPAC and its clients:

Digital Payments

The use of email and SMS by collection agencies is now common practice, so too is the inclusion of a debtor payment portal delivering a more flexible and friendly experience for the customer. In recent years dozens of fintech providers of digital collection services have emerged, however the majority of these solutions only extend to issuing digital notices combined with a payment portal. Without access to traditional collection services such as out-bound calling capabilities using skilled collection staff, field calls, skip tracing, repossessions, process serving and litigation services, the debt recovery process stops at the end of an automated cycle. Digital debt recovery services on their own provide only part of the solution to managing overdue debt.

By combining a digital first collection strategy with seamless integration into a traditional debt recovery service, AMPAC’s clients benefit from both the early intervention and flexibility of a digital solution, and their customers (debtors) enjoy all the convenience of clicking a link which takes them straight to their own secure, personalised payment page where they can pay the debt, part pay or set up a flexible payment arrangement (based on an agreed set of rules). They can also communicate with AMPAC via a secure messaging facility, update their contact details, request a call-back or ask a question which all adds up to a better customer experience and enhanced engagement in the collection process.  A digital first solution tends to work better on low balance consumer debt, less than 60 days old.  In other words, the older and larger the debt, the more likely it is to require a more traditional approach which involves skilled collection staff initiating contact with the debtor, and opening up the lines of communication.

Clients in the high-volume consumer markets often prefer a digital first approach as a way of gently encouraging those that would ordinarily pay (with a bit of prompting) to bring their account up to date.  Commercial clients, or those dealing with higher value debts prefer to blend out-bound telephone contact with emails and SMS to encourage a conversation with the debtor and bring their matter to a speedy conclusion.  If the pre-legal process does not deliver a satisfactory resolution, commercial clients generally expect to receive a qualified recommendation from their collection agency as to the viability, costs and timing associated with commencing legal action against their debtor.

By combining up-to-date digital solutions with a trusted, traditional debt collection and litigation service, clients can be more confident of achieving the highest recovery rate across their entire portfolio.

The same technology that AMPAC uses is trusted by both New South Wales and Victorian State Governments and many Local Councils to manage very high volumes of consumer and commercial debt.  

AMPAC’s debtor portal has improved the way we engage with debtors, particularly the younger generations who are happy to use the smart phone or other device to resolve the debt.

Most collection agencies also offer their clients the ability to log in to a separate portal and review the performance of their overdue portfolio.  The features of AMPAC’s client portal include:

As 2022 gets underway, we will be contacting all our clients to ensure they are properly set up in AMPAC’s portal and that all their staff are fully trained in its operation, but in the meantime, if you require any further information about any of AMPAC’s services, please call us on 1300 426 722 or speak to your AMPAC Relationship Manager directly.

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