The value of Dat Screening in Tracing and Collections

The value of Data Screening in Tracing and Collections

A recent meeting between the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR); the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA); the British Bankers Association (BBA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) raised some interesting points on the issue of collections.

Debate centred around the thorny issue of sending statements, arrears and default notices to addresses where the customer was known to have gone away or deceased.

While BERR believes this to affect a relatively small number of customers, our own research shows that the problem could well be much larger with up to 10pc of defaulted accounts being attributable to unknown "skips".

There is clearly a fine line for the industry to tread in the need to balance the collections requirement with the increased risk of ID fraud, customer irritation and distress and consequent complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service in the most extreme cases.

So rather than issuing statements or default notices in the hope that they reach the right person, and then being forced to follow up through a variety of channels when no response is forthcoming, it makes sense to screen files prior to issuing notices. In this way, organisations can not only be sure that they are reaching the right people at the right address, but they are also able to eliminate unnecessary time and money spent tracing people who will never respond.

Perhaps most crucially this screening process can be done at speed. Our own customers are able to have a file turned around and fully processed through our CallTrace product within 24 hours, ensuring that critical collection time is not lost.

Demand for these services is increasing and with regulatory bodies clamping down on poor data targeting, it makes sense for agencies to minimise their collection costs while targeting customers more efficiently.

By Alan Golob, Head of Collections and Recoveries, Callcredit

To speak to someone in Collections please call 0113 244 1555 or email collections@callcredit.co.uk


About Callcredit:

• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.

• Callcredit consumer provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at www.callcreditcheck.com

• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.

• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Skipton Information Group. The other five are:
• Database management company EuroDirect
Market analysis firm GMAP Consulting
• Online payment service provider, Legatio
• Scorecard development and affordability assessment specialist DecisionMetrics
• Marketing services and database specialist, Broadsystem

• Following the publication of Sir James Crosby's report, Callcredit has joined forces with the other two UK credit reference agencies to offer expert advice for victims of ID fraud. This joined up approach will mean that victims can contact Callcredit who will then alert the other two agencies to the fraud on their behalf. Our ID fraud team will also work with victims to contact all lenders and ensure that fraudulent information is removed and the consumers' credit history is fully restored.