Welcome to EXUS Collections Journal for Q2 2020!

We hope that you will find its information valuable and that it will help improve Collections Operations in your organization.

Editorial


The impact of COVID-19 on Collections- lessons learned after 4 months crisis

COVID-19 probably constitutes one of the major events that have hitten our world in the last decades. Within a few weeks the world has experienced a huge lockdown with more than 3,5 billion people being in a way or another restricted from conducting their daily activity.
Impact on the economies has been strong and immediate, with consumption falling dramatically, millions of jobs being lost, international commerce reduced and travel / tourism being stopped.
In this environment, Banks have been pushed to react in order to comply with regulations that aimed to protect end customers (retail and SMEs) from the immediate effects of the pandemics. NPLs rates are already rising in all markets and segments and the signs are here that this trend will continue in the next period.

But despite the immediate effects and measures the main challenges remain.

 

In the webinar conducted together with Celent on the 10th of June we described these challenges with a focus on the collection’s activity. We consider that going out of the pandemics our world will not look the same anymore.
All our activity will have to be redesigned, with WFH being a serious alternative to our working models, new channels and tools to be used in order to keep our collections performance at a high end. Segmentation models will need to be revisited, while forecasting will be uncertain if based on the historical data and trends.
In this newsletter we will take you through some on the most challenging issues and proposals that we consider will help us all in achieving our goals.

The time for action is now, if we want to succeed in this challenging world.

Round Tables: sharing experiences counts – key findings

EXUS scored an almost perfect 5/5 across all categories
After the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken by Governments and Regulators, Banks and all credit institutions faced an unprecedented situation. Especially for collections, activity had to be stopped or redesigned in order to comply with regulatory and organizational issues. In these times of uncertainty we considered that sharing experiences between professionals of the industry, will all help us, in understanding the issues, the challenges and the way forward.
In the 3 Digital Round Tables organized during April and May we had participants from more than 15 countries, that accepted to come and talk to each other for 1 hour, sharing experiences and creating a community of knowledge around the issues that the pandemics outbreak has provoked to collections.
What have been the major lessons?
COVID-19 has created a new reality with collections activity being postponed, or reorganized primarily around restructuring and application of government measures to support end consumers.
Banks had to deal with the necessity of adapting their systems as to respond to credit holiday regulations, and their processes in order to continue their collections activity in a WFH mode and with a focus to respond to incoming calls.
Simple questions became big issues, as WFH was not in the existing organizational set up of most of Banks, and even equipment (laptops / remote accesses) issues had to be resolved in urgency.
In order to deal with volumes digital communications channels have been set up, offering to distressed customers ways to communicate with the Banks, expose their problems, while guided to the appropriate solutions.
But, the big questions remains unanswered:
  • Are we facing a provisional situation, or a new era?
  • What will be the effects of the pandemic on world economy and by extension to collections?
  • Which sectors except of the obvious ones will be hitten and on what extend?
  • What new tools, segmentation models will be needed?
  • What will be the new set up of collections activity in the day after?
At EXUS we are closely monitoring the trends and developments in order to be in the front line for our customer’s needs. In the beginning of June we also organized a webinar together with Celent in order to discuss on these issues and describe what the collections world of tomorrow will be in terms of trends, requirements and tools.
In the next period we will continue organizing digital round tables in order to permit to all our customers to access this knowledge, learn from others experience and share their issues in an informed audience.

Click here to participate in the next one

 

Product Features

2-way Digital Channel Communication

With the new version 7, EFS is introducing a new communications channel with customers in delinquency.

Two Way Digital Communication Channels “2DC” is a cost effective, modern and non-intrusive way for communicating with the customers. 2DC implements a chat-like interactive service with customers, utilizing a multitude of non-voice communication channels such as Email, Viber, Whatsapp, SMS etc.

Customers are presented with a number of available options to select in order to resolve an outstanding debt, give a promise to pay or to be informed in general.

 

Definition of message types in EFS

 

 

The communication scenarios (response-reply) are designed as State – Transition diagrams through the EFS Workflow Engine. This allows interacting with the customer, in real time, without any human action / intervention.

 

Example of workflow for sending various messages to customers using digital channels

 

This new communications channel offers an alternative way for contacting customers, taking advantage of modern technology and of channels that are familiar to our customers, offering at the same time a supplementary and low cost solution for collections teams.

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New Customer Self Service module: handling settlements in the Collections Holiday era

 

EXUS had already introduced a Customer Self Service (CSS) module since 2017. This module aims to complement the tools and channels that the Collections Teams can use in order to achieve their targets.

With the uncertainty / disturbance caused by the COVID-19 outbreak strong impacts have been recorded on Bank’s collections activity, the main being:

  • the reduced agent capacity
  • the increasing inbound traffic of calls from customers.

 

With the product enhancements that have been made to the CSS module the following business and technical benefits are available to help deal with this situation:

 

Business

  • CSS can now serve to prevent inbound traffic and let customers self-arrange their products
  • Handle both delinquent products and current ones
  • Inform customers on available options on their products ex. Debt Settlement, Payment holiday, Rescheduling, restructuring etc
  • Ask customer their feedback on various areas using configurable questionnaires
  • Ability to upload documents

 

 

Technical

  • CSS is now available as SaaS for all customers having EFS
  • OOTB Integration with EFS

 

We consider that with these product and technical enhancements our CSS module will be in position to effectively assist the collections teams in the achievement of their targets.

Enhancing value through services

Health checks: staying ahead of customer needs

 

Customer Success team introduces a new initiative, called “EFS Health Check” that aims to perform a comprehensive review to understand and improve the value you’re getting from EFS.

 

The purpose of this session is to capture information about the status of EFS usage and create a tailored action plan around the organization’s current needs.

EFS Health Check will be spitted into 2 separate sessions:

 

  1. A Walkthrough to EFS activities and how the team became sufficiently familiar with the product / solution:
  • The focus of the walkthrough will be on how easily the users are performing the collection activities, and how they are using the system in an effective, efficient and satisfying way.
  • In this session we will invite key users to explain how they are using EFS on a daily basis.

 

 

  1. Technical Overview:
  • A dedicated session will be performed by EXUS Senior Engineers that will check the Production system, so to identify possible improvements to ETL Performance, identify possible data discrepancy and evaluate the EOD/ SOD processes.

 

 

Interested to further explore

 

Remote Delivery: Challenges and Benefits

 

The Covid19 pandemic brought new challenges to the whole world. Every company is struggling to find its pace within the new environment. The “new normal” has become the new buzzword.

How did though the Corona virus pandemic affect the delivery of our projects to our clients? So far, on-site delivery was considered a plus. Having the delivery team next to the client’s team was giving a sense of security and efficiency. Close team collaboration, if possible working within the same room was considered a big advantage! Not for EXUS though, and definitely not for the EFS Delivery team! Our clients who know us for many many years have well understood that it is the methodology, the experience and the professionalism of the team that make us unique, especially when it comes to project delivery.

Thus at EXUS, utilising our trademarked RapidDeploy Methodology™, known also as RDM, we have managed to deliver successfully our projects by doing more than 70% of the work remotely. When the pandemic hit us, it was a considered a natural step forward to deliver also the remaining 30% remotely. We didn’t only add Zoom or any other remote collaboration tool in order to achieve that. We have thoroughly reviewed our documentation, to ensure that it serves also the remote project implementation. We have updated our training material to ensure that our clients will get the most out a remote training setup. We have adopted best practices for remote team collaboration and we have adjusted our RDM to fit to the remote implementation.

The result is an enhanced delivery methodology, our Remote RapidDeploy Methodology or R2DM.

We had to face new challenges. Delivering in different time zones, delivering with a serialised translation than in parallel, analysing requests without being able to see the client’s screen all the time. In several cases and due to the security restrictions, we couldn’t even see what the client was describing to us. This is where the methodology and the experience of the team comes again into place. Our Remote RDM has been well thought and designed in record time and thus, we have managed to continue delivering any single project we had. Not only that, we are currently delivering projects that will go live without ever visited the client’s premises.

We do not know how our lives will be shaped in the post-pandemic era. What we certainly know is that we have taken this crisis and turned it into an opportunity to improve our delivery methodology; and we are proud to say that currently all our projects are running remotely with limited to no impact in their schedule.

 

 

Company news:

  • We’re very proud to announce that we’re now ISO 27001:2013 certified! ISO 27001 is one of the most widely recognized information security standards, which requires a company to have an information security management system for managing sensitive company and client data securely. Being ISO 27001 certified demonstrates our commitment to protecting information rigorously.
  • Since the beggining of March and due to the COVID-19 outbreak our company is in a Work From Home mode, while our projects are executed remotely without any presence from our consultants, with the objective of continuing working with our customers while protecting our employees and yourselves. 
  • In this challenging environment EXUS has currently projects in execution in Indonesia, UAE, Morrocco, Europe, Vietnam, Egypt and Greece with both financials institutions and a major utility provider.

 

We welcome any feedback on what you liked or suggestions for what you’d like to see in the next edition.
Just send us an E-MAIL.

 

Best regards,

NIKI SALIARI
Head of Customer Success

nsal@exus.co.uk

   

VANGELIS PTEROUDIS
Senior Account Manager

v.pteroudis@exus.co.uk