Last week I travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon along with Katabat Senior Sales Executive for the EMEA region Jackie Kilner for the UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) hosted by the Credit Services Association (CSA). The CSA serves as the voice of the debt collection and debt purchase sectors within the UK, and this year’s conference focused on technology.
The host presentation this year was delivered by Nathalie Nehai, otherwise known as “the web psychologist.” You may have heard her podcast, The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty: Secret Psychology of Persuasion. If you haven’t yet listened, I highly recommend it. It’s a fascinating mix of neuroscience, marketing, and technology in the form of thoughtful and always interesting interviews. Nathalie’s most recent project is another podcast she hosts called The Hive, which explores technology’s impact on our personal, cultural, and political lives.
Blockchain: The Future of Payment Services?
Technology was a prominent topic of this year’s UKCCC. With breakout sessions on machine learning, payment initiation services, and cybercrime, there was much to learn about and discuss. One of my favorite sessions addressed blockchain technology and future financial transactions, hosted by Marcus Hughes of Bottomline Technologies and Steve Preston of Elanev.
The session provided deep insight into both blockchain and cryptocurrencies and how their future may change the future of payment options. While it’s true that cryptocurrencies are still volatile and unregulated, many additional uses for blockchain outside of cryptocurrency were also discussed.
Three Ways Forward for Credit and Collections
Much ground and many technologies were covered during the day-long event, but three things stood out to me the most. The first is that there remain numerous ways we need to work on improving debt collection for consumers. The number of vulnerable customers continues to increase, so the industry ought to maintain continual focus on solutions for this segment.
We also need to develop common language among consumers, advisory services, lenders, and collectors; open discussion must occur between all these groups.
Second, keeping pace with regulation and compliance was a recurring theme throughout the conference. In fact, although technology was the intended focus, compliance and GDPR were nearly as well represented. Despite the fact that GDPR went into effect back in May, there were highly attended GDPR workshops throughout the day.
Finally, there was an ever-present look to the future of collections and how technology could improve that future. Artificial intelligence and machine learning seem promising ways to optimize service and reduce costs within the industry. Open banking was another lens through which the future of payment services could be seen. It’s a way we can enhance services and further improve the customer experience. Jackie found the Omni channel session about RCS messaging by Essendex particularly insightful and informative. ¨It’s a cool innovative technology in SMS messaging that’s in early days and a definite space to watch.¨ It will be interesting to see how SMS messaging continues to help the credit and collections industry innovate in the next few years.
A Toast to Customer Experience Management
I ended the day attending the Credit and Collections Technology Awards Gala. It’s infrequent that I have the opportunity to connect with counterparts from other tech firms over champagne and canapés, but it’s always good fun. This year Katabat was thrilled to have been shortlisted for four different awards.
While there are numerous industry awards, it was a particular honour to be selected as finalists for the Credit & Collection Technology Awards. This competition is the only one in our sector whose sole purpose is to focus on excellence in technology that enhances customer outcomes. We didn’t win last week, but it was a privilege to be considered alongside so many deserving organizations. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!
Did you attend the UKCCC? What ideas and discussions excited you? I’m always happy to discuss how we can help you achieve your tactical and strategic goals, so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Behan is the Director of Sales & Delivery Director for the EU market at Katabat.