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ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

This is the first post in a new blog series highlighting the importance of text messaging for debt collections and what ARM businesses need to stay compliant.
 

Text messaging for debt collections might seem like a bridge too far. But it’s entirely within reach today.
 
Maybe you haven’t made the leap because you’re uncomfortable with the idea of going digital. You aren’t sure how to avoid the pitfalls (of which there are many). You’re hoping that at some point, texting will become less of a compliance risk.
 
Let’s face it. If you’re waiting for just the right moment to start texting, you never will—to the ongoing detriment of your business.
 
Communication technologies continue to advance at lightning speed and change the way businesses and consumers interact. Relying solely on letters and phone calls to reach consumers is no way to operate, much less get ahead in the marketplace. In fact, playing it safe may be the greatest threat to your business long term.
 
Still wavering on the idea of texting consumers? Here’s why you need to act, and act soon.
 
 
 

3 Reasons Why Text Messaging Is Essential for Collections and ARM Industry Success

To achieve breakout success in 2020, you need an omnichannel communications strategy that includes text messaging. The benefits of going digital, and the downsides of ignoring these channels, are too great to ignore.
 
 

1. The World Has Gone Mobile

In 2017, according to CTIA (formerly the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association), Americans used 16.7 trillion megabytes of data. That’s 40 times the volume of traffic in 2010. In just one year (2017–2018), mobile data usage in the U.S. increased by 82%.
 
CTIA’s 2018 report reflects not only a growing shift to 5G and surge in data-only devices including connected cars and wearables, but also the widespread use of text messaging as a preferred method of communication. In 2018, 2 trillion text messages were exchanged—the equivalent of 63,000 per second. Of those 2 trillion text messages, 95% were opened within a few minutes of receipt.
 
There’s no pretending these trends aren’t relevant to the ARM industry. Texting is, far and away, the best way to reach consumers and engage them effectively.
 
 

2. Texting Offers Unparalleled Advantages

Not only is text messaging more cost effective than other types of communication, but it can help improve efficiency by offering consumers a convenient way to manage their accounts and make payments without having to interact with a person. This frees collection teams to pursue higher priority accounts as needed, helping boost revenue recovery across the board.
 
 

“You’re in trouble with a credit card. You’re behind, and the company keeps chasing you with letters and calls, which you stopped trying to deal with weeks back. It’s 89 days in of the 90-day window before things go to a deeper level of seriousness.

 

And then you get a text, which you answer. And before long, you have come to an arrangement with the finance company you were too stressed out/ashamed/embarrassed to call back.”

 

Contactcenterworld.com

 
 
Quality of engagement matters, too. By offering consumers a channel they want and getting their permission to communicate via text, you can provide a positive experience that exceeds their expectations and leave them more inclined to work with you on outstanding debts.
 
Almost immediately, you’ll be operating at less cost and improving your collection results through better customer service. As a result, you’ll become “stickier” to your existing clients and a force to be reckoned with in your industry. 
 
 

3. Texting Technology Can Simplify Compliance Management

Texting for debt collections is complicated. Your program will be subject to CTIA requirements, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and other applicable laws. You’ll need to draft your terms and conditions, consider opt-in/opt-out requirements, and manage consent with the utmost precision.
 
Believe it or not, this is all very manageable—even day to day, on an ongoing basis.
 
Your first step is to determine how your program will satisfy your business needs and strategies as well as all legal and industry requirements that apply. Sounds daunting, but a good legal partner and an automated, compliance-minded text messaging platform—technology that’s readily available today—are all you need to minimize your risks, reduce your operating burdens, and position your business for accelerated growth.
 
 

If You Plan to Text, You Won’t Want to Miss These RMAI Sessions

If you’ll be traveling to Las Vegas next week for RMAI, I hope you’ll join Ontario Systems Chief Compliance Officer Rozanne Andersen for these two sessions. She and her fellow panelists will tackle digital communications in more detail and share some important insights and practical tips you can use to get started with texting. (You can find brief session descriptions and panelist bios on the RMAI 2020 Agenda page.)
 
 
  • The New World Order—Communicating with Consumers via Email and Text—What You Need to Know (with Mike Cantrell, Solutions By Text): Wednesday, February 5, 3:00–3:50 p.m., Juniper 2
  • Current Issues in Receivables Management (with Tomio Narita, Simmonds & Narita LLP, and Jackson Walker, Resurgent Capital Services): Thursday, February 6, 9:00–10:50 a.m., Juniper 2
 
 
In the meantime, be sure to read our newly revised and updated eBook, Ready to Text 2.0: The Collection Professional’s Guide to Compliant Communication in 2020. You’ll learn the basics of text messaging, how to navigate compliance issues, and what recent landmark decisions could mean for you.
 

 

Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.

© 2020 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.

Ready to Text in 2020?

Text messaging for collections is complicated. It’s also mission critical. Our brief ARM industry texting guide, newly updated for 2020, has the insights and advice you need to get your digital communications program up and running.

 

Don’t get left behind. Download your copy today!

ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

This is the first post in a new blog series highlighting the importance of text messaging for debt collections and what ARM businesses need to stay compliant.   Text messaging for debt collections might seem like a bridge too far. But it’s entirely within reach today....

Why Isn’t Technology Delivering Better Results for Collection Agencies?

Why Isn’t Technology Delivering Better Results for Collection Agencies?

This is an introduction to our first OS blog 2.0 series highlighting the “ARM ecosystem”—what it is, how it works, and how ARM businesses can benefit by adopting this approach.

 

As an ARM business leader, you have a lot to contend with. You’ve watched operating costs continue to rise. You’ve struggled to get a handle on compliance (a constantly moving target). You strive for better and better results.

Like many others in your industry, you’ve invested in tech innovation to manage these demands and risks with the hope of accelerating and sustaining growth.

How well has your investment paid off? Did you expect better returns?

Having served the ARM market for 30+ years, we know this with 100% certainty: how you innovate can mean the difference between a tech-powered environment (relying on disparate tools for daily operations) and a tech-empowered environment (removing burdens and constraints to unleash productivity and ROI).

The difference between these two operating models can be vast. Based on our experience, we believe every ARM company should strive for the latter.

 

Long-Term Success Depends on Keeping Innovation Simple

When it comes to innovation, technology can, and often does, become its own issue. Managing the tech stack can gobble up time and resources, and inherent weaknesses can leave ARM businesses on shaky legal ground.

Any tech solution you implement should be steady, reliable, cost-effective, and unobtrusive. It should empower collectors to do more and management to worry less. In fact, day-to-day compliance should be as easy and natural as breathing air. If this isn’t happening in your organization, you might want to consider an alternative to your current tech stack. We call it the ARM ecosystem.

 

Exploring the ARM Ecosystem: Other Topics in the Series

In the following posts, we explain how the ARM ecosystem works and dive into several major issues it addresses. You won’t want to miss these.

Rethinking the Typical ARM Tech Stack
Classic ARM integration, which involves bolting point solutions from multiple vendors onto a core collections platform, leaves big gaps that can increase operating costs and exacerbate compliance risks. We’ll explain why and discuss how an ARM ecosystem eliminates these problems by design.   >> Read “Why Isn’t Technology Delivering Better Results for Collection Agencies?”

Supercharging Collectors’ Performance
In a typical tech-powered environment, collectors aren’t equipped to make informed decisions or prioritize accounts. An ARM ecosystem provides real-time insights collectors can use to recover more revenue. We’ll show you how an ARM ecosystem empowers collection teams to optimize their performance and results.   >> Read “How to Maximize Your Account Reps’ Collection Efforts”

Reconciling Compliance Management and Consumer Demands
Many collection agencies avoid adopting text, email, and other forms of electronic communication because they’re concerned about compliance risks. But they know these new channels offer more effective options for consumers to pay. We’ll explain how an ARM ecosystem allows agencies to communicate in consumer-friendly ways that support compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements.   >> Read “Compliant, Consumer-Friendly Communications: What ARM Agencies Need to Succeed”

Competing to Win
We’ll show you an ARM ecosystem in detail and in action. We’ll also outline the five big benefits that give ARM agencies a leg up in the marketplace.   >> Read “How to Compete to Win in the ARM Market”

 

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Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.

© 2019 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.

Boost collections. Lower costs. Close compliance gaps.

Your approach to innovation may be hindering your success. Download “The ARM Ecosystem: Advancing Beyond Integration” and learn what a holistic, seamless collections operation can do for you.

ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

ARM Industry Leaders, Why Aren’t You Texting?

This is the first post in a new blog series highlighting the importance of text messaging for debt collections and what ARM businesses need to stay compliant.   Text messaging for debt collections might seem like a bridge too far. But it’s entirely within reach today....