Collector - April 2017 - 46


BUSINESSOPERATIONS

The Payment Revolution
Three big payment technology trends to watch.
By Anne Rosso May

O

utside of the third-party collection
industry, the payment landscape
is bubbling over with change-
brand-specific payment apps, EMV
"chip" cards and blockchain technology
grab headlines on a daily basis. While
payment innovations are slower to take
hold in the heavily regulated collection
industry-or may not really apply to
non-retail businesses-we are seeing
several new payment opportunities start
to gain traction. This is the result of not
only changing rules, but also consumer
expectations for convenient, secure and
increasingly digital payment options.

SAME-DAY ACH TRANSACTIONS
Same-day automated clearing house
(ACH) credit payments, which arrived last
year, and same-day ACH debit payments,
coming in September 2017, give businesses
and consumers the ability to initiate and
settle transactions received in just a matter
of hours-a huge jump from the two to
three days it can take for standard ACH
transactions to clear.
NACHA reported processing more than
13 million same-day ACH transactions in the
first three months of the program, with an
average amount of $1,283. And contrary to
initial fears, so far there has been no increase
in fraud associated with same-day ACH.
Dave Yohe, vice president of marketing
at BillingTree, said he sees same-day ACH
currently being used mainly for payroll
purposes, but he expects business adoption
to be more widespread by 2018.
"It will have a big impact on cases of
nonsufficient funds," he noted. "Previously
if someone gave an ACH payment over
the phone, the agency owner wouldn't find
out until three or four days later if it was
nonsufficient. Then they'd have to reach
back out to the consumer and arrange for an

46

alternative payment and notify the consumer
about a NSF fee. But same-day ACH will
authenticate in near real-time, so you'll
know sooner if the funds are there."

DIGITAL AND MOBILE
PAYMENT CHANNELS
Today when debt collection agencies send
out validation letters, many consumers
hop over to the company's website to make
a payment. Allowing consumers to use a
variety of communication channels and
payment methods can help maximize
your settlements. And while omnichannel
encompasses all the ways consumers can
communicate with debt collectors-by
letter, phone, online or through their mobile
device-it's that last option that many
industry members are most interested in.
"We're hearing from collection agencies
that they have the desire to deploy additional
ways to communicate a balance due and
accept a payment from a consumer through
their mobile device," Yohe said.

The vision Yohe has for mobile payments
in the collection industry-in which agencies
text payment reminders to consumers,
who make an instant payment through
their digital wallet-may not yet be reality
for most agencies, but that type of online
convenience and instant communication is
not out of reach.
You can start facilitating your
omnichannel evolution today by making
sure your website and payment portal
are built with a responsive design and are
accessible from any mobile device. Next,
break down the walls between all your
communication channels and start crosspromoting them. Your IVR should remind
consumers they can make payments online,
and your website should give consumers a
phone number to reach a live agent.
A recent ACI Worldwide survey of
retailers found that regulatory compliance
concerns present one of the biggest obstacles
to implementing omnichannel payment
programs-a challenge many collection

56%

Of all bills are paid
online today.
SOURCE:
ACI WORLDWIDE/AITE GROUP

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

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