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In Focus Collections

Insights into the future of the collections industry

How can collections leaders in different parts of the world learn from each other for the benefit of their businesses and customers?

Alex Franco Risk head, Carrefour Bank, Brazil alexrechefranco@

Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to be in contact with collections professionals and processes in several very different regions of the world. For me, there are completely different

stages of development on each of the collections core competencies, but I can assure you that the ideal process would certainly be the sum of best practices observed in different locations.

A globalised world It is interesting that, in the era of the globalised world – when something happens anywhere, it is known all around the world minutes later – almost all of the publications and events for the credit, collections, and risk sector only address local issues and promote networking and the exchange of experiences between local players. Many sectors of the economy – especially

the industrial – have already put in place logistics processes to ensure the integration of best-in-class sub-processes around the world to maximise efficiency and effectiveness. Although this practice seems to be an obvious benchmark to be followed, this is still not the case in the collections sector, which applies internationalisation, with very rare exceptions, only focused on the diversification of investments to mitigate financial risk, but with independent local processes, which are completely different in each country.

Embracing the new Twelve years ago, while providing strategic consulting in customer-relationship

February 2016

management for a major international bank, I wrote a paper on the important role that the SMS and e-mail would have in communication with customers within some years. Less than one year later, now working in

the collections department of a global bank, we had implemented SMS and e-mail as communication tools at various stages of the strategy, with excellent results. It is amazing to note that more than a decade later, there are still many companies

that do not even apply SMS and e-mail as a means of communication with their target audience. More than that, most companies focus

their investments on call centres – despite all their problems with staff turnover, absenteeism, labour processes and lack of contact quality – and on letters, which can be slow and present low delivery rates in several countries. Just look around you, throughout the day today, and see how many

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