Digital debt collection agency InDebted is coming to the UK in a bid to boost the sector’s image

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Meet the debt collection agency with over 1800 five-star ratings and named the best place to work in Australia.

Image source: Josh Foreman/InDebted.

At a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing, inflation and interest rates are rising, and global and local recessions loom, consumers are more vulnerable than ever.

Millions of people are in overdue debt and now, after a slight detour through Canada and the US thanks to covid, InDebted has made its way to the UK at a critical time.

After gaining clearance from the Financial Conduct Authority last August and a period of beta testing, the digital debt collection agency is on a mission to reform the industry, emphasizing “financial health” rather than on the mere collection of money.

“The three pillars on which the company was built were digital communications, data science and customer experience,” said Josh Foreman, CEO of InDebted. AltFi.

“The reason it was is that if you compare it to a traditional debt collection market, it’s basically a call center driven business, onshore or offshore, with very little ‘use of technology or data sophistication, and absolutely no appreciation for helping consumers or remotely providing a good customer experience.

“It’s about how much money can you raise from people as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible,” he added.

Focused solely on consumer debt, InDebted has in fact all but eliminated the “call center” side of debt collection, with 92% of clients never engaging or speaking directly to employees, opting instead to speak via email. , SMS, WhatsApp, etc.

The company determines how individual customers like to be contacted and on what days and times — whether it’s formal communication with someone over the phone, or even emoji, according to Foreman.

“We’ll message people on the preferred channel with the right template at the right time to get much better engagement than you would with a traditional debt collector,” he said.

“Not only are we raising more money, but we’re a lot more compliant because we’re doing it through software and we’re helping consumers a lot more because we’re supporting them through that journey.

“We’re helping them improve their financial health and giving them a much easier onboarding platform to have a very difficult conversation. […] something a lot of people don’t really want to have with someone they find on an unscheduled phone call at a time of day that isn’t convenient for them.

The state of consumer debt in the UK

The move to the UK was driven by customers, Foreman said, where there is a huge fintech market that “desperately needs [their] product”.

Focusing solely on unsecured consumer debt, 85% of the company’s revenue and customer base comes from financial services, and it’s one of the biggest collectors of “buy now, pay later” debt. .

Given the “buy now, pay later” business model, businesses rely on customers who come back again and again, it makes sense that they value a business that offers a positive debt collection experience that won’t discourage not the users. .

According to Opinium’s research on behalf of InDebted of more than 2,000 UK adults, almost half of respondents said they had been harassed or assaulted as a result of tactics used in traditional debt collection.

Additionally, more than half (56%) who had ever worked with a debt collection agency said it made it more difficult to settle the debt.

InDebted, voted the best place to work in Australia, has somehow close to 1900 five-star reviews on Google.

This is likely because employees are not compensated for the amount of money they raise, but rather for the number of positive reviews they receive.

With the long-term goal of becoming a company that improves overall customer financial health and not just debt collection, there is a clear focus on ensuring a positive experience, whether “repeat” your debt for a while or set payment plans with vulnerable customers.

While 38% of Britons surveyed fear their debt will rise or go into debt this year due to the cost of living crisis, hopefully InDebted is as brilliant as it sounds.

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