While the uptake of sweeping initiatives, such as SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) and SWIFT gpi, tends to grab all the headlines, there remain a number of other pain points for banks and corporates that can be addressed only through close dialogue between both parties. Let’s take credit collection as an example. This is a key contributor to many businesses’ cash flows, yet the process itself can often be time-consuming and frustrating. This frustration was felt by FCA Bank – an equally held joint venture between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy and Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance – as it sought a faster, more efficient and more transparent solution through UniCredit.
Fortunately, new digital solutions are emerging to streamline the process – ensuring payments are collected quicker, with added efficiency and convenience for all parties – thereby generating considerable cost savings for creditors.
Understanding the problem
The credit collection process, through which a lender seeks to recover and reimburse a consumer’s unpaid credit loans, begins once a consumer’s payment is overdue. This is typically after 30 to 60 days have passed, although this can vary depending on the terms of a pre-agreed contract.
Once a past-due payment is listed on a lender’s balance sheet, it is marked as a financial loss, which leads to reduced income and, in some cases, negative cash flow. For this reason, a streamlined approach to credit collection remains a high priority for all lenders. However, the traditional collection process is hampered by cumbersome, paper-based protocols and a high probability of ‘false positives’ where payments are incorrectly logged as overdue as a result of delays in the reception of incoming funds or other non-controllable events.