A recent Arum round table focused on wider trends in the credit and collections industry and in particular what this means for the future.
There were some interesting common themes, ones that continue to resonate today.
- Regulation: Discussed at some length at the time, both in terms of requirements for increased control and also with upcoming changes such as the senior manager and certification regime, IFRS9 and GDPR. This trend is clearly expected to continue, generating more changes (and requirements for evidencing controls).
- The Economy: Obviously, having a direct impact on a wide portion of the sector, it is continuing to re-enforce a drive for cost effectiveness and changing investment conditions. The jury is still out on whether we have or have not seen the full impacts from items such as a UK exit from the EU. Either way change in the operating environment is expected.
- Customer Focus and Demographics: There have been some interesting data points around communication preferences by age within the customer base. Companies it appears are increasingly needing to appeal to different groups with different needs, different expectations and using different communication tools. This trend continues and it will be interesting to watch the impact of upcoming changes, such as PSD2, on this sector. There is scope for significant disruptive technology here in the next 2-5years.
- Technology: Always a popular theme, however is seen as a route to solve both some of the control and cost challenges whilst meeting customer expectations. Automation and associated process re-engineering/streamlining is still key.
Lastly, at the time there was some some lively debate about the ‘unknowns’and the considerable uncertainty in the world. Sadly this has not changed. Any of these could generate a significant shock impacting customers, business economcs and the industry.
2016 was an interesting year with 2017 no less so, so far. Getting and being prepared still seems the prudent course of action.