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    Collections | 2 min read

    5 Common Collections Challenges (and How You Can Overcome Them)

    Collections plays a critical a role in your institution’s financial health. Limited resources, personnel, and time are common denominators for many collections departments. I've worked with financial institutions to streamline their collections operations for years, and we typically see operations afflicted with the same challenges and obstacles. As the economy and consumer sentiment continue to improve, financial institutions can expect to see lending increase. In fact, according to Experian, credit unions saw a substantial increase in auto loan market share from Q4 2015 to Q4 2017, increasing auto loan balances by 23%.


    Do the following challenges seem all-to-familiar as your team works delinquent accounts?

    1. Lack of Automation

    A common challenge we see in financial institutions is an increase in the workload of their collectors due to lack of technology and automation. Collectors are faced with multiple manual processes that not only make their collection process inefficient, but increase the opportunity for human error.

    2. Disjointed Communication

    When collectors are operating within an environment of manual process, they naturally experience difficulty communicating with their superiors, counterparts, and customers. Communication can occur via email, phone, or in-person, and without a unified system, it can be difficult to track workflows and get accurate status updates to collection activity. 

    3. Dependency on Multiple Programs

    Another challenge I often see within the financial institutions that I work with is the dependence of multiple systems to complete daily tasks. They typically need to use multiple systems to generate and notate collections activity, process payments, add notes, etc. Naturally, this causes inefficiencies, reducing the number of calls a collector can take per day. Since businesses are losing 20–30% in revenue each year due to inefficiencies, finding ways to combine tasks and services to improve efficiencies and create a more productive workforce is more important than ever for financial institutions.

    4. Frustration with Queuing Capabilities

    When inefficiencies exist, one of the major challenges collection operations face is a streamlined and accurate way to queue their calls. We often see that clients don't have an efficient way to switch gears if their priorities change. For example, if an institution sees a sudden increase in late-stage delinquencies, they often don't have a simplified way to update their collectors' calling queues.

    5. Dependency on IT

    It's not uncommon for financial institutions—or any organization for that matter—to experience a strain on their IT resources. Collection operations are no different. And the more systems and platforms that are used to perform day-to-day tasks, the more likely it is that updates will be needed and issues will occur that will require IT involvement. Heavy dependency on IT department to execute pertinent changes within the collections application in a timely manner is a major challenge we see in many collection operations.

    If you can relate to any of these challenges (and more) know that there is hope! Embracing change through the deployment of technology can solve your institution’s most prevalent collections challenges. Download our comparison guide today to learn how you can overcome these common challenges and experience:

    • Improved efficiency and productivity

    • Integrated solutions

    • The benefits of cloud-based technology

    • Less training

    • Fewer relationships to manage

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    Cyndy Stewart

    Cyndy Stewart has been with SWBC since 1999 and has more than 20 years of successful sales leadership experience in the financial services industry. As VP of Business Development for The Financial Institution Group’s AutoPilot® Services, she is instrumental in new product development, managing strategic partnerships, and overseeing the management, communication, and implementation of all sales processes within the direct and indirect sales teams.

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