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A sudden downturn threatens legacy bill pay systems

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Let’s start with the bad news first. There’s a consensus among financial experts that the markets are poised to pull back in the next 12-18 months.

Driving this downturn is the fact that millennials—the largest generation in the U.S. labor force—are buying houses and vehicles while contending with an enormous amount of student debt. In the past year alone, credit card loans have increased by 5%, and the percentage of seriously delinquent borrowers (90+ DPD) grew 11 basis points to 1.89%.

Rather than be caught off guard, many companies are taking steps now to prepare for the downturn. CEOs are tasking their leadership with implementing cost-saving initiatives, enhancing operational efficiencies and adapting to a pressure-driven economy.

Being proactive during tight financial times is paramount. It’s simple—when your customers are ready to pay their bills, you have to be ready to receive payment. Lining up the right approach now will keep you ahead of the curve and reduce losses down the line.

Before the markets head south, think about these questions:

Do you currently have capacity? When delinquencies rise, getting paid first matters more than ever. Bolster your customer support and first-party collection teams to prepare for an uptick in volume.

Do you have an external partner? Your internal teams can only handle so much. When the needs increase, be ready to deliver 24/7 service with an experienced partner.

Can this partner ramp up within the next three months?
The ability to get up to speed quickly makes all the difference. A fast ramp means serving your customers sooner.

What will it take to establish a new partnership in the next six months? Know your timeline for launch—and include training, technology implementation and the time it takes to build trust and rapport.

Can this partnership produce the proper products? Financial service companies are planning to invest heavily in digital solutions over the next year. With chatbot and robotic process automation technologies leading the way, it’s all about resolving customer questions and receiving payments as quickly as possible.

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