TALKINGTECH and SCORE talk collaboration and payment innovation

Collaboration is at the heart of innovation in payments. PaymentEye caught up with TALKINGTECH and SCORE to discuss their recent collaboration, and how they’re uniting to bring payments out of the age of ‘Digital Darwinism’.

What makes TALKINGTECH and SCORE perfect partners for collaboration?

When TALKINGTECH made the decision widen its reach into the North America market it was great to be able to partner with a long established and credible business such as SCORE. With over 20 years of experience in Canada and a deep understanding of receivables industry SCORE and TALKINGTECH can combine their expertise to help Canadian businesses to form a robust and accurate understanding of their customers risk and the propensity to pay.

What problems are you aiming to solve in this collaboration?

Together our solutions aim to help Canadian telecoms, utilities and financial services organisations reach the new generation of debtors through digital channels and reducing the administrative and tedious management of manual payments. Many organisations are suffering from ‘Digital Darwinism’, a term given when the needs of the consumer overtake the ability of a business to serve those needs. Although many businesses want to digitally transform to meet the needs of millennials, they lack the tools and knowledge to do so.

Secondly, a lot of businesses are trying to adapt using legacy software or using providers which can be expensive or slow to request changes, and therefore are nervous about the cost of transformation or the disruption to their businesses. TALKINGTECH have been delivering digital solutions for over 30 years in highly regulated markets, such as the UK. They can offer their expertise and best practice knowledge to these businesses and show them how to introduce digital solutions in an agile manner.

Why do you think collaboration is so important in producing innovation in payments?

If you can isolate the probable ‘payers’ quickly through segmentation, as SCORE can, then you can also accelerate the transaction through mobile payment. This accelerates the ‘speed of cash’ or ‘efficiency of payment’ and reduces the number of administrative steps in the process. It’s essential for Canadian businesses to meet the demands of their consumers. Canada is the world’s #1 cashless society, 3 out 4 consumers own a smartphone and over 50% use this to make a bill payment. In addition, the recent increase in the minimum wage in Ontario means operational costs of a collection department are increasing and businesses need to adopt smarter customer self-cure payment technology to reduce their costs-to-serve, or risk making large redundancies, or even going out of business.

What’s the next step in frictionless payments and collections?

A truly omnichannel experience means offering, not one, but many channels to the consumer that all offer the same experience. Although Canadian businesses have used voice to help capture payments, many still rely on diallers, letters and are yet to embrace solutions such as Pay by SMS. The bill paying process for many consumers is still long-winded, clumsy and often restricted to the operational hours of the business which contradicts consumer’s expectations for 24/7, omnichannel solutions that offer one-click or simple payment solutions.

How can financial technology services become more consumer-oriented in their approach?

Firstly, there is no silver bullet, so organisations must be careful not to take a blanket approach to their customer contact strategies and assume that a specific payment channel will always be their preference.

Secondly, businesses need to learn from their performance and payment data, recognise consumer behaviour and trends, and especially identify any drop-out points in the journey. This will help you to anticipate customer behaviour and learn how you can communicate in more innovative ways.

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