If someone asked you about the struggles in your debt collection agency, what would your answer be? Front-line concerns like call baiting or telephone communications? Management issues like teambuilding and company culture? Whatever your focus, it shouldn’t be your collection payment processing software.
There are many important aspects that go into choosing software for your agency. Thinking about everything you must consider might seem daunting. When examining your payment processing solution, start with these four areas to decide if it’s doing all it can for your agency.
Your collection agency’s payment processing software should be as convenient as possible. Part of this means a reliable payment hub that works as intended, as close to 24/7 as possible. Pick a dependable company with dedicated IT staff that strives for minimal downtime.
Your provider should track all activity within their system, and have alerts set to tell of any anomalies. And they should have staff on call 24 hours a day, in case any issues arise.
IVR and online payment portals should be available to consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This way, your office will keep multiple payment channels operating even after your staff has gone home.
Not every consumer uses the same payment channel, or works the same hours. It’s important to offer self-service options to consumers who work during business hours or prefer handling their payments without speaking to a representative.
During office hours, these channels are also a great way to divert easy consumer payments, leaving employees open to handle more complex tasks.
3. Customer Support
Payments can get complicated. If your staff isn’t familiar with the behind-the-scenes of credit card payment processing or they need help understanding ACH return codes and credit card declines, it’s nice to have support. Take a look at your payment software’s customer service operations. Do they offer what you need?
- Human contact - Some questions are just easiest to ask over the phone. Can you reach a real person during business hours when you need to? If the support center is busy, do your calls get returned promptly?
- Troubleshooting - If you like to solve issues yourself, are there self-help resources available for you to access?
- Multiple Communication Channels - Not everyone enjoys (or has time for) a phone call. Can you get customer support through other avenues such as support tickets or online chats?
- Industry Resources - Does your collection payment processing software offer added value through tips and best practices from industry experts like yourself?
In the end, you want a team that sticks with you from onboarding and beyond, throughout your entire relationship with your software provider. They should be offering more than mandatory service. Your support team should be rooting for your success.
With the increase in data breaches in recent years, cyber security has become a great concern for businesses as well as consumers. Examine the payment software for your collection business to ensure you’re getting the most secure products and solutions possible.
- Automated compliance - Compliance is a big part of life as a collection agency owner or manager. Find out what types of automation your payment processing software offers that will fulfill your compliance needs. For instance, can you send, collect and store digital payment authorizations for Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) that fulfill Regulation E requirements?
- HIPAA and SSAE18 - What certifications has your payment software received? Look for those who have completed the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 18 (SSAE 18) Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit. The SOC 2 audit indicates your provider has strong compliance controls in place to run their business. Compliance with industry-specific rules, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) indicate further dedication to security, whether payments come from medical collections, or other sources.
- PCI - Which Payment Card Industry (PCI) Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) are you completing? If it’s more than a 10 minute time commitment each year, you’re doing more work than you need to. For the easiest route to PCI compliance, consider a Level 1 compliant provider that has a system which prevents credit card numbers from running through your network.
A software company with a commitment to PCI compliance makes good business sense for other reasons too. Research what unique technologies they offer or patents they may hold. Along with creating a secure environment for your credit card payments, you can leverage these technologies you already plan to use. When marketing to new clients, highlight these security features to gain new accounts and grow your business.
- Secure entry overlay - By using a patented payment technology like Secure Entry Overlay, your collection agency can take credit card payments without having to store or transmit sensitive card data through your system. There are various technologies available but choosing a payment processor with this type of solution can save your office time and resources by limiting your PCI compliance burden. Additionally, if your core software provider doesn’t use one of these methods, they are required to pass the PCI-PA (Payment Application) certification. If they haven’t done so, the provider is not PCI compliant and therefore, neither are you.
According to Business.com, the technologies you use to run your business are a big draw to clients while marketing your debt collection agency. “With the right technology, collections agencies can tailor communications to resonate with each debtor. The best agencies are up-to-date with the latest technologies; and have responsive, mobile-friendly websites and payment portals so consumers can easily pay online.”
Stay competitive by using a payment processing hub that offers you reliable online and IVR payments along with the support and security features you need behind the scenes. To learn more about how PDCflow’s solutions can increase your revenue and keep you relevant, visit our industry page.