Debbie Nolan, Commercial Director, Arvato Financial Solutions, spoke to Treasury Today magazine to explain how robotic process automation (RPA) can both boost collections productivity and facilitate improved relationships with customers.
Automated systems are already transforming the transaction processing landscape in finance but they hold wider potential for boosting productivity across other functions. Debt recovery, an essential element in maximising revenue, is no exception. RPA, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), holds the potential to streamline this further.
The primary role of a collections department is to recoup outstanding revenue, but it’s also essential this process avoids adversarial engagement with debtors. Businesses need to collect revenue and safeguard beneficial future relationships simultaneously, so collections must be approached sensitively, with the wellbeing of the debtor properly considered.
RPA can free up employees to focus on complex cases that require a more human touch and identify vulnerable customers who warrant a more bespoke approach earlier. This means companies can have an effective collections function that boosts cashflow and treats individual cases holistically.
Debbie comments: “The benefits RPA offers collections departments will accelerate as the technology is integrated with more advanced AI. As the technology evolves, its capability will extend to understanding natural language and comprehending and recognising patterns in processes will increase.
“It means the scale and scope of tasks it will be able to handle in the front and back office will expand markedly. From a collections perspective, this means greater efficiency and a workforce supported by autonomous virtual assistants that give collections agents even greater capacity to focus on the customer.”