I blogged last year about our work on VENDO (our debt sale service) after I joined our product team. I’m now at that critical, exciting and slightly stressful stage – the launch of a new product.
At TDX Group we’ve been working in the debt sale market for over a decade, helping creditors prepare debt for sale and to sell it to a panel of approved purchasers. What had become increasingly clear was there were growing challenges - largely centred on the desire of sellers (the original creditors who provided their customer with a service or product) to gain more oversight of accounts and consumer outcome after sale in order to meet governance and oversight standards.
So, more specifically, what were the concerns? Largely that debt sale results in the original creditor losing control and visibility of what happens to their customers. For example, once you have sold debt, is it easy to see which debt collection agencies accounts are with and which customers are being contacted? How do you know that your customer is being fairly treated? However, the cost and complexity for to a seller or purchaser of gaining increased oversight was looking prohibitive.
In addition to visibility of accounts, post-sale, not being robust enough, there were also challenges with some of the administrative processes. Typically, query management and buybacks (when a creditor calls an account back after sale) have been managed via spreadsheets. It doesn’t take long for that to result in a lot of spreadsheets and data being moved around … and along with it the opportunity for human error or for data to be lost becoming unacceptably high.
So, we’ve created VENDO: Post Sale Manager. It’s a web-based system that addresses these challenges via data and technology. Activity data will be updated weekly and accessible at a click of a button so sellers will be able monitor what’s happening to their customers and see automatic reports on exceptions to agreed activity. Reconciliation of all account ownership will be available and up to date. It also gets rid of those spreadsheets by giving seller and purchaser a workflow tool.
I think what excites me most about this – apart from it being new and shiny – is that I believe it is a solution which benefits all. Not only the seller and purchaser, but the consumer, too. The oversight benefits for the seller are clear – and from a purchaser standpoint it also brings the benefit of a standardised and efficient way of interacting with multiple creditors as well as improvements in handling queries.
So, how might VENDO: Post Sale Manager impact the consumer? The key benefit is that any query they have about their debt will be dealt with far faster. For example, when contacted, they may ask to see a copy of the bill in order to be comfortable that they are liable for the debt. We know from the query management solution we’ve had up and running for a while (which we’ve included as part of VENDO: Post Sale Manager) that by simply replacing query spreadsheets with a secure online portal, creditors and purchasers can improve the response times on queries.
It’s been an exciting journey, building this from a concept into a fully working system. I’ll be on the road, proudly showing it off to clients over the coming months. Do let me know if you would like to find out more.
Andy Taylor, Head of Product - Debt Sale, TDX Group
m: 07825 170 638