Experian’s latest development will facilitate fair treatment of customers and help to improve compliance
Nottingham, 13 February 2013 — Experian, the global information services company, today announced the launch of the Experian Collections Network, a comprehensive service which aims to improve data accuracy in the collections marketplace and ensure customers are treated fairly.
The newly launched Experian Collections Network will help businesses establish and implement clear, effective and appropriate policies and procedures for engaging with customers according to their individual circumstances around debt. The scheme will facilitate improved operational compliance by bringing data sources together to help organisations adhere to Office of Fair Trading (OFT) debt collection guidelines, consolidate customer contact and streamline the customer experience.
The new platform enables transparent matching of data between creditors, customer representatives, debt collection agencies and debt buyers, and as such offers enhanced compliance benefits, as well as more accurate customer information. Experian’s Collections Network uses sophisticated software and pinning technology (ExPin1) to ensure the most recent and appropriate information about a customer is utilised.
This latest innovation from Experian comes as the debt collections industry faces increased scrutiny around the fair treatment of customers when engaging in debt recovery activity. Coupled with changes to the OFT’s debt collection guidelines announced in October 2011, there is a new drive for businesses to take proactive measures to enhance regulatory compliance and the customer experience.
A recent survey found that 71 per cent and 70 per cent of respondents in the financial services and debt collection sectors, respectively, stated they were experiencing some difficulty in demonstrating compliance in response to industry regulations2. The Experian Collections Network aims to change that.
With the proposed changes in regulatory regime and migration to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014, consumer credit businesses have an increased burden to evidence strong compliance practices. The Experian Collections Network aids adherence to such requirements.
Responding to this market need, in November 2011 Experian partnered with Arrow Global, a leading debt purchaser, to launch the Pilot Collections Bureau (PCB) as a precursor to the Experian Collections Network. PCB enabled the parties to develop and test the infrastructure and refine the program’s compliance and economic propositions. With 26 contributors and 12.5 million records contributed thus far, the pilot program has been successful in identifying compliant placement opportunities for Arrow Global and partners, as well as generating significant collections uplift. Building on this success, Experian is now rolling out its full industry-wide solution to creditors from across the financial services industry.
Paul Vescovi, Managing Director of Experian’s UK&I Credit Services business, says: “There has been much noise around the issue of debt collection and the need for improvements in this area has been significant. The new regulatory guidelines have made it vital for this marketplace to take proactive measures. Through data intelligence, Experian’s Collections Network will help to improve compliance, fair treatment of customers and debt placement decisions.”
Tom Drury, CEO of Arrow Global, says: “The majority of our business' resources and efforts are dedicated to managing, analysing and understanding available customer data in a way that helps us to treat customers fairly, protect our clients' reputations and facilitate collections. The data insights delivered via PCB have enabled us to tailor our collections strategy based on each individual customer’s circumstances. PCB has become an integral part of our business and we are committed to further refining and expanding its use. It has also allowed us to not only expand our extensive matching capability but also enhance the quality of our data and therefore our ability to cater to the needs of our customers.”
 Experian’s ExPin changes the way data is matched by assigning every person a unique identifier PIN which drastically reduces any chance of duplication and significantly improves overall match rates and data quality. It also maximises the opportunity of retrieving data accurately which will enable firms to gain a complete and accurate profile of their customers.
 Sopra Group Debt Collection Survey 2012: Debt Management & Recovery in the UK’s Finance, Retail and Debt Recovery Sectors.
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com
About Arrow Global
Arrow Global is one of the largest, fastest growing and most innovative debt purchasers in Europe. Its data driven, compliance focused and customer centric business model offers a tailored approach for creditors and customers alike, and has proven to be a winning formula.
With 3.8m accounts and £7bn under management, intensive data analysis and account segmentation help to ensure that each customer is offered the most suitable solution for their individual circumstances. The company is committed to facilitating positive outcomes, and strongly believes that what is good for the customer is also good for business.
Arrow Global was recently ranked joint first ahead of all other major debt purchasers and credit management companies in Europe in the 2012 OC&C Credit Management and Debt Collection Index. The business was also named Debt Purchaser of the Year at the 2011 Credit Today Debt Collection Awards.
Further information about Arrow Global is available at www.arrowglobal.net
+44 7738 771 173