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EXUS: Improving Debt Collections with AI and ML
"A leap of faith.” This is how Dimitris Vassiliadis, Head Business Development and Marketing at EXUS, relates the transactional relationship between the loan industry and businesses. According to him, for debt collections, these leaps are even more imperative, considering the default and delinquency that invalidate the original leap. While the debt collections continue to bank on outdated wisdom, the loan industry has been plugging away at ways to reduce the rising non-performing loans while also improving workload and performance management. This is precisely what EXUS changes in the financial landscape. Setting a new paradigm with significant improvements in the debt collection operations, the company is upping the game among banks and other financial services companies with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). With customers and efficiency evolving as the centerpieces of a debt collection strategy, EXUS is tapping into a new wave of opportunities to improve, streamline, and automate the process and drive more informed and nuanced decisions by leveraging AI.
With more than 20 years of experience in the credit risk realm, EXUS has devised EXUS Financial Suite (EFS)—a comprehensive debt collection software suite that covers retail, SME, and corporate customers across each credit stage, including early risk detection, pre-delinquent actions, collections, pre-legal actions, and legal recoveries. From performing efficient collections, managing legal proceedings and recoveries to gaining detailed insight into portfolio evolution, collections strategies, and resource efficiency, EFS meets diverse requirements and improves collections performance of credit risk professionals in 28 countries worldwide. All EFS applications have visual tools that provide end users with unprecedented insight to create advanced business strategies, drive smart decision-making, intelligent action, and increase productivity. Complying with different local regulations across the world, EFS reduces operational costs by automating collection and recovery processes, and also applies Risk Segmentation and Collections Scoring techniques in order to focus resources more efficiently.
In an ambitious bid to preserve the relationships with customers in delinquency, EXUS offers high-level personalization of service powered by ML. This helps banks and financial services companies to choose the right time of day for a message to be sent to increase the likelihood of receiving a reply from a debtor. In addition to suggesting the proper tone of voice for communication, EFS uses distinctive algorithms to measure the effectiveness of customer interaction and decision-making process, profile a specific customer or debtor, and cluster similar debtor profiles to help banks send personalized messages to new individuals.
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EXUS leverages AI to assist collections agencies in coping with increasing inbound consumer traffic, and focusing their attention on calls that have the potential to drive revenue while driving improved workload and performance management. With AI’s predictive data analytics capability, EFS pre-empts delinquency by generating appropriate actions based on customer behavior. The firm is currently investigating a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and voice analytics methods to predict future response of a customer to determine who and when to call. EXUS models the collection system with prescriptive analytics and sequence learning methods like Reinforcement Learning and Markov Decision Process (MDP), to cope with changing customer behavior and learn the cost and rewards of different actions from statistical analysis of historical customer transactions data. The integration of chatbots with mobile banking enables EFS to simplify interactions pertaining to debt collection, and introduces a unique feature that helps banks and debtors reach settlements faster.
EXUS offers unrivaled products that ease the aspect of delivering business intelligence to any organization without the need for complex, ambiguous, and time-consuming implementation process on the vendor and the client side. “There is no need for consulting the bank and charging extra hidden costs associated with the implementation of such systems,” says Vassiliadis. With faster delivery times and backed by EFS—ranked ‘best-in-class’ debt collections software in the world by Gartner—EXUS paces far ahead of its competitors in the financial technology marketplace. “All applications in EXUS Financial Suite are pre-integrated, decreasing the deployment complexity while providing organizations with a broad credit risk management approach,” Vassiliadis adds.
EXUS’ seasoned consultants utilize RapidDeploy™ methodology to decrease the duration of a project to as less as eight weeks while producing high-quality deliverables with minimal effort. It is this out-of-the-box implementation, maximum coverage of requirements, and unparalleled delivery times that make EXUS second to none in the marketplace.
Recently, one of EXUS’s clients, a South Eastern Europe bank, was faced with the challenge of reaching customers during work hours while maintaining strict regulatory restrictions on how often a debtor can be contacted. However, on contacting the customers, collections agents were unable to deliver a satisfactory proposal for complex repayment and alternative debt restructuring schemes over the phone. Upon deploying EXUS’s new EFS product, Collections Self-Service, in their infrastructure, the bank was able to establish a stable service line for debtors to review the settlement and restructuring options without any pressure. After the first campaign on its retail portfolio, the bank experienced a 25 percent increase in customers accessing EXUS Collection Self- Service. 67 percent of the customers who interacted with the bank to request for restructuring, promise-to-pay or provision of information, while 75 percent kept promise ratio. Overall, the bank had an increased acceptance rate of settlement options by providing debtors with suitable, detailed information per offering with qualitative data and minimal cost of service.
“As the digitization of collection processes continues to significantly increase the success rate in debt settlement, it positively supports the return of the customer to the client base of a bank without any pressure from the debt collectors,” states Vassiliadis. Looking ahead, EXUS is working to leverage its new generation of products such as Field Collector mobile application and Collection Self-Service, to achieve a stronger foothold in the financial technology landscape with its innovative and prominent capabilities.