PSCU Financial Services has expanded its CUCollect credit card collection service to offer collection efforts on other types of loans.
The new service, called TotalCollections, provides credit unions with a targeted collection effort for every loan product from mortgages and auto loans to signature loans and credit cards.
"We've been in collections services for 10 years now with credit cards, and we're adding all loan types into the mix," said Donna Floyd, collections relationship manager at PSCU. "TotalCollections allows our employees to see all the different products a member has, which enables them to work with the member to take care of all loans."
Floyd added that with concentrated debt collection, an employee may focus only on getting a payment for that one loan product, while with TotalCollections, all debt is handled in one swoop.
"Of course, we try and take care of the biggest elephant first and anything that has collateral," she explained.
The TotalCollections service combines two strategies. The first is an outbound interactive digital message delivered to the home number on the account. The second is a collector manned campaign delivered to the work number on the account. The automated messages give the member the option to make a payment then or select if they have already made a payment in the past three days or are going to make a payment. If the member chooses not to do anything, the call blast goes out again.
With most in-house credit card services, Floyd said that the phone calls would go out to any account delinquent within 30 days, but with TotalCollections, PSCU recognized the need to get in touch with members sooner because there is collateral at stake, and the calls go out within five to seven business days after the delinquency.
Anheuser-Busch Employees' Credit Union has been using the TotalCollections service for the past month and half on a trial basis. The credit union already has an internal collections staff in place but wanted to outsource its early collection efforts.
"The coverage of the program is very impressive," said Virgil Mueller, vice president of credit and collections. "The automated system can make calls four times a day at different hours, so we are definitely getting more contacts than our staff could."
Mueller said that he has seen a drop in early delinquencies since implementing TotalCollections, but, since he has been using the program only for a short time, he added that part of the drop could also be due to seasonality and the economy.
Having all debt available to handle in one phone call with the member is a practice that the credit union already had in place with its internal collection staff, the main attraction to the service Mueller said is the auto dialing service and the flexibility of the program.