This coin originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of DS News magazine, online now.
With over 20 years of management experience in the financial services industry, Janet Loriot has worked with numerous contact center business units in the banking and finance industries including sales, customer service, defaults, compliance, back office and others. She is currently Executive Vice President of the Financial Institutions Group at SWBC. It manages all of their operations there, both for the insurance traceability activity and for their collection operations. Loriot previously held positions at Bank of America and Key Bank.
Loriot recently spoke with DS News on how to prepare for the other side of the real estate boom and possible increases in delinquency, how collections have changed in recent years, and what tools work best for self-service collections.
Editor’s Note: A version of this interview was previously posted in an episode of Five Star’s DS5: Inside the Industry Webcast.
It has been a difficult 18 months for the housing industry. How is SWBC preparing for the “other side” of this real estate boom and possible increases in delinquency peaks?
It’s exactly that. With the real estate boom and where it happened, all attention has been focused on the origin, but we know that on the other side, delinquency is going to increase. One of the things we’ve focused on is our collection space, making sure we’re ready to handle the influx of volume that’s going to come from our mortgage partners when this default increases. We know that many of our mortgage partners will start to move their resources internally to more intermediate collections, where they need to understand what the customer plans to do with their home over the long term. Do they want to stay at home? Because of that volume, they’re not going to be able to handle the very beginning of those collections, when the customer first misses a payment and that sort of thing. Thus, SWBC is preparing to help our customers by entrusting us with some of these first collections.
Additionally, the industry is evolving in terms of what we call “compassion collections”. Much of the industry is now focused on enabling customers to serve themselves and manage their early stage delinquency on their own, without necessarily having to speak to a live collector. Many of our partners are outsourcing this part to us because we have the technology to enable them to do this kind of compassionate fundraising.
How are technology and tools changing the way the industry can approach this early-stage self-service aspect of collections?
SWBC has partnered with FICO to bring an omnichannel solution to our customers. This allows customers to self-service access through an IVR, web channel and SMS solution. So, they receive texts, emails, and IVR calls, and all of these options direct the customer to a self-service option where they can make a payment, make a ‘promise to pay’ or just let us know what they are doing. ‘he just made the payment.
Beyond the short term, what are the areas of the collections front where there is unrealized potential and a need to innovate?
One of the things we’re also looking at right now is that when the customer chooses to make a payment, whether it be SMS or email, we want to make it a simple solution for the customer to implement that product. We will have what we call a “web collection tool” which will allow us to create a white label payment solution for each of our customers and allow the customer to go self-service without having to do heavy IT work. client side. It’s a simple way to activate these compassionate collections without complicating the implementation of the solution on the client side.