The future of debt collection in the insurance industry
The future of debt collection in the insurance industry
We asked Marc Schillinger, CEO of our debt collection partner API Service eCollect, 4 questions about the future of accounts receivable and receivables management in the insurance industry.
1. What is eCollect, and what service is offered specifically for the insurance industry?
eCollect is a leading, award-winning invoice-to-cash outsourcing platform in Europe.
With eCollect, we have digitized the entire invoice-to-cash process on one platform, including an underlying payment infrastructure. We offer a fully automated yet customized solution for the insurance industry on a single platform – under consideration of multiple languages, currencies, and jurisdictions. This all comes with a fully embedded payment infrastructure so that customers of the insurance companies can quickly pay their obligation with more than 45 payment methods. Hence, we do not “only” take care of the debt collection but also all preliminary steps of the invoice-to-cash process, including invoicing, dunning, and automated forwarding of claims into legal channels.
Marc Schillinger, CEO eCollect
70% of all receivables are already processed digitally and fully automatically on our platform. In only 30% of cases, the manual intervention of eCollect’s operative managers is required. Furthermore, global requirements become more transparent, and the individual findings can be applied better and faster to the overall process. For example, insurance companies, large corporations, and international market leaders already use our outsourcing services in over 50 countries.
“Even in the event of an unintentional late payment, the customer should have a sustainable, positive customer experience.”
But not only companies appreciate our services. Our clients’ customers also rate our services with very high marks. Both the Payzzter payment service (fully integrated into eCollect) and the intelligent invoice-to-cash system impress with very high customer satisfaction ratings:
2. What particular challenges do you face in the insurance industry?
Some hurdles still need to be overcome – not all of them are specific to the insurance industry, but due to the industry’s sensitivity, the requirements and concerns are more profound.
Digitization: Most of the potential clients in the insurance industry are still at the beginning of digitization and are naturally tradition-conscious and reserved. Sharing information or using a specialized digital third-party provider is not yet common. As a result, communication and decision-making processes take longer, and more internal stakeholders are involved. However, it is foreseeable that the digitization of the insurance industry will develop similarly to the financial and the mobility sector, if not with greater momentum. Addressing the associated opportunities early on will provide the corresponding competitive advantage later on.
Make or Buy? The rather traditional way of thinking also affects the use and adoption of third-party tech platforms and software tools. While other industries can already make profitable use of third-party API solutions, the fundamental question in the insurance industry remains “make or buy?”. And the answer must be well considered, especially since it must fit the company’s strategy and its long-term targets. On the one hand, insurers must do justice to their core business. On the other hand, they have to deal with the pressure of cross-industry digitization and constantly changing customer needs. However, industry experts say, the main arguments favor third-party development.
the existing knowledge can be immediately used profitably
there are hardly any or no maintenance costs
the expertise, mindset and technical knowledge of companies like eCollect cannot be replaced internally
“Address the customer at the right time, via the right channel, and in the right tone.”
Customer-centricity: It is becoming increasingly important to set the right tone regarding demand and friendliness and know the customer’s preferred communication and payment channel. eCollect’s AI continuously learns from customer communication and payment history and is, therefore, able to address the customer at the right time, via the right channel, and in the right tone.
Glocalization: Although we offer a unique, cross-border technology platform in over 50 countries, the behavior of our solution must be regularly adapted to local, regional, and national characteristics and the corresponding customer behavior. Not only do we adapt the communication to the corresponding characteristics of the customer but also the payment habits and behaviors of customers in their territories.
Data Quality: The quality of the data provided by insurance companies is not always perfect or up to date. However, the eCollect platform service ensures that all required data is updated, cleansed, and enriched as needed during customer communication. This is operated with fully integrated third-party services, providing addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers. The updates can then be automatically pushed back to the customer’s ERP system.
Data privacy: There is a growing concern about handling and using personal data in Europe and beyond. We are constantly adapting to changes and ensuring that our software is fully GDPR compliant. At eCollect, all workflows, fee models, and operational tasks will be customized with clients and then “hard coded” into our workflow system to meet all regulatory requirements in different countries.
3. How does the partnership with apinity and the integration on apinity’s API marketplace pay off in this context?
eCollect and apinity are both technology-driven platform companies that want to drive the digitalization of regulated industries – such as the insurance industry. apinity’s API marketplace integrates seamlessly into existing system landscapes and enables easy interaction between all stakeholders.
At eCollect, we can leverage the apinity marketplace and offer our globally proven invoice-to-cash and payment services to the insurance industry.
“A win-win-win-win situation for all participants.”
Overall, this extends the value chain around invoice-to-cash, collection, and payment management. A win-win-win-win situation from which the insured, insurer, apinity, and eCollect benefit equally.
4. What do you think the insurance world of the future will look like? What trends do you see coming your way, especially with regard to digital invoice to cash management?
Corona, wars, and inflation create an endless loop of negative experiences, which also influences consumer buying behavior. As a result, invoice-to-cash management must be more attentive and individual in dealing with affected customers in these sensitive situations to maintain customer loyalty in the future.
In addition, users’ demands for services will also increase in the insurance industry. People want to be offered relevant services quickly, around the clock, and comprehensibly and to be treated humanely despite all the technical progress. eCollect’s AI-based system helps to respond more quickly to constant changes and drives convenience for usage applications.
Finally, it is essential to avoid development-related stop-and-go behavior in the market. In the best case, all pieces of a system’s puzzle evolve at a common pace, if possible. To foster this, eCollect continuously shares its insights with its customers.