Collections & Recovery Can the Cloud Cure Your Debt Collection Data Security Headache?

Cloud solutions

Data is the lifeblood of the collection industry, and its proliferation in the world of Big Data – as well as its protection – is vital to the continued survival of any collection-driven function. Organizations that “own” customer data (such as lenders, telcos, hospitals, or governments) – as well as those that obtain explicit permission to use the data (e.g., attorneys, agencies) – need to be able to demonstrate they have systems in place to protect it.

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Analytics & Optimization Ideas Worth Sharing – And Then Mulling Over a Bit


What role will technology play in human evolution?  Will it transform the human body? Will it transform the human mind?  What must we do to adapt to technology-driven change? These questions and others were explored before a sold-out audience last week at TEDxMarin here in San Rafael, California. As with other TED events, the ideas presented were stimulating, inspiring and provocative. Two talks seemed particularly germane to those of us who believe in the ability of technology to change the world, and who recognize our responsibility to do what we can to ensure that such change is for the better. Miriam Leuck Avery of the Institute for the Future described a new model for understanding the human body, health and disease. She began by looking backward, to the way humans in Western Civilization viewed human health from the time of Hippocrates to the late 19th Century, as an intricate balance... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Good News and Bad News on UK Student Credit Cards

UK Student Cards Chart

Here’s the good news: Our latest figures on UK credit cards from the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service show that the percentage of student card accounts that have two-cycle balances reached a two-year low in May 2014, before rising slightly in June.

Now, here’s the bad news: Average two-cycle balances on student cards are going up. Having fallen from £533 in June 2012 to £521 a year later, they have now hit £733, a 40 percent increase in just one year.

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Customer Engagement How Likely Are Your Millennial Customers to Leave Your Bank?


As I highlighted in my last post about the FICO Consumer Banking Survey Report, Millennials are five times more likely to close all accounts with their primary bank, and three times more likely to open a new account at different bank. When asked about satisfaction with their current primary bank, only 74% of Millennials are satisfied, compared to 77% of Generation X and 80% of Baby Boomers. This should be a cautionary note for banks. Overall, Millennials are less satisfied and more likely to do something about it. Let’s now dig into some of the detail driving those numbers. Top five reasons why Millennials switch banks In our survey, 30% of Millennial customers indicated they have already switched a primary checking account from one bank to another. Here are their top reasons why they switched: 1. Fees were too high. In fact, consumers in all age groups cited high account... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Preview Some of the Hottest Sessions at FICO World

FICO World 2014 Logo

FICO World kicks off on November 11th, but you won’t have to wait until then to hear from some of the great speakers addressing key industry issues facing your business. On Monday, September 30th, we kickoff our FICO World Preview Webinar Series. The five free webinars will cover topics ranging from analytic innovation and credit trends to customer growth and retention, fraud, and regulatory compliance.  Take a look at the topics we have planned, and mark your calendars accordingly: “You’re only getting 20% of the value from your data! Learn how to get 100%!” (September 30). “Ovum and FICO Outline Top Concerns and Insights on Mid-Tier Banks Worldwide” (October 8), “Customer Communications:  Clearing the Regulatory Hurdles” (October 15) “How Customer Centricity Is Driving Fraud Management Strategies” (October 22) “An Outlook on US Consumer Credit Health” (October 29). Each webinar will also feature a live Q&A session at the end.  Registration is... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery Turning the Camera on Collection Agencies

ABC World News - Robocalling

A recent ABC World News program on debt collection robocalls added fuel to an already intense firestorm involving collection tactics, complaints, lawsuits, and purported mobile phone abuses.

While the program focused on the victims of auto-dial errors and abuse, it was noteworthy for another reason. Included were interview snippets with Diversified Consultants, Inc. (DCI) COO Gordon Beck (whose organization made some of the erroneous calls), which provided many viewers with their first look inside a collection agency. So while the tone of the episode was meant to call out the debt collection techniques that were helping generate a slew of TCPA lawsuits, the few seconds of live agency action were probably revelatory to many consumers.

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Fraud & Security Enlisting Customers in the Fight Against APAC Fraud

Tackling Fraud-thumb

Two weeks ago I participated in the FICO Fraud Forum in Singapore, where more than 40 leaders in banking fraud management across the Asia Pacific region met to discuss how to adapt and evolve defenses to stay ahead of the criminals.

For many, a surprising outcome was the need to make anti-fraud policies and techniques more public. This felt counter-intuitive at first for many participants, but they came to appreciate that one of the best lines of defense against third-party fraud is customer vigilance. Customers who are informed about likely fraud scams are more alert to the risks, and feel more empowered and in control.

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Fraud & Security The Carrot to Adopt EMV is (Big) Orange


It’s been less than a year since the massive data breach at Target brought “EMV adoption” into my parents’ vocabulary. Now, in the wake of an even more massive data breach at Home Depot – sometimes called “Big Orange” - the carrot (incentive) for US merchants to adopt EMV technology just got bigger. Here’s why: First and most obvious, there may be many millions more fraudulent cards now in circulation, upping the risk of exposure. Second, consumers and financial markets do not look kindly on merchants that sustain data breaches. Target provides a textbook example; after its data breach, the Target brand was hurt, sales dove, market capitalization took a big hit and, eventually, the CEO lost his job. Third, come October 1, 2015, liability for fraudulent transactions will shift to merchants if they don’t support EMV. Together, these reasons constitute a very big carrot for the industry to start preparing... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Who Controls the Digital You?

Digital You

Humanity is not easy to define or identify. For example, our DNA is roughly 99% similar to the DNA of chimps. Our DNA is even more similar to our extinct Neanderthal cousins. According to researchers at Oxford University, advanced planning and decision making are the uniquely human characteristics. The researchers believe these cognitive abilities are unlike anything in the brains of our closest relatives. If that is true, then is it possible to create a mathematical model of “humanity”? Is it possible to gather enough data about human decision making to create reliable models that can predict the decisions we will make? On a macro level, the answer is clearly yes. There are abundant examples. For decades, data scientists have been able to model consumer credit risk with remarkable predictive power. However, those models don’t predict whether you will default on a loan. They provide the odds you will default... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security More Than Losses – Fraud Is a Brand Issue

Fraud locks

I recently joined FICO as the General Manager for Global Fraud and Security Solutions, based in New York. I am joining FICO after almost 20 years in the payment card industry, and thought I knew what fraud was – namely unauthorized or fraudulent credit card transactions. In my brief time here, through very productive conversations with our clients in the financial industry and outside, I am realizing that I had significantly underestimated the breadth and challenges of what is fraud today. Not only are financial institutions challenged by traditional payment card fraud, there is growing pressures from retail banking fraud, e-banking, first-party fraud including fraudulent applications for new accounts such as mortgages, employee fraud, and of course the emergence of digital and mobile transactions which are still being defined. In addition, fraud in healthcare insurance and property & casualty (P&C) insurance continues to grow. These fraud challenges are global in... [Read More]

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