It's Christmas time again and apart from the jingling of bells it’s also a time for the juggling of bills. And apparently, that’s getting harder than ever in Asia Pacific. That was the firm message we got from our Asia Pacific collections managers when we polled them about what had been happening with their customer base over 2016. Three in five respondents from banks, telcos, and utilities revealed that their customers have taken longer time to pay their bills in the past year. The 60-days past-due segment has seen the highest growth according to 41 percent of respondents. 72 percent of collections managers also registered an increase in the number of first-time delinquents. This is in keeping with figures out earlier this year from Moody’s that reported household debt in Asia has grown at an average of 13.5 percent a year. Our survey, conducted last month at our FutureCollect event in Cairns, Australia, also revealed that that mobile communications and automated collection strategies were very effective at helping customers make payments. 59 percent of respondents said consumers paid their bills one to two days faster while 25 percent said their time-to-collect improved three to fourteen days. In terms of the growth of collections cases in 2017, the survey showed that three in four collections managers anticipate a 10-25 percent increase next year. Half of the Chinese attendees expected there would be a 25-50 percent or greater increase in collections cases. Most put this down to natural business growth as well as an increase in the number of higher-risk customers their companies are willing to sign up.
Read more about the findings in the media release
Listen to the topic discussed on 2UE talkback radio in Australia (starts at 14:30)