Tag Archives: Utilities

Collections & Recovery How Thames Water Cut Bad Debt by 11% in a Year

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Think of collections and most people think of angry phone calls and repossessed cars and homes. But what happens when you provide an essential service you can’t switch off? That’s the case for Thames Water, the UK’s largest provider of water and wastewater services, which uses technology to increase results. Thames Water has reduced bad debt by 11% in the last 12 months by innovating its collections process using FICO® Debt Manager™ solution. For its achievement, Thames Water has been awarded the FICO Decisions Award for Debt Management. “The introduction of Debt Manager 9 has allowed us to design our treatment strategies from the bottom-up — rather than building strategies to the system limitations, we built them to the business and customer needs,” said Ross Betts, Thames Water’s collections system, strategy & segmentation manager. “This program has been hugely successful, not least because it managed to implement several ambitious goals... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Truth Squad: Does VantageScore Use Alternative Data?

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In the era of Big Data, so-called alternative data holds a special promise — to shine a new light on consumer behavior. When it comes to credit scoring, alternative data means data not being used today for risk assessment, and specifically data not found in the credit bureaus. Lenders hope scoring this data could allow them to make faster, better decisions on people who don’t have FICO® Scores — the “unscorables” with sparse or no credit bureau data on file. Hoping to jump on the alt-data bandwagon, the three main US credit reporting agencies – through their VantageScore business – have been claiming that their score uses alternative data to score more consumers than the industry-leading FICO® Score. It sounds good, but is it true? Claim: VantageScore leverages alternative data to score millions more consumers than FICO Scores. Truth: The “alternative” data VantageScore uses is utilities and cell phone bills... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Analytics in Action: Yarra Valley Water and Application Processing

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As 2016 draws to a close, I am grateful for the many, many ingenious ways customers use FICO® products to solve business problems. Clearly, FICO World 2016 was a bonanza of an opportunity for me to learn exactly how. Customers traveled to our event, held last April in Washington, DC, from all over the world. The folks from Yarra Valley Water, in Melbourne, Australia, made one of the longest journeys, and I enjoyed hearing the retail water utility’s story at FICO World’s closing panel discussion. Yarra Valley Water uses FICO® Blaze Advisor® decision rules management system and FICO® Decision Management Suite to reduce the time required to the water application process from months to minutes, without adding staff. That’s pretty amazing––watch the video below. An early adopter of automation Yarra Valley Water provides water and sewage service to 1.8 million residents and over 50,000 businesses. In 1995, it worked with... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery How Thames Water Does Customer-Centric Collections

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Utilities are a special case for collections — they often have a public duty to keep customers switched on that can affect collections performance. That makes the success of Thames Water Utilities Limited, the UK’s largest water and sewerage company, all the more noteworthy. Thames Water has improved collections effectiveness by using FICO collections systems to match each customer with the most appropriate and effective collections actions. Thames Water is also using FICO technology to communicate with overdue customers, enabling them to pay without ever having to speak with a collections agent. In the first seven months of using FICO® Debt Manager and FICO® Risk Intervention Manager, Thames Water has collected £10 million using these services, and has accelerated payments from customers for Thames Water at a lower cost. This is all part of an initiative at Thames Water to transform its management of customer debt. As the CFO of... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Utilities Change the Communications Game


Just a few years ago, utilities typically used separate communication technologies for each operational application. Not only were these solutions unable to scale, they resulted in a disjointed customer experience. Today, utilities more often work with connected applications. This presents a wonderful opportunity for utilities to gather data and communicate with their customers in a much more holistic way. Utility customer activity generates a plethora of rich and useful data. Pair this with additional data sources, technology that enables real-time decisioning and the fact that customers are now using new channels to communicate—and utilities have a powerful toolbox to deliver on the three important actions of successful utility customer contact: reach, engage and resolve. Leveraging this toolbox, utilities can see vast improvements in efficiency and profitability in almost every area of utility customer contact, from outage and truck roll communication to delinquencies. Here’s how they can deliver on the three... [Read More]

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