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Survey: Australian Consumers Weary of Late Payment Letters from Banks

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Customer Development

SYDNEY, Australia — November 22, 2017

“Stop posting us letters when we miss payments and start texting or emailing us.” That was the resounding message from Australian consumers in a new survey on lender communications by Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO. While 18 percent of respondents said credit grantors send late-payment reminders via the mail, only 6 percent prefer that channel. The top preference in Australia was for SMS messages (39 percent), with email following at 30 percent.

More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBAQULsE90c&feature=youtu.be

“Australian consumers have almost universally embraced smartphones and are therefore very used to receiving electronic communications. Not only are they comfortable receiving late payment reminders and other debt-related messages via SMS and email, they would prefer their banks communicated with them in this way rather than generating paper letters which can be seen as wasteful to the environment and costly,” said Dan McConaghy, president for FICO Asia-Pacific. “When compared to the US, Australia does seem to be ahead in terms of digital transformation with some 25 percent of Australian respondents saying their bank uses SMS to communicate with them, compared to just 15 percent in the US. But Australian and US banks are both pretty far from matching channels with customer preferences.”

The survey also found that:

  • Twice as many people in Australia said they would be most likely to respond to a collection message that is friendly, helpful, and delivered through a trusted source (26 percent) than said they would respond because the lender reduced or restructured their debt (15 percent).
  • Australians that they would be much more likely to respond to a collection message that is delivered by a live person (26 percent) than an automated message (14 percent).
  • Websites or online portals were the preferred method of making late payments (36 percent), with email and mobile apps both significantly behind on 18 percent.
  • Six in ten respondents (58 percent) said they would be “not at all comfortable” with payment reminders showing up in Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram or other social media channels. Only 8 percent said they would be “extremely comfortable” receiving reminders over social.

“What’s most important in these findings is the trend towards digital convenience,” said Ross McGown, who manages FICO’s mobile communications business in Asia Pacific. “While there is no one best way to communicate with your customers — people have different preferences, and they expect lenders to remember that and treat them as individuals — there is an obvious move away from calls and letters to SMS, email and apps.”

FICO surveyed 3,600 consumers, 18+ years of age, in nine countries around the globe between June and August 2017.

About FICO
FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 180 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

Learn more at www.fico.com.

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Media Contacts:
Richelle Gillett
Giant Squid Inc for FICO
+61 418 781 610

Saxon Shirley
+65 9171 0965


Media contacts


Julie Huang

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Europe, Middle East & Africa

Darcy Sullivan

+44 (0) 7808-777-339

Asia Pacific

Saxon Shirley

+65 6422-7795

América Latina

Milla Delfino

+55 11 97673-6583

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