Survey: Australian Consumers Weary of Late Payment Letters from Banks
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.
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