Mobile debt collection by smartphone – a home-grown innovation.
When approaching people who have fallen into arrears with their payments, we want to let them know that it's no big deal and many issues can be resolved – among other things, through modern communication. On their own initiative, colleagues from six nations have designed an app for this purpose.
- An international EOS team wants to simplify communication with defaulting payers via an app.
- The project was part of the “Cultural Journey@EOS” and was the winner from 263 submissions.
- The app is already live in Romania, with Croatia and other countries to follow.
Sometimes a bill slips through the cracks. When things get a bit tight financially and outstanding debts suddenly pile up, EOS consultants help regain control of the situation. It therefore makes sense to incorporate the collection process into the device that most people use to organize their day – the smartphone. Everything at a glance, user-friendly, familiar.
EOS employees came up with the idea over a year ago and it is now becoming a reality. The first EOS receivables app went live in Romania on March 1st. The aim is to simplify interaction with defaulting payers and to boost the success rate in receivables management.
The project originated from an internal ideas competition as part of the “Cultural Journey@EOS”, the EOS Group’s cultural change program. Employees worldwide were able to submit their ideas. EOS management nominated ten favorites from the 263 suggestions for the workforce to vote on. The winning entry was the app for defaulting payers.
“All of us in the team broadened our horizons and saw more of the bigger picture than we do in our normal work environment.” Andreea Ciucu, Process Manager at EOS KSI in Romania.
Debt collection goes mobile.
The team dubbed the project “Santa” because the first basic version of the app, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), was supposed to be ready by Christmas 2018. An ambitious time frame, so EOS set up a cross-border and cross-functional team. Colleagues from Belgium, Germany, France, Romania, Switzerland and Spain got involved, some working on the project in addition to their regular jobs while others were released from normal duties to work on Santa.
Defaulting payers can use the app to plan telephone calls with EOS, propose payment agreements via their smartphone or choose from different payment methods, for example. It also allows users to upload and download documents. Users therefore always have all the key information on hand and an overview of their financial situation.
For Project Manager Andreea Ciucu, Santa was a great opportunity to think outside the box: “All of us in the team broadened our horizons and saw more of the bigger picture than we do in our normal work environment,” says the Process Manager at EOS KSI in Romania. With the app, the team wanted to develop a contemporary debt collection solution that backs up the EOS Group’s claim to be a technology-driven company.
Many factors are taken into account in developing and launching the app – for example, the GDPR and IT security at EOS. After the MVP was implemented, the team then worked on configurations such as specific payment methods and installment contracts.
“We wanted to offer a service that actually simplifies the dialog with defaulting payers,” says Ciucu. Santa offered yet another advantage for the internal change process Cultural Journey@EOS: The project demonstrated what the new principles of action at EOS, the “Heartbeat”, can achieve in practice.
Team building across borders.
“It was great to see the heartbeat principles actually defining our collaboration,” says Andreea Ciucu. Take “Embrace change” and “Trust”, for example. Working in an international team requires trust. “Share your knowledge” characterized the team building process of the 21 colleagues. “Strive for excellence” was the guiding principle when developing the app, while “Walk your talk” was the focus of the presentation in December. “Be courageous” helped with the launch of the app in Romania, and the team has embraced the seventh of the EOS guiding principles, “Love to learn”, for the ongoing improvement of the app and its rollout in other countries. The success of this can now be seen: after Romania, Croatia wants to be the next national company to implement the app.
Photo Credits: Sebastian Vollmert / EOS (2), EOS, Luis Alvarez / Getty Images