TPAY MOBILE’s Founder and CEO Sahar Salama hands over CEO responsibilities to become Group Chairwoman

UAE: TPAY MOBILE, the leader in mobile payments in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey (META), today announces it has appointed Gaston Aussems, previously CEO of Mollie, as CEO, effective 4th July 2022.

Founder and current CEO, Sahar Salama, will move into a Group Chairwoman position, and will be working closely alongside Gaston Aussems over the coming months to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the fast-growing company.

Gaston Aussems comments: “I’m incredibly excited to be taking the baton from Sahar at such an exciting time for TPAY MOBILE. The company’s mission of empowering underserved regions’ digital economies is something I wholeheartedly support, and I look forward to being part of the next stage of its journey.”

Gaston Aussems was CEO of European payments giant Mollie for over seven years, where his leadership was a crucial success factor in the company achieving its unicorn valuation in 2020. He has since spent two years as a venture partner, at firms including Atlantica and Antler, and a board member of impact investor Oikocredit as well as various fintechs and telecommunications companies, including Yolt and Talk360.

Sahar Salama explains: “All of us at TPAY MOBILE should be so proud of everything that we have achieved. We changed the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa for the better by delivering cross-border micropayments at scale, and significantly improving financial inclusion in the region. While we were always ambitious in our vision of what TPAY MOBILE could become, we never imagined that our services would be so rapidly adopted by our partners and customers, and this makes me excited for what the future holds, especially as TPAY MOBILE expands its payment capabilities to new digital merchants and non-digital services.

“The time is now right for someone new to take TPAY MOBILE to the next level, and I trust that Gaston is that person. His experience of successfully scaling a complex, multi-country payments company, combined with his technical background, product-focused mentality, and global, entrepreneurial mindset, makes him the perfect person to execute TPAY MOBILE’s ambitious plans. I will be moving on to focus on a purely strategic and advisory role for the Group in this exciting next growth phase for TPAY MOBILE.”

Babatunde Soyoye, current Chairman at TPAY MOBILE, says: “It has been a pleasure to partner with Sahar over the years and witness the passion, hard work and dedication that has helped grow TPAY MOBILE into the innovative company it is today. Sahar laid a great foundation in building a unique mobile payments network of merchants and Telcos across Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.  The next phase of growth is about building on this incredible platform to make TPAY MOBILE the market leading digital merchant acquirer and mobile payments enabler in its markets and we believe that Gaston will help us achieve this.”

Lowell Group deepens board experience with Sally-Ann Hibberd Appointment

Lowell Group (“Lowell”), one of Europe’s leading credit management services providers, has appointed Sally-Ann Hibberd as an Independent Non-Executive Director. She will sit on the board providing advice and guidance, and join the Audit and Risk Committees. Hibberd joins as Lowell enters a period of significant growth with the firm expanding its expertise in financial services.

Commenting on the new appointment to the Board, Andy J Green, Chairman at Lowell Group, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sally-Ann Hibberd to the board at Lowell Group. Sally-Ann brings a wealth of leadership experience from across the financial services sector to help complement the team at Lowell. The insight she offers will be invaluable as Lowell continues to grow rapidly and expand its offering in financial services.”

Sally-Ann Hibberd, Independent Non-Executive Director, said: “It’s a real privilege to join the board at Lowell as it continues to grow. This is a really exciting time and I look forward to working alongside Andy and Trond to support Colin and his team as they implement the business strategy.”

Sally-Ann Hibberd joins the board at Lowell Group alongside her non-executive roles at IG Group Holdings plc, The Co-operative Bank plc and Loughborough University. She has in the past served on the boards at Equiniti Group plc where she chaired the risk committee, Shawbrook Bank plc and NFU Mutual. Before beginning her non-executive career, she spent 29 years in various roles across the financial services sector, culminating in the role of Group Operations and Technology Director at Willis Group.

Enforcement Industry Association Announces 25th Anniversary Conference

LACEF the association for local authority staff employed in managing debt and recovering debt for councils, has announced the details for its upcoming conference, which will celebrate the association’s 25th year. LACEF members collect council tax, business rates, sundry debts and parking fines.”

The conference will be held at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol on 22 September 2022 and will see professionals from all around the UK gather to consider and discuss the key issues facing them today.

Tracey Stone, director of welfare & partnership at Reventus Limited said: “LACEF has been a huge success over its 25 years, so it seems very appropriate that we will be holding this major conference to recognise this landmark in its development.

“These are important times for local authorities, where they will be relying on their collections and enforcement professionals to collect the funds that pay for crucial basic services that are needed by so many. This collections work much be carried out in a professional and fair way, with everyone’s interests at heart, so these events are essential in sharing best practice and tackling challenges.”

LACEF members can register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lacef-25th-anniversary-conference-2022-tickets-274063460187

Pay.UK and PayPoint enable government cost-of-living support payments to the financially vulnerable

Pay.UK today announces that PayPoint has joined the Confirmation of Payee name-checking service. This will extend the offering to PayPoint’s local government and energy company customers to enable the delivery of cost-of-living support payments to more financially vulnerable people across the UK.

Financially vulnerable groups are more likely to pay bills by cash and cheque and are at greater risk of missing out on support payments paid directly to an account. COP provides an easy way for government to check that funds are sent to the right place, ensuring that vulnerable users, who may not have already registered their bank details, get funds quickly, safely and efficiently.

The new service will cover energy rebate and council tax returns to help deliver the government support package announced by ministers in May 2022 in response to the impact of rising prices being faced by UK households.

PayPoint’s participation in Confirmation of Payee, which has processed over a billion transactions to date, will enable greater choice in payment methods so that people who most need the support can receive it through different platforms, without compromising the safety and security of the transaction.

By welcoming PayPoint in joining the other major UK banks and building societies already offering Confirmation of Payee services Pay.UK is helping to ensure that payments are directed to the correct accounts, helping avoid administrative mistakes and fraud so urgently needed cost of living payments reach more people.

Dougie Belmore, Chief Payments Officer of Pay.UK said: “Giving people more choice in the way they pay and are paid is part of Pay.UK’s purpose. And as PayPoint’s joining of Confirmation of Payee shows, this choice can bring very real benefits for people in need. Facilitating greater access to cost-of-living support for those who might otherwise miss out is a vital achievement and Pay.UK will continue expanding Confirmation of Payee so it is primed to help tackle the evolving financial challenges many consumers may have to face.”

Nick Wiles, Chief Executive of PayPoint, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Pay.UK on expanding the use of Confirmation of Payee and helping local government and energy companies make sure that important support payments reach the people who need them. This move further enhances our channel-agnostic payments platform, ensuring we can continue to support our clients and their customers with smart technology designed to improve their experience and reduce costs.”

Sigma Connected secures Yu Energy contract

A UK business outsourcing specialist has been awarded a contract by business energy and water operator Yu Energy to provide contact centre support for outbound collections.

Sigma Connected, which offers onshore and offshore customer contact services for some of the UK’s leading companies, has agreed the deal which in the first month has seen its specialist team speaking directly with over 6,000 decision makers within businesses in a bid to improve their payment schedules.

The results Sigma Connected has delivered has already seen the team increase by 50% in order to handle more accounts.

The contract is being operated by Sigma Connected from its Cape Town call centre in South Africa.

Rob Sawle, Director of Energy Services at Sigma Connected said: “Yu Energy is a unique business as it is a B2B energy supplier which also sells water services.

“We have designed a bespoke customer contact strategy for them and it is already having an effect, with positive conversations with many of their business customers. Our advisers are trained to have those conversations around debt with empathy and understanding, taking into consideration that many SME businesses are struggling following the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

“To sign this deal is another milestone for us and it allows us to use our extensive experience in B2B collections for the benefit of Yu Energy. We hope that due to its success we will see a long and positive relationship with them. ”

Lee Harrison, Head of Debt and Commercial at Yu Energy added: “With many of our business customers under pressure we want to support them as much as possible and a big part of that is improving their energy and water payment schedules.

“The team at Sigma Connected are playing a key role in providing that support and we are delighted with the large increase in customer contacts they are driving. It’s a relationship which is going from strength-to-strength.”

International debt collection: Where is the most difficult place to collect your debts?

The third edition of the Allianz Trade Collection Complexity Score provides a simple assessment of how difficult it is to collect debt, helping to support decisions and manage expectations when trading internationally, essential in an environment where global business insolvencies are set to rise (+10% in 2022 and +14% in 2023). The score covers 49 countries representing nearly 90% of global GDP and 85% of global trade.

Europe is still the easiest place to collect debts

The Allianz Trade Collection Complexity Score measures the level of complexity relating to international debt collection procedures from 0 (least complex) to 100 (most complex). The score combines the expert judgment of Allianz Trade’s Collection specialists worldwide and over 40 administrative indicators relating to: (i) local payment practices; (ii) local court proceedings and (iii) local insolvency proceedings. The score is then split into a four-modality rating system: Notable (score below 40), High (score between 40 and 50), Very High (50 to 60) and Severe (above 60).

Where is the best place to collect a debt? Unsurprisingly, and like in the previous edition of our Collection Complexity Score (2018), Europe takes the lead. Indeed, European countries account for the top 10 easiest places to collect debts. Sweden (with a score of 30), Germany (30) and Finland (32) are the best in class, with their scores remaining stable compared to our previous report. New Zealand is the first non-European country to be ranked (12th, with a score of 36, +1 point since 2018), followed by Brazil (20th, 43, stable).

“In Sweden, Germany and Finland, the payment behavior of domestic companies is good and courts are efficient in delivering timely decisions, thus easing debt collection for companies. This stands in contrast to other European countries, such as France (10th, 36, stable), and Spain (11th, 36, -1 point), where collecting debt remains extremely complicated when the debtor has become insolvent, especially as far as unsecured creditors are concerned”, explains Maxime Lemerle, Lead analyst for Insolvency Research at Allianz Trade.

Saudi Arabia (91, -3 points), Malaysia (78, stable) and the United Arab Emirates (72, -9 points) are closing the ranking in 2022. Despite some improvements in court-related complexity, international debt collection is three times more complex in Saudi Arabia than in Sweden, Germany and Finland.

Almost one in two countries has seen its collection complexity score reducing

The gap between advanced economies and emerging markets is still large. Indeed, 14 out of 16 Western Europe countries stand at the less severe level of collection complexity (Notable). Meanwhile, the U.S. (32nd, 55, stable) and Canada (29th, 53, stable) both post a Very High rating. On average, Middle East, Asia and Africa are the three regions where debt collection is the most complex.

Nonetheless, this gap has been reducing over time. “During the past four years, almost half of the countries have seen their collection complexity score decreasing (20 out of 49 countries). Covid-19 lead several countries to accelerate the reforms of their insolvency frameworks. We noticed also some improvements in terms of preventive restructuring frameworks such as in the UK (with the new procedure Moratorium), Australia and the EU, where the Directive 2019/1023 is currently under transposition within the different Member States. Saudi Arabia and China also showed some noticeable improvements: In these countries, the collection complexity scores reduced by -3 points and -2 points, respectively”, illustrates Fabrice Desnos, Member of Board of Management of Allianz Trade, in charge of Credit Intelligence, Reinsurance and Surety.

The global collection complexity score has decreased over the past four years: it now stands at 49, which is -2 points less than in 2018 (51). However, despite this positive trend, international debt collection remains very complex (level: High) overall.

“Pockets of collection complexity exist in all countries: Local payment practices in particular stand out in the Middle East but they are a source of complexity in most countries. Court-related complexities are slightly less frequent, notably within Western Europe and North America, but each occurrence is definitely more challenging. But insolvency-related complexities are the toughest ones: Insolvency proceedings still explain half of the collection complexity around the world”, explains Maxime Lemerle.

Which exporters are the most exposed to collection complexity?

Combining each country’s collection complexity score with their share of trading partners, Allianz Trade also calculates the exposure of exporters to international debt collection complexity.

Finland, Austria and Norway are the least exposed as their trade partners are countries where debt collection is less complex. At the other end of the spectrum, Asia stands out with seven countries topping the list of those most exposed to debt collection complexity due to international trade: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and India.

Teleperformance UK selects PCI Pal to secure expanding payment methods for global enterprise customers

PCI Pal® (LON: PCIP), the global SaaS provider of secure payment solutions, has today announced a partnership with Teleperformance Limited a leader in omnichannel customer care solutions and integrated digital business services.

Teleperformance is one of the world’s largest business process outsourcing (BPO) providers serving global enterprises, in the retail, financial, travel, automotive, government and healthcare sectors. As a result of the partnership, level 1 merchants that handle more than six million payment card processes a year through Teleperformance can now access PCI Pal’s award-winning payment security solutions for voice, chat, social, email and contact centre interactions.

The partnership has been driven by changing consumer habits, which are driving merchants in all sectors to handle a broader array of payment methods and deliver a frictionless checkout experience, akin to ecommerce, while still observing payment card industry data security standards.

As a result of the technology integration with PCI Pal, Teleperformance’s clients can access frictionless PCI-compliant payment handling processes that cater to a broad range of payment methods via telephone, web, email, mobile, messaging, social media, and chat. Customers benefit from a consistent brand experience and can use their preferred payment methods, regardless of location.

In addition, as PCI Pal is a cloud-native platform with instances based in multiple geographies, Teleperformance clients can maintain data sovereignty and abide by local legislation, while providing payment methods that are localised and relevant to each territory.

Darren Gill, CRO at PCI Pal, said, “Our technology is integrated with Teleperformance’s telephony, allowing us to deliver PCI Pal’s full portfolio of payment security solutions seamlessly to global merchants. The choice of consumer payment methods are however expanding, and the preferred payment channels can differ from country to country.

“We are therefore enabling Teleperformance to securely process payments regardless of the method being used. This enables a seamless payment transaction for Teleperformance, with the added assurance that compliance rules are being met regardless of the payment type.”

Damian Milligan, Transformation and Innovation Principal Consultant, Teleperformance said, “Teleperformance has constantly evolved its services to meet the needs of our global enterprise customers over the past four decades. As mobile and ecommerce, open banking and alternative payment methods evolve, our partnership with PCI Pal will provide additional reassurance to our enterprise customers that we continue to provide the highest levels of payment card industry compliance and innovation regardless of the payment method selected by their customers.”

receeve partners with Paylink Solutions technology to support financially vulnerable customers

The collections & recovery platform, receeve, has announced a new partnership with Paylink Solutions to provide a simple, efficient way to carry out affordability assessments for its customers across Europe.

Through Paylink’s technology, receeve clients will benefit from a quicker and more accurate service, which will maximise agent output. On average, clients will see a 75% improvement in the time it takes to complete an affordability assessment.

receeve is a Hamburg-based company empowering in-house debt collections & recovery teams across Europe through its end-to-end platform. receeve’s cloud-native, no-code platform is fast to deploy, simple to manage and easy to customise and expand.

Paylink Solutions delivers technology across the financial services and utilities sectors. Its digital affordability application is used by some of the UK’s most well-known banks and building societies and assists thousands of customers every day.

The customised solution quickly adds a market-leading affordability tool for both agents via phone or chat and for websites where customers can fully self-serve and securely upload personal information for agents to assess.

Paylink Solutions’ CEO, Susan Rann, said: “Enabling tailored solutions based on customers’ financial data is now more important than ever, especially for financially vulnerable customers. The partnership creates a more streamlined experience for both agents and customers and this partnership allows both organisations to expand their software across Europe and the UK.

“Paylink Solutions is working with an increasing number of lenders to provide more digitally focussed customer support. We’re delighted with the positive impact our software is having on thousands of customers across the UK every day.”

Using Open Banking and Credit Bureau data for pre-population, Paylink improves the speed and accuracy of affordability assessment completion, and, for UK clients, the embedded Standard Financial Statement guidelines ensure customers’ expenditure is realistic and sustainable.

receeve co-founder and CEO Paul Jozefak said: “Together we ensure more effective engagements and outcomes. Combining Paylink and receeve helps our clients gather all relevant data to understand a customer’s affordability and control the cost of risk in the current uncertain economic environment.

“Paylink Solutions helps ensure data can be more effectively gathered and added to the holistic view of the customer in the receeve platform.”

Aryza announces launch of new performance management tool

Aryza, expert developers of software solutions for the insolvency, credit and debt recovery sectors, has launched a new performance management product, designed to give organisations insight in the recovery performance of their collections executed by external debt collection partners.

The powerful tool provides more than fifty different standard reports based on transparent data, allowing organisations to easily check if their collection partners are proceeding according to plan, monitoring the cost-benefit ratio and in line with the SRCM (Social & responsible Credit Management) standard.

Employees can generate reports at their own discretion with the aid of filters and triggers, designed to help identify any concerning trends that need to be addressed.

The distribution platform gives organisations full control over the outsourcing process from cradle to grave, also monitoring that all distributed claims, mutations and cost-benefit ratio are processed correctly.

Martijn Groot – Senior Sales Manager Aryza Control said: “Aryza Control has been designed to provide a complete picture of the entire collection’s portfolio, enabling businesses to benchmark debt collection agencies objectively and remain in total control of the process.

“Simplifying external collections is a key aim for a number of businesses we speak to – especially with profit margins increasingly stretched, and the enhanced reporting helps to generate real-time data and insights that can inform the decision making process.

As an existing user of the Aryza platform, Frédérique Doelman, Credit Agricole CF, said: “Aryza Control is our platform to provide insight into all financial transactions of our debt collection partners. We have good relationships with our partners, but an independent party guarantees the quality of their services.”

The fully compliant, GDPR proof solution is available in Dutch, English and German.

UNO Digital Bank to use AI to empower staff and delight customers

UNOBank Inc. will use BUSINESSNEXT solutions to power UNO Digital Bank’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The artificial intelligence (AI) solutions will equip the Bank’s relationship managers with timely insights to quickly authorize transactions, resolve issues, and delight customers; as a result, customers will experience a concierge-like, smooth, fast, and secure onboarding process.

Manish Bhai, CEO of UNObank Inc. explains the decision: “We promised customers that we will be innovation-led. BUSINESSNEXT’s solutions help elevate the customer experience with a very fast account setup, and a list of pre-approved products.”

He added, “We also promised our stakeholders that we will be growth-focused. The BUSINESSNEXT solutions deliver a holistic, intelligent view of the customer that supports and enables our relationship managers to make quick decisions to upsell, cross sell, and lock in customers.”

“Our solutions help to eliminate the barriers that can arise between humans and digital channels, and enable omni-channel customer interactions from a single, unified platform,” says Sushil Tyagi, Executive Director, BUSINESSNEXT. “This will enable UNO Digital Bank to operate with operational excellence and deliver experiences that are personalized, relevant and timely based on complete understanding of customers.”

UNObank Inc. chose the CRMNEXT and COLLECTIONSNEXT solutions to deliver end-to-end sales automation.