CSA nominated as Best Overall Association in The Association Excellence Awards 2018

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, has been shortlisted within The Association Excellence Awards 2018 for its work in promoting the quality and professionalism of its members in supporting customers in debt and returning monies to the UK economy.

A panel of 20 senior figures from UK-wide trade associations have identified the CSA as one of the Best Overall Associations for organisations with less than 1,000 members. In its submission, the CSA highlighted significant progress in the last 12 months in areas such as lobbying, learning and development, and driving best practice in critical matters such as mental health and managing vulnerable customers.

Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of the CSA, says: “To be recognised by our peers is a tremendous result and reflects the hard work of the team in meeting our members’ needs. Our challenge is to achieve the fine balancing act of recognising the commercial realities of our members, with the desire to genuinely improve the customer and client experience.”

Founded in 2014, The Association Excellence Awards 2018 are the acknowledged accolade to recognise and reward the hard-won achievements of UK trade bodies, professional membership organisations and associations. The awards recognise individuals, teams and initiatives and highlight excellence in how trade bodies operate and serve their members.

PayU Acquires Israeli Payment Technology Provider ZOOZ

PayU today announces the acquisition of leading payments technology platform ZOOZ. The deal supports PayU’s ongoing expansion into high growth markets and targets the $994 billion* opportunity in cross border payments.

The ZOOZ acquisition is for an undisclosed amount but brings PayU’s total sum of investments and acquisitions in global fintech to more than $350 million since it began a series of strategic moves across the globe in 2016 to open access to financial services.

The ZOOZ and PayU teams will work together to create the leading, global standard payments infrastructure of the future. As part of this vision they will build a comprehensive, modular, and highly flexible ‘Payment OS platform’ that can support evolving merchant and broader payment industry needs. The platform’s immediately expected features include fraud management and real time reporting or smart routing, to better aid global merchant growth.

The deal follows a successful partnership which, for the first time, gave PayU merchants such as Gett and Kiwi.com access to 2.3 billion new customers across high growth markets via the ZOOZ-designed PayU Hub platform. It leverages PayU’s payments infrastructure and ZOOZ’s state-of-the-art technology to open up access to new markets for merchants with global aspirations and sets a new standard for payments across borders.

As part of the deal, due to close summer 2018, ZOOZ’s co-founder and CEO Oren Levy and CTO Ronen Morecki will become part of PayU’s Global Leadership team, focusing on tech and business development. ZOOZ’s 70-strong team of experienced technical and payments experts will also become part of the PayU team, boosting the business’ technical capabilities.

Laurent le Moal, CEO of PayU, said: “PayU is one of the most active investors in the fintech space and we are always looking for opportunities to innovate and support our merchant clients to grow. Today’s announcement is a great illustration of this philosophy in action and we are pleased to be welcoming the ZOOZ team further into the PayU fold. By working together to create the first ‘Payment OS’ platform we will advance PayU’s mission to help build a world without financial borders”.

Oren Levy, co-founder and CEO of ZOOZ added: “After a year-long, productive partnership, our shared vision to create a new global standard in payments infrastructure is becoming a reality with PayU’s acquisition of ZOOZ. The unique contribution we bring to PayU is an advanced technological layer which not only helps merchants worldwide to upscale their operations and provide a better customer experience, but also offers analytics and optimization capabilities that equip them with unprecedented insights”.

With the cross-border market expected to reach $994 billion in 2020, nearly two-thirds of cross-border business will come from high growth markets like Asia and Latin America, according to a report by Accenture*. Alternative payment methods still represent as much as two-thirds of all payments in these markets.

ZOOZ was founded in 2010 by Oren Levy and Ronen Morecki. It has become one of the most well-known payments technology players in Israel.

PayU is part of Naspers, a global Internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Following completion of the deal, ZOOZ will be wholly owned by Naspers, strengthening its Payments division and supporting its strategy to grow its financial services footprint across emerging markets with long-term growth potential.

UL releases second generation of the UL Smart Tachograph Personalization Validation Tool

UL is proud to announce the launch of the Smart Tachograph Card Personalization Validation Tool.

Smart Tachographs are the new generation of on-board mandatory digital recorders to enforce the EU legislation on professional drivers driving and resting times. The second generation (Smart) Tachograph is required in all commercial vehicles registered after June 15 2019.

The UL Smart Tachograph Card Personalization Validation Tool (PVT) is intended for Smart Tachograph card manufacturers or personalization service providers as well as OEMs or EU Member States who want to test and/or verify the correct functioning of a Smart Tachograph card. The tool is designed for testing the Smart Tachograph card is personalized correctly in compliance with EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/799.

‘‘We are very proud to release the UL Smart Tachograph Card Personalization Validation Tool’, Ibrahim en-Nali, Technology Director at UL said. ‘‘ In order to verify reliable functioning of the Smart Tachograph card system, it is mission-critical to have the most current and up-to-date tool that tests the personalization data of Smart Tachograph cards to ensure everything is correct and compliant.’’

As an independent advisory and test partner, UL provides in-depth knowledge and expertise related to the Tachograph and wider automotive security community. For over a decade, UL has actively contributed to the Tachograph community by supporting the standardization and specification of the Digital and Smart Tachograph as well as providing state-of-the-art test tools and services.

Tinubu Square and Gestion Credit Expert: strategic partnership on debt collection services

Tinubu Square, a leading provider of trade credit, bonding & surety and receivables finance solutions, has sealed a strategic partnership with GESTION CREDIT EXPERT, to ensure customers of Recovery Square, a subsidiary of Tinubu Square, receive seamless continuity of its debt collection services.

As a result of the investment of 53M€ made by Long Arc Capital and Bpifrance at the end of 2017, Tinubu Square is pursuing its international expansion and will concentrate its efforts on its core activity, software publishing, and focus its services offering on risk analysis services. In this context, the activities of its subsidiary Recovery Square, dedicated to debt collection services in France and internationally, are taken over by GESTION CREDIT EXPERT, a leading French credit management solutions provider, specialised in trade credit risk management and debt collections services.

It is critical for Tinubu Square to ensure a seamless continuity of services to its long-term customers, both in France and internationally, as well as to offer, in particular to its credit insurance customers, the benefits and the high-quality services of this partnership. GESTION CREDIT EXPERT is a key player in the debt collection services market worldwide and its expertise has been recognized and respected for many years.

“We want to guarantee our customers continue to get robust debt collection services which are critical for them and specific to their activities. We are confident that our customers will benefit from seamless continuation of high-quality service provision from such an internationally-minded and experienced partner as GESTION CREDIT EXPERT which is expanding rapidly worldwide in this market. Moreover, we will work closely with GESTION CREDIT EXPERT to share its expertise with our international customer network”, said Jérôme Pezé, CEO and founder, Tinubu Square.

“We are delighted to engage in this strategic alliance with Jérôme Pezé and his team. We are committed to bringing Recovery Square’s and Tinubu Square’s customers the best possible service. Through this partnership, we reinforce our position in the market and move further forward to contribute to two of the main challenges faced by our economy: increasing corporate cash flow and reducing corporate trade credit risk worldwide”, said Christophe Nobilet, CEO, GESTION CREDIT EXPERT.

Arrow Global Selects Xactium to Transform Risk Management Processes Organisation-Wide

Established in 2005, Arrow Global Group specialises in the purchase, collection and servicing of non-performing loans. It identifies, acquires and manages secured and unsecured defaulted loan portfolios from financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, as well as retail chains, student loans, motor credit, telecommunication firms and utility companies.

With almost £48 billion of Assets Under Management and around 10 million customer accounts across multiple European countries, the effective management of its risk profile and associated processes is critical. Having expanded rapidly, Arrow Global identified the need to implement an enterprise risk management system which would make it easier for the whole business to assess and report risk and control information, while moving away from a spreadsheet model which led to risk data being stored across multiple documents and locations.

Arrow Global took advantage of the opportunity to trial the Xactium software, deciding that it was the right system to take the organisation into a new era of risk management. By adopting Xactium, the Group will soon be working with just one central platform to store, track and report on the organisation’s risk information. With offices in countries including the UK, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands, Arrow Global will have greater transparency over risk exposures and how they are being managed across the Group, as well as the ability to automate many of the manual processes involved.

Paul Woods, Enterprise and Operational Risk Director at Arrow Global Group, said: “Establishing a ‘real-time’ and flexible assessment and reporting system which we can use consistently across our expanding Group, became a priority. Xactium’s platform addresses this need and will support us as we further enhance our risk management approach across all of our businesses. We look forward to working with them through this exciting phase of our growth.”

Managing Director, Andy Evans says, “Arrow Global expands Xactium’s rapidly growing portfolio of organisations working in the financial services sector. It’s fantastic to have been selected by such a rapidly growing organisation – Xactium’s flexible, modern, cloud based risk solution will be able to adapt easily to changes in their organisation, whilst ensuring Group-wide risk visibility.”

UK fintech expands its international footprint into the US, converting classifieds sites into transactional marketplaces for the first time

Shieldpay has increased its global footprint by launching in the US by partnering with the car classified site, AutoClassics.com. Shieldpay enabled the site to become fully transactional to its customers for the first time across the UK, EU and US.

Shieldpay’s transparent payment solution mitigates the risk of fraud by verifying the identity of both parties, holding funds securely and only releasing funds when both sides agree they are happy with the transaction. The payment solution is set to transform classified sites to fully transactional marketplaces, bringing transparency and efficiency to the payment while also reducing the risk of fraud.

AutoClassics.com has integrated the Shieldpay API to power payments, listings, bids and offers for its dealers and consumers. Classifieds and marketplaces can leverage Shieldpay’s API to create their own user experience or make use of Shieldpay’s ‘ready to user’ user interface.

Consumers will no longer have to carry large sums of cash when meeting a stranger or wire money blindly when buying a car from someone they’ve met online. Consumers will also benefit from innovative features like Shieldpay’s Driveway Checkout™ where they can negotiate the price of the car on the driveway and simply authorise the payment in-app to complete the sale.

Shieldpay’s Director of Consumer & SMB, Tom Clementson, says that the technology will allow classified sites to ‘fight back’ against disruptors like Facebook Marketplace and start competing for more of the USD$1 trillion1 marketplaces globally.

Clementson also believes that Shieldpay’s trusted payments network will fill the void in the payments industry for life’s big purchases, or when dealing with someone you don’t know.

Tom Clementson, Director of Consumer & SMB of Shieldpay, comments: “While PayPal are great for low value, every day spend, we secure larger payments between users that have been verified by Shieldpay, which addresses a huge gap in the market.

“Taking Shieldpay to the US was the next logical step. The size and scale of online marketplaces, globally, is over UDD $1 trillion – and that figure even excludes classifieds sites, which don’t yet accept payments. This opportunity is huge, yet classifieds and marketplaces are under-served by secure solutions for larger payments. Classified sites have come under increasing pressure from disruptors and we believe our technology will allow them to fight back and transform their business models – taking them from traditional listing sites to transactional marketplaces and building an instant new revenue stream.”

Geoff Love, CEO of AutoClassics, comments: “We’re proud to partner with Shieldpay as an innovative payments solution that has allowed us to become transactional for the first time. Shieldpay gives our users total confidence that they can buy and sell securely on AutoClassics.com. Our users will also benefit from Shieldpay’s verified user badge that signals to the buyer or seller that the other user is part of the trusted payments network.”

As well as protecting life’s big purchases like buying or selling a car, Shieldpay’s instant digital escrow facility can accelerate multi-million-pound M&A deals and real estate transactions, having recently powered the UK’s first fully digital real estate transaction.

Divergent insolvency rates point to two-tier debt economy – TDX Group comments

Following the release of the Insolvency Service Individual Insolvencies statistics today, Richard Haymes, Head of Financial Difficulties at TDX Group, an Equifax company, comments why there is an increasing propensity for those under 35 to enter into personal insolvency:

“The figures released by the Insolvency Service today show rapidly increasing insolvency rates for those under 35, with 25-34 year olds seeing the largest annual rate of increase (5.7%) between 2016 and 2017. The main driver of this change is increasing cost of living pressures which disproportionally affect certain age groups. Under 35’s are much more likely to live in private or social rental properties, have an element of income coming from welfare benefits, find themselves limited to higher cost credit products, as well as suffer from limited wage growth and higher unemployment.

“In contrast, there was a drop in the insolvency rate for people over 55 between 2016 and 2017. The lower cost of servicing mortgages has provided people in this age bracket, who are at risk of problem debt, with a much-needed buffer in their finances.

“The low interest environment has created a two-tier debt economy, with those on the right side of this line benefitting from cheap mortgages and reasonably low inflation, while others in rental properties experiencing higher living costs and becoming more likely to see credit transition into problem debt.”

Brexit White Paper plans on insolvency are welcome – R3

Commenting on the Government’s Brexit White Paper, published earlier today, Duncan Swift, vice-president of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, says:

“It’s encouraging to see the Government take post-Brexit cross-border insolvency issues seriously, and we welcome both the commitment to seek a new agreement with the EU on civil judicial cooperation, and the specific inclusion of insolvency in any such deal.

“Under the current framework, UK insolvency judgments and procedures are automatically recognised across the EU, and vice versa. This makes it relatively quick and cost effective to resolve insolvencies when assets and insolvent companies are spread across Europe. It helps in all sorts of cases, from dealing with the insolvency of a major multinational corporation to hunting down assets squirreled away overseas by a fraudster. Failure to replicate the current set-up post-Brexit would make it much harder to resolve cross-border insolvencies from the UK.

“Without a deal, post-insolvency returns to creditors would be hurt, it would be harder to rescue businesses and jobs, it would be harder to tackle cross-border fraud, and the costs of cross-border insolvency procedures would go up. All this would have a very negative impact on the UK’s reputation as a place to invest, lend, and trade.

“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure any deal meets the needs of the insolvency and restructuring profession and, crucially, UK creditors and other stakeholders affected by insolvency.”

Half of all back-office processes to be automated within a decade

More than two fifths (41 per cent) of finance back-office processes could be automated in the next five years, a new study from global customer services provider Arvato CRM Solutions and management consulting firm A.T Kearney has found.

According to the new report, 41 per cent of finance back-office processes are set to be performed by robots by 2023, with this figure rising to 53 per cent within the next 10 years.

Implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is set to significantly boost firms’ productivity and efficiency, as bots are 20 times faster than humans with a 10 per cent lower error rate. Subsequently, companies that adopt this technology, could potentially receive an ROI of between 300 and 1,000 per cent over a three-year period.

It’s also predicted that the widespread roll-out of RPA solutions will result in an annual compound market growth of 50 per cent, with the global market set to be worth $5billion by 2020.

New developments

The research also predicts that by 2023, RPA, with the help of cognitive capabilities, will be able to make automated decisions, and by 2028 robots will be able to carry out most back-office processes independently with minimal human intervention.

The new report, named ‘Robotic Process Automation: The impact of RPA on finance back-office processes’, interviewed more than 20 technology partners and players in the field of RPA, gathering together their view on the trends and developments within the sector.

Ben Warren, vice president of Digital Transformation at Arvato CRM, Global BPS, said: “RPA will revolutionize the finance back-office, as the new technology is more accurate, efficient and can work for longer hours, depending on demand.

“This can consequently help drive revenue for a business, streamlining processes and allowing employees to spend more time on higher value tasks.

“But although the benefits of automation can be great, it’s important that firms understand that to successfully utilize the technology they will need to invest.

“A full analysis of end-to-end systems and redesign of existing processes will be initially required, and companies will need to regularly review their processes as technology continues to evolve and develop over the coming decade.”

Dr. Florian Dickgreber, partner at A.T Kearney and co-author of the study, said: “Having transformed manufacturing, bots are now set to change processes in the service sector.

“We expect RPA, the automation of structured business processes, to take over more than half of all back-office processes over the next five to 10 years.”

Second edition of book “Happy Customers Faster Cash U.S. Edition” published

Selling on open account terms is a common business practice in the United States and in many other countries. Business people often take it for granted that customers will pay their invoices on time, but in reality that is not always the case. This may result in cash flow problems and potentially putting pressure on the relationship with customers. Talking to customers about late payments can be uncomfortable for many business people, either because they don’t like to talk about the subject with their customers or they don’t feel secure how to do that effectively without harming the customer relationship. In “Happy Customers Faster Cash United States 2nd Edition” the authors address these issues in a practical manner based on many years of experience in the field.

“Happy Customers Faster Cash U.S. 2nd Edition” provides the reader practical insights and examples helping him/her getting paid on time and simultaneously work on maintaining and building a good relationship with the customer. The authors combined insights from sales, account management, credit management and service management, which offers the reader an integrated view and practical information that can be applied in any organization.

“Happy Customers Faster Cash U.S. 2nd Edition” is written for both the new and seasoned credit professionals as well as small and medium sized business owners, who already do or are planning to do business in the United States.

The second edition is completely updated and contains the following information:

· The full core edition of “Happy Customers Faster Cash”

· A new chapter on measuring credit performance

· Credit management in the U.S.

· U.S. business culture and communication in credit management in the U.S.

· Useful links

For more detailed information about the book, corporate edition and training please visit www.happycustomers-fastercash.com. The paperback version of Happy Customers Faster Cash U.S. 2nd Edition is available on Amazon.