Banks and other consumer lenders must prepare to strengthen collections capabilities and increase capacity in advance of the inevitable recession. In the current environment of strong economic performance, rising equity markets, low unemployment, and generally positive consumer sentiment, it is easy to think that the good times will never end. But the current economic expansion will ultimately come to an end at some point, leading to higher unemployment, tightening household spending, and a corresponding increase in consumer credit delinquencies.
The collections landscape has changed quite significantly since the Great Recession. Today, customers interact with their banks in different ways than nine years ago. Digital channels are increasingly the primary mechanism used by customers to manage their finances; this trend applies not only to the millennial generation but also to consumers of all ages, and increasingly to small business customers. Traditional call center-dominated collections operations are unlikely to be sufficient in the future.