Mobile tags and QR codes are turning up everywhere; the front page of USA Today, retail stores, product packaging, Web sites, print based marketing, and yes…even on collection letters.
If you are not familiar with the technology, mobile tags/QR codes are two dimensional barcodes that can be read using the camera on smart phones with tag reader capabilities (most apps are available for free on-line). Once read by your smart phone camera, mobile tags can effortlessly connect you to a Web site or perform an operation such as dialing a phone number, populating a free text message, populating information into a contact database or even providing a link to download an application.
Analysts predict that 2011 will be the tipping point where the adoption of “smart phones” will overtake the usage of “feature phones” and cell phones by the general public. This is especially true for the 18-54 year old age demographic. People are becoming more reliant on their smart phones to manage not just phone calls but also emails, social media, calendars and e-commerce. Collection agencies should not lose sight of this opportunity to create an easy-to-use, inbound communication and payment channel for consumers.
We are already working with collection agencies to help them create mobile tags for placement on their collection notices. This provides an effortless link to Web-based payment portals and smart phone application downloads that allow debtors to easily manage payment plan arrangements and loan repayment schedules. While adoption rates may be small to start with, any tool that can help accelerate the payment and make it as easy as possible on the debtor to make a payment will yield positive benefits in the long run.
There is a lot of competing technology in the mobile tag/QR code marketplace but I believe Microsoft’s Tag reader product is a great place to start. The Microsoft applications (for creating mobile tags and for reading mobile tags) are available free on-line and there are some nice reporting tools that let you know what percentage of tags were read. I anticipate that as the use of this technology grows there will be even greater reporting functionality that could be useful for developing analytics on usage and user behavior/preferences.
If you are interested in more information on how mobile tags can be part of your debtor correspondence strategy, scan my contact tag below and give me a call! To download the Microsoft Tag Reader, please visit http://www.gettag.mobi/ on your smartphone.
So remember…”tag” is not just kid’s game. It could help your business collect money!
Mike McDonnell, Vice President of Sales – Eastern Region for DANTOM Systems, Inc., has more than 15 years of business process outsourcing expertise, managing strategic relationships and applications in the Financial Services and Collections Industry. McDonnell’s experience covers both third-party collection and first-party billing applications including traditional letters and statements as well as secure Internet-based presentment and payment applications. He has been an ACA Affiliate member since 1995 and currently serves on the ACA Board of Directors. McDonnell can be reached by email.
Known for its innovation and flawless execution, DANTOM Systems, Inc. is the leading receivables communication provider. DANTOM experts take the time to understand customers’ unique business requirements and tailor a solution to meet their receivables communication needs, including electronic bill presentment, payment portal, online archive, eNotice collection letters as well as dynamic full color digital ouput. The company partners with more than 900 organizations to create high-impact receivables documents while lowering costs – positively impacting their bottom line.