Using conversational AI to manage and improve debt collection techniques


Debt collection practices have evolved tremendously in the last few decades with the advent of digitalisation and technological aids. This debt collection software helps collection agencies and individual creditors manage debt recovery with better efficiency.

Any business with a credit and collections function will recognise the “promise to pay” phenomenon. This is best explained as the tendency of customers, when chased by a collections agent, to exaggerate and then commit to a repayment plan in terms of the amount and frequency of the instalment. While this is a natural human instinct to tell someone what they want to hear, it makes it complicated for the businesses to manage, as their debt collection amount cannot be correctly quantified.

When dealing with sensitive issues such as debt repayments, people normally find it easier to communicate in a digital format.

How can FCB.ai help increase recoveries to drive revenue?

FCB.ai’s SmartCollect product is an end-to-end debt collection and payment product aimed primarily at the financial services industry, including debt collection agencies, insurers, retailers etc. These companies have to invest a significant portion of their budget into the resources needed for debt collection.

We aim to re-engage with the customer with the intent purpose of collecting payment in the early to late default stage i.e. before the customer is handed over to a legal entity. This solution enables customers to set up a suitable payment plan to repay their debt via multiple channels such as text messaging, WhatsApp and web chat, 24/7. This payment is facilitated through a secure payment gateway integration.

Simple queries – such as the instalment due date and how to make them – can be solved without human involvement. However, more complex issues are automatically routed to the company’s agents as human intervention will now be needed.

The SmartCollect product offers various user journeys:

  • The user has paid & uploads proof of payment
  • PTP (Promise to Pay), the user opts to set up a payment plan and gets redirected to a call center agent to finalise the plan
  • The user is able to make a payment arrangement by requesting a call back or booking an appointment
  • Pay now, whereby the user is able to settle their debt using a secure and fully integrated payment gateway

Conversations about debt are typically stressful for both the borrower and the agent. Having these conversations through a digital interface can put the customer at ease and enable them to set up more realistic payment commitments.

A consumer who has simply forgotten to make a payment or doesn’t know how, could be dealt with entirely via FCB.ai’s AI solution.

Screenshot of our debt collection software

How we helped our client TFG increase Collections

The team at TFG wanted to introduce an easy-to-use automated debt collection strategic solution which would allow TFG money account customers to provide personal details as well as enabling an end-to-end PTP (Promise to Pay)  process on a web conversational AI platform.

FCB.ai created a user-friendly product that allows users to engage and provide feedback minus human interference. The user is guided through 4 possible journeys that enable them to set up a suitable payment plan or to pay their debt.

In a recent refresh of the product, we introduced a new design and UI as well as created an avatar named Thengi.

Thengi helped TFG achieve some impressive results:

  • 81% completion rate
  • 79% of users selected ‘PTP’ or ‘Pay Today’
  • 4.5/5 client rating

If you are interested in their success story becoming true for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.