By: Shonalee King Johnson
Apex Management Services wants to change the way borrowers settle and lenders collect outstanding debts.
For more than a quarter of a century, the Centerville-based debt collection agency has focused its efforts on tracking down and obtaining payments from consumers who have left their bills unpaid. With the beta launch of its new self-service mobile app scheduled for March 7th, 2022, Apex believes the new technology will enhance its overall operations and will be a valuable tool for users.
Currently, the debt collection business model relies on contacting individuals via a series of phone calls or emails. The mobile app offers a less stressful, multi-channel, digital solution for persons to arrange payment terms, manage the process and pay via a secure online portal. More importantly, financially troubled customers are able to track their progress while creditors are able to see, in real time, overdue payments recovered from clients.
“We have found that some persons experience increased financial anxiety when directly contacted by debt collectors. The app allows for a self-service experience to manage and pay down balances owed,” Rory Higgs, President of Apex Management Services explained.
“For those experiencing financial distress caused by the pandemic, we are providing an opportunity for debtors to get back on track by settling outstanding credit issues with less anxiety, at their own pace and with the ability to track their progress online. The app will also allow creditors, who are concerned about the impact that the current financial situation is having on debtors, to track payments in real time and rely less on internal staff and resources to pursue delinquent accounts.”
Following the beta launch in March, the company aims to have half of its current debtors utilizing the app by the end of May 2022.
This year could see more persons pursued by debt collectors as government agencies, financial institutions, utility companies and businesses who extend credit will be able to access customers’ credit information from the nation’s first ever credit bureau, CRIF Information Services Bahamas.
A credit bureau allows borrowers and lenders to have a complete understanding of one’s financial history and ability to repay loans. Lenders use the information contained in credit reports to determine whether to lend money and at what rate. The rule of thumb: the better the credit history, the lower the risk and the interest rate.
Previously, financial institutions relied on a client’s honesty in reporting all creditors. There was no automated, formal, cross sharing of information.
“It’s imperative that persons put focused attention on repairing their credit for now and in the future,” said Mr. Higgs who prior to starting his business held several senior level positions at a number of leading institutions in the financial services industry.
He continued: “Debt can seem like a crushing weight. As part of our debt collection services, we counsel and encourage persons to come to terms with their full financial position and work with us to bring their delinquent accounts up to good standing. It’s the best course of action in the short and long-term as we move into a new era of financial responsibility and reporting.”