PayTel Vision 

The Potential of SMS to Maximise Payment Collections

April 30, 2018


Current trends and research confirm that mobiles are the public’s number one ‘go to’ device for convenience and control. It follows that SMS is a great way to offer a secure and flexible, anytime and anywhere payment channel, great for our friend, Joe Public’s ‘mobile lifestyle’.


The Evidence


With recent figures showing SMS accounting for the majority of worldwide financial payments, and with SMS payments predicted to achieve an explosive year-on-year growth rate of 28% (that’s a total of almost £300 billion) what’s there not to like about SMS? Not much, especially when leading predictive analytics company, FICO, shows that as many as 41 % of UK respondents respond positively to self-service SMS payments. And, with 80% of Joe Public using smartphones on a daily basis, surely the potential of SMS is something we can’t afford to ignore.


Based on these facts alone, and what our clients tell us, there’s little doubt in our minds that SMS helps maximise payment collections.  The beauty of SMS-linked services is simply that they reach customers instantly. Did you know it takes just 3 minutes for a person to respond to an SMS? But did you also know that it takes a person 30 minutes on average to respond to an email? That’s enough time to think about it, change your mind, do something more interesting, wash your hair, in fact do almost anything else but respond positively to that email.


Increased response rates, saved agent time, improved customer relations …


By now you’ve probably realised that we’re big fans of SMS, so how about asking yourself a few questions, and then considering whether using some practical and future SMS applications will help you achieve increased response times, save valuable agent time, improve customer service, maximise payment collections …


  • Can your dialler, for example, send out SMS messages the instant it detects an engaged tone, exceeds a set ring-time or immediately detects a voice mail?

  • And what about payment reminders? Can your dialler send these by SMS?

  • Are you using our Collect Plus service? The service sends SMS messages with telephone numbers for customers to call to make payments. Callers are intelligently routed through to Paytel’s automated payment system. The automated service offers customers an element of anonymity (often preferred by those settling debts etc) and is fully compliant at PCI DSS Level 1?

  • Can you send a simple ‘thank you’ message following a payment?  Something straightforward, but great for good customer relations.

  • Or can you send out receipts via SMS to avoid customer security concerns, especially bearing in mind that Joe Public and up to 78% of his friends are likely to keep their receipts?


In short, all the evidence suggests that SMS payment-linked solutions offer cost savings, anonymity, speed and flexibility, all welcomed by our clients as well as their customers, on condition that payment confirmation and security are clear.


Just taking anonymity alone, our debt collection clients tell us that customers using our payment service are able to try several different payment cards without fear of embarrassment if one or more of their cards is declined. This fact alone, our clients say, helps increase their collections simply because more of their customers are likely to persevere and have ‘a go’ at paying their debts.


This, of course, is only for starters: the potential for increased SMS functionality is even greater. Fancy a main and a pudding? If so then read on…


What if …


What if, for example, your system could not only understand the context as well as the semantics of SMS messages, but also predict the content of subsequent messages likely to be received? Using advanced statistical probability analysis, it’s possible to understand an SMS and then even to intuitively predict the key content of subsequent messages, enabling your systems to respond intelligently and immediately without unnecessary lag. Put simply, systems will be using semantics analytics to interpret what’s been said before to infer what’s going to be said next, so your customers can be routed quickly through to the right person.


Joe Public loves the power of SMS and so do we.


What’s there not to like about SMS? Call or email us and we’ll let you know!


Call us today on 0333 202 1555 or email us at to find out more.  


To discover more about our solutions just click here.


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