Communications Revolution – It is all still changing

In this interview with Paul Jozefak from Receeve we catch up on what has changed since our last discussion. There is definitely now a move towards execution and implementation of digital capability post the pandemic, with some trepidation of what may be due to happen with energy costs and inflation.

Contacting customers early, pre-collections, marketing avenues of support for customers that could be available should they fall into arrears, is an opportunity now.

Doing this in a significant way, without adding significant cost is of course the challenge.

Data, and data based strategies can help, providing insight on who to contact, how to contact and when work… something Paul also explains, together with the importance of going digital to be able to react on this at speed.

‘Interesting times’… for sure

Find out more about Receeve-> Here.

Interview Transcript

0:02
So hi, everyone, I’m here with Paul Josefak today, who’s the CEO of receive receiver in the collection space. They’ve got software that really helps with that. So Paul, thanks very much. Great to see you again. Thanks, likewise, glad to be back up. And it’ll be good to try and hear a little bit about maybe what you’ve been seeing with maybe with some of your clients and their customers.

0:22
While yes, quite quite a bit of change. And I think things are changing even faster than then let’s even a year or two back, right. So I think the speed of change is actually even increased or the the velocity of it, so to speak. So we’re seeing a lot of things kind of

0:38
come at us quicker than we had maybe even expected. So one of the things if I, if I had to summarise and trying to keep it short, is we see much more sense of urgency on the side of our customers to actually try and implement solutions. Because I think they’re, I hate to say waking up and realising that they’re a little bit behind in terms of automation, and even digitalization, and they’re also realising that if they had put in software or technology, they would be in a position to be quicker to react. So it’s kind of a double, double edged sword. And we’re definitely feeling that. Because there is a certain level of even, let’s say, people who said, hey, we’d like to talk to you next year, coming back earlier and saying, Well, let’s talk now. And how quickly can we get resources from you to, to put something in place. So that’s one point. And then the other point with the with the energy issue. Now here in Germany, it’s it’s a very prevalent a prevalent thing. In the UK, I hear, it seems to be more in the UK. So we definitely hear about it more from from your end. But even here, I mean, the public utilities are all going to have the same problems. Prices are going to be kicking in where, you know, come January, I think a lot of things are going to be repriced. So there’s a whole wave of issues coming up on that front as well. And, and we’re also seeing the inbound interest from customers there. So, so there’s been a lot changing, I think the the way to summarise it, excuse me is that things are just moving much faster. And people are trying to react. And we have quite a lot of discussion around right, when you’re going to see that the impact of you know, energy cost increases, and then for that feeling through to inflation, but he’s gonna see that in the collections world into arrears volume, and certainly what some what I’ve been hearing is that that hasn’t really been seen yet. But everyone’s sort of like thinking, well, that is probably gonna hit the New Year’s it was a little bit of sort of like getting ready for it. Do you think that’s sort of going? I think it’s getting ready to getting ready for it. I think there was, I mean, again, we maybe talked about this last time where you and I discussed it in a different conversation. But you know, there’s been a lot of kind of stuff, pushing things down the road, right. So a lot of people have maybe been waiting, but they also kind of got impatient or maybe kind of diverted their attention. What what I’m seeing now is that I think a lot of people are saying that, that that can is not just gonna get kicked down the can anymore. All the subsidies and government involvement and whatnot, that’s going to run out. And, and I received my language, but it’s gonna hit the fan, right? I mean, that’s, that’s kind of it’s I don’t think I don’t think things are going to be delayed another year. So something even if I had a if I had to be a betting man, I would say come q1, we’re going to start seeing kind of the initial effects. And by some point next year, we’re going to be in the in the thick of it. Yeah, so people sort of investing now trying to trying to just get ahead of it sounds like, yeah, and I think some people are actually getting ahead of it. That’s the point that those that want to actually be in a good position are actually saying, Look, if, if I wait, then I’m going to be behind, you know, behind the curve. So I want to now actually react, and and be prepared. And to be honest, if they are prepared, there’s nothing to lose, right? I mean, these are these are things they had to do anyway. So why not? Why not do it? Finally, some the discussion we’ve had here certainly like is, is, is how do you get customers to engage. So it could also just be a different set of the population that’s now in collections, or a new set of the population is now in collections that wasn’t before or falling into arrears. So you know, we have people who maybe were in financial difficulties already, they’re still there, the situation is still tough for them. But you got this new, almost like on the margin, where you got new people who seem to be sort of feeling the effects of inflation or, you know, energy, energy costs, and they can then fall behind? I mean, the part they’re around, like, how do you engage those people? Because they might have preconceptions around collections, or they might have they’ve not been through it before. And so there’s almost like an engagement question there. Yeah, I think that remains kind of a million dollar question, right? How do you get him to engage more? I think, again, giving them giving him the at least the view that they have options is probably one of the ways to get them to react. So giving them options when a lot of times you may not have been giving them options. I mean, we always use the idea of either instalment plans or potentially even offering discounts if people prepay. So that’s one of the things that if you actually start offering the customers something to react to, versus just typical

5:00
requires the messaging that’s been used over the past years. That is probably the best way to get them to engage, give them give them a view that they have options that they can take action to do something, and give them the options that actually make sense, right? So if it just ultimately is pay now pay now pay now.

5:18
versus saying, Hey, we can put an instalment plan in place, or if you prepay or whatever, you might get some discounts. These are all you know, again, these are just theoretical ideas, but it’s just giving optionality tends to be a way to get people to move. Yeah. And is there a sense around? So like, changing things all the time as well? So it’s almost like it’s like, how do you change the message? How do you make it more respond to me, one of the things that surgeons coming up recently was talking about about attention and attention spans being different and the fact that, you know, how do you grab attention? And what’s the what’s the content? How can you sort of change the way we might be communicating in a different way than we were before?

5:52
It always comes back to kind of how do you get seen, right? So you better have the right channel. As we all know, if you’re sending out paper mail, that’s probably the worst way to get any kind of attention. And the time is, the time component is horrible. But I think if you’re using the right channels, and and you’re you’re approaching it with, let’s say more of a customer service type of approach, you might be able to even trigger, let’s put it this way, with an email, you have a subject line and you have the body, you have two opportunities to actually make an impression. If you use other channels, you might potentially be in someone’s pocket, ie with certain types of messages, messaging channels, or let’s say you have apps where you basically have notifications, and you have, you have to be top of mind. And your point about attention spans, right? I mean, certain people just don’t pay attention to certain things at all. So if you’re not even where they’re paying attention, well, it’s not even attention, it’s a matter of just being seen at all. So I think if, if you adapt your channels, that’s probably the best strategy to getting seen. And using the channels where people engage is also where you have the opportunity to hold their attention. And ultimately, what you want them to do is you want it to come back to a page where you can actually get, I mean, ultimately, if you’re sending some kind of messaging to them, you want them to click a link or something to come back to a landing page, where you can quasi control the message and show them that there’s options that there’s things they can do, instead of driving that kind of fight or flight. I mean, my what we always tell customers is the first thing you have to do is you have to get away from that fight or flight reaction. And once you get over that hurdle, kind of that and that’s the hardest part, right? Because if you trigger a fight or flight, then you’re kind of going down the wrong path. Because what are some of the things we can learn from other industries as well. So as we talked about, I think about about social media as volunteers like how they drive engagement, or we talk about customer care, or marketing, even like, how can that be used to then drive engagement sort of today in collections? And what you know, what can we learn when we talked a bit about data, I think it was last time Sure. To drive that goes away, does it. That’s what I was gonna say that if you have the data, you can actually keep the customer engaged even before they’re actually in a collections process, right. And I think that’s going to become ever more important that you keep an open channel to your customers. So you actually continue to communicate with them. Again, this is not a collections problem. This is more quasi, let’s say, a retailer or a public utility, or a bank or whatnot, that you have that quasi constant engagement of the customer and are communicating with them. Because if they’re not in touch with you, if you basically, you know, ping them once a year with some advertising, or let’s say they opt out of regular advertising, you want to actually engage with them in connection with their account, right. So instead of trying to bombard them with new products, you might want to just potentially remain in touch so that they’re aware of what is available to them, in the case of cases. And I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t spend any time on whatsoever, ie engaging with the customers that they have, and continuing to communicate with them, keeping those lines of communication open. And again, not to upsell them. That’s the stuff that people click out of, right? They don’t they don’t want to be marketed to. But if you are giving them compelling information around their account, or things that might be happening, like let’s say, right now, we all know this problems coming. So why not reach out to your customers and say, hey, there might be an issue next year, here’s some things you might want to do to avoid problems. I mean, give them advice, give them free advice of how they could possibly avoid things. Or if things go sideways, hey, you lose your job, you’re not able to, you know, make ends meet whatnot, give them options, give them resources. That way, you can help them potentially even avoid a problem. Sure, it doesn’t help the collections industry because you might actually avoid someone in collections. At the same time. It’s a way to continue to communicate with them without trying to advertise them. Yeah. But do you think there’s a sensor? I like sort of creating those talks about customer journeys, like how do you create those customer journeys almost like upstream in the lifecycle including signposting for for that advice now, I mean, this is the three areas piece and aren’t people doing enough of that? And then what are the things you wouldn’t be able to what what are the things you could offer? Or think about how many people kind of get into trouble and then have no idea where to turn to? Even though there are resources and once the person is in a desperate situation? They’re going to behave differently, right? So exactly what you said right now that you

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10:00
You want to start early, and you want to at least let them know where the resources are. And maybe you’re that you’re the provider of those resources, or at least let’s say at least the links to those resources. So even letting your customers know that there is, you know, let’s call it a help centre or whatever you want to call it a knowledge base, define it as you will, depending on which industry you’re in and use the term signposting, I mean, let them know how to get to where they need to be. And, and yes, give them a heads up before they have the problem. And keep reminding them that there’s resources that there’s things available on your website, or in your channels of communication, which they can fall back on, if they come to that point, or even offering them potentially advice before they get to that point. So saying, Look, be in touch with us, and we can help you out, or put you in touch with the right people, and maybe even via partnerships or whatnot offer certain services. I know there’s a lot of startups right now, actually, that are going into that space, that are trying to plug into either the retailers or the collection side of the business, you know, work with those work with those parties and, and get people help before they need it. Or at least get them in touch with those people before they need that. We talk a lot about the collections process. And so what do you think that really we do, we need to change that to be almost like an engagement process and actually think much further upstream, I think it’s inevitable that it becomes more of a I hate you call your customer service, but it has to be a customer service component, and not a collections component, because you’re always trying to deal with the customer, and give them some level of support or service. So I’m completely with you on your on your comment that I think everything’s gonna move in that direction. And if you think about, let’s say, I mean, it’s almost sounds dystopian, but at some point, you know, we’re going to be so digitally active in the sense of all our payments, and everything’s going to be captured in a digital format, that it’ll be even harder for the customer to potentially get out of the way of issues. Right, so let’s say you could potentially pull money out of their account, if you know that there’s money there. I’ve even heard some horror stories, where in some countries, you know, banks, for example, had because they had the account, they could pull money out of an account, even though there was a different account with a loan, for example, right, so So and debase the baby based on regulatory environments and whatnot, what’s what’s what’s possible, what’s not possible, but let’s all presume we’re going to be more and more digital, in the coming years, even to the point of having digital currencies and whatnot, you’re gonna have to deal with these customers more as someone you don’t want to lose. Because if you can avoid your customer having financial issues, they remain a customer, I’ll just give you a little bit of a different example, we have a customer we’re talking to in Mexico, who actually sees their customers constantly in a position of not able to pay. So they almost see their instalment plans, or their their, let’s say, their payment plans as instalment plans and, and rotating our sorry, revolving loans, forgetting all my English work, and I’m speaking of in German all the time, so they almost provide a revolving credit without actually providing revolving credit. But that’s because they know that if they actually were to ding each of their customers, and they have millions of customers, they would actually have a major issue because those customers always do come back and pay. But it’s just not on time. And it’s part of the culture as well, that they might just not pay on time. But they have to take a full customer service approach to this problem versus thinking of the person as someone they just want to get the money from and get rid of.

13:12
I think that’s all gonna change in the future anyway, you do wonder if that’s gonna change, but if we do have a significant sort of crisis that happens financial in the new year in terms of like, we have a huge wave of people who, who aren’t who can’t pay. Now, before we do we do we change our collections process from being much more this sort of like, you know, 3060 90 day kind of pay before you sort of go out to into into into the, you know, more formal debt collections process to more like a will be a debt purchase process, which is like looking over years and said, that sounds a bit like what you’re describing in, in Mexico? I think so I don’t think we’re gonna have the Mexico situation. But I’m just using that as an example of saying that some exactly what you said, some of the retailers or some of the public facilities or whatnot are just going to say, look, we’re gonna extend collection cycles, we’re going to do what ultimately the government’s were doing in the last couple of years and give, you know, live, let’s say, payment, holidays or something like that, to make sure that the customer doesn’t disappear. Because you’re probably still better off, potentially addressing that problem yourself. It all comes back to the data, can you potentially score each and every one of those situations and determine what’s the risk? Right, it becomes, as always, it’s a risk game, it’s a matter of scoring it and determining can you actually afford to try and resolve something before giving it away to a service that right?

14:25
I mean, it’s it is a numbers game, and the more data you have, and the better you are at collecting the data, the more you have to work with, to potentially then be creative. And the data we have and problem we might have is the data that we have now isn’t isn’t necessarily representative of what it might be in the future as well. Right. So that that there’s a bit of a there’s a bit bit of a sort of a guesswork, I suppose there in terms of like how you then look forward on that in terms of a leap of faith to a certain extent. Well, the more data that you have of your own so if you start collecting it and you make sure that you that you manage the data hygiene, then you can actually mine it right. I think there’s so much data available right now.

15:00
Although you can’t use because it’s just total crap. I think the problem is that a lot of a lot of customers that we ended up talking to, they’ve could have, or they have been in a position to potentially collect a lot of data and take advantage of that data, but they haven’t stored it properly, and they haven’t actually implemented any technology to take advantage of it. That’s back to your original question. That’s something we’re actually talking to more and more customers or customers about who are saying, Look, we want to take advantage of the data that we’re collecting. And we want to become much better at the analytics, and mining What’s there to figure out what we can do. That’s something that’s definitely changed in the past year. There’s also a brand angle, which I think is quite interesting as well. So sometimes, like, if you’re gonna take that long term view, it definitely helps the brand. But then also, having a strong brand also then helps you in terms of like, where you can then come in terms of the hierarchy as well. So do I pay my mortgage first? And if it’s a band, I really like do I pay? Let’s say, it’s let’s say it’s apple, or Google do I pay them first versus something already liked versus not. And that sort of typically gets gets lost in the mail, I’m a numbers guy gets lost in the numbers and take off off insurance a little bit more intangible? Well, you’re gonna have also the primary from the other side, I mean, we see it, obviously, the public utility is much more intent on collecting, because they, by law, they can’t turn off someone’s heat or electricity, right. So they actually have the problem that someone might remain a user of their cert or their product, but they can’t turn them off. So their collections becomes a much bigger issue. Conversely, if you’re a telco you just turn off someone’s phone, and they’re, you know, they’re they got the problem. But I think that there’s going to be also a blend, right? So you’re, you’re you’re right, that a certain brand. Um, let’s just use Apple not to say they’re the bad guy. But if you think about it, you know, I use Apple for multiple things, right? I have them as an Apple Pay provider, I have them for storage, where I pay them monthly for storage, I have their devices, right. So I have multiple devices in front of me, it’s all Apple. So I might potentially damage my reputation with them. By per se not paying back a credit card cost. Not that I have Apple credit here in Europe, but that might ultimately be the issue that it’s also it’s also a problem, right? I mean, it’s completely different discussion by but we don’t all want to be beholden to one large player. But at the same time you You nailed it on the head, right? You might want to prioritise an apple over someone else, because God forbid, they turn you off completely. Like they think about your Apple account that runs your phone that runs your laptop. But also ultimately, as your is your account, with Apple when it comes to any kind of credit you may have with them, or any kind of payment options, if all of a sudden that gets shut off, because you’ve in one part of that that product offering screwed up. You could have a problem. So yeah, you’re totally right, people might just prioritise certain things that we never would have thought of even two years ago, I was quite surprised when I sort of came back came back to Europe. And we’re talking about about, I suppose treating customers fairly it was at the time and sort of like that, that sort of much more sort of softer kind of collections treatment and sure did kind of the collections to collections rates didn’t drop off to the same way as you thought they might would traditionally. And actually push actually good treatment actually seemed to push them up the payment hierarchy, which is a brand kind of discussion as well, which was, which was, you know, a bit of a bit of an eye opener, I think, at the time and a bit of a leap of faith folks as well.

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18:11
You’re right about the leap of faith, because it’s also completely complete shift in how you think about all this right. And I think there’s such an ingrained approach to all of this, that that’s almost generational to an extent. So I think there’s also kind of a, let’s call it a generational shift that might be happening now. Because I mean, let’s be let’s be honest, I mean, the industry in and of itself, let’s say collections, we’re talking 90s, I mean, kind of 80s is kicked off, but it’s 90. So think about someone who has a 20 or 30 year career horizon, you know, they might have been in this industry now, they’re kind of approaching retirement age, you might even have a generational shift that allows for kind of creative thinking and different ways of thinking about this to be the next 10 or 15 years of this industry. And ways of communication are very sort of generational as well. So in terms of absolutely be a be a letter b It’s I suppose email are probably the email generation via SMS messaging, or even but I mean, we’ve been missing on on new channels you think like,

19:02
like Snapchat is what will the young people using now or even Tick, tick tock or whatever? Yeah, I mean, I, again, I might already be aged out of it as well. So I kind of also kind of shake my head at times, like, would I would I want you know, personal communications via tick tock? I sure as hell wouldn’t, right. I just don’t see any reason to use a tick tock. If everyone though, is using that. And that’s the main channel to the younger generation. Things do show up, right. And I actually am surprised I had this I had this experience this morning, I there’s a person that I communicate with, where I only reach him via Twitter, DMS. And it just happens to be where you know, we’ve met in person multiple times, but we kind of interact with each other on Twitter. And I know that if I DM this person on Twitter, that’s the best channel to reach them. So it just it’s again, it’s my own database of knowing that he is best reachable via this channel. And we just tend to communicate there because the message What do I care if it’s email or, or message or whatever, right? It’s just communication

20:00
At the end of the day, it’s where you find me. But who knows, I mean, maybe in the next couple of years, I would, I think you’re gonna see is that there’s gonna be more private channels. So like, for example, there was a lot of like, let’s say Telegram, right. So a lot of people were using Telegram for group messaging for, you know, both kind of the black market as well as legit things. I’m a heavy user of signal, I just like the the privacy aspect of signal, maybe at some point, there’s even a communication channel that’s just that much more like, secure for for organisations to use. And if I think about it, like if I was on on signal side, I would say, look, create some kind of business component to what you’re doing. So that my bank can have a signal channel with me to communicate with me because I want to keep it fully quasi out of any snooping eyes, and keep it from being hacked. So I mean, thinking along those lines of privacy and creating new channels that are probably more secure, maybe that’s even what you then have to think about ultimately, because, again, these kids that are maybe 15, now that aren’t Tiktok, once they’re a bit older, and they have a bank account, you don’t necessarily want to be using a Chinese provider to do let’s say, quasi communication with their bank. I mean, that there’s the aspects around even things like debt advice videos, I mean, are they on Tik Tok? Or, you know, and do we get into different modes of communicating things like terms and conditions in terms of contract, right, so we’re getting into this, this comes back to the tension piece where we come back to the signposting as well, yeah, we’re watching, we’re watching these 15 second videos, do we need to do stuff using 15 second videos rather than, you know, long form, you know, microprint, that comes out on really thin paper, maybe you have to do tic tock style videos to do the signposting on your website. Right. So or when you are interacting with the younger generation that you have to know that some of the younger they come to your page, you serve them that 15 minute ad, but it’s not an ad. It’s the signposting and trying to give them give them advice and an information that could be useful. So instead of actually having messaging or sending out, you know, let’s call it text communication, you do it with video. And, again, let’s be honest, videos, videos becoming ever more prevalent. People don’t want to read. So it’s not even like the messaging is changing. That’s from email to whatever WhatsApp. It’s just becoming more visual and much more video driven. And maybe you have to do a lot more video that just might be that just might be what you need to do. What are the concepts that I’ve been chatting about recently is is what’s the difference in a Google search bar, for example, and a chat bar, right? And you get into this almost like two way chat or even things like like non player characters, you have in effect, and you can have these like these conversations with people. And you think, to think we’re going to see the end of web pages, and even the word web pages sounds quite old fashioned versus much more of a sort of stream of consciousness. And so we need to think about that in terms of communications, rather than pointing people to websites, and it becomes a little bit more sort of fluid. I mean, is that do you think that’s going to be a trend? I think the I mean, I think we’re in the middle of that because you see also the shift from kind of, let’s say, the Desktop to the mobile. When you think about the switch from desktop to mobile, it’s from browser to app.

22:54
Yes, you also use browsers on the on a mobile device, but like a tick tock or whatever, you’re not using the browser, it’s in the app. And if you think about kind of the way people are using the technology, the stream aspect, I intend the continuous stream, and almost like let’s call it

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23:11
customised kind of view. Even if you think about like LinkedIn, which is something that you and I use, right? If you I’m actually super religious about how my LinkedIn serves me what I see. So I actually don’t follow everyone that I connect with. I unfollow people fairly, fairly regularly. And I have a very quasi, what’s the word of like curated stream and LinkedIn just like I do on Twitter, it takes work, but I then see what I want to see. And conversely, if you can get into that stream of consciousness, so like, let’s say you’re trying to communicate that people should be wary of what’s coming down the pipes. And they should be thinking about potentially not being in a position to pay their bills. So you want to be serving into that stream of you call this stream of consciousness, right. But it’s called stream of digital, digital, whatever. Yeah, I mean, it’s, I mean, at some point, it’s all going to, it’s all going to melt. And I also even just think about how I work, right? So if you think about it, like Slack, in the typical enterprise, as a communication channel used to be emails, they don’t slack, just a stream of communication that you have there. And I see it at some point, even switching more to video. And we even use it in our own company where we’re sending more video to each other since we’re remote where even recording things versus doing things real time. It’s a synchronous that way. So maybe even that asynchronous communication approach with the very digital types of communication allows you to get into so to speak the forefront of what people are looking at. And I do wonder if that’s a way into almost like a talk about Metaverse and virtual worlds and there’s I think in terms of you know, we have video but you put it you have text to avatar as well, which makes it you can sort of like it blends into the same kind of same same kind of indication panels could and if you want to be I mean, you’re talking to a former VC and now founder so if we if we want to, you know, geek out on this, but let’s think of it this way. If you think about Metaverse, and you think about what machine learning and AI is capable of

25:00
Think about the fact that usually the problem that you are going to have, let’s say in the, in the case of collections, so many of those issues are going to be repetitive. So if you basically have the data, and you can find out that someone’s already had a similar problem and has been able to have that problem resolved, let’s say mining the text or mining the video that that you have of that interaction. Ultimately, in a Metaverse environment, I can be in the metaverse trying to resolve a problem looking for someone to advise me, it could be under the underlying quasi input, I get back to the AI driven, because somewhere someone has had that problem before. And if you think about a lot of the issues that people have, when they get into payment problems, it’s all under me. Everyone’s having the same problems, right? It’s not like if someone is a complete outlier, there might be one here or there. But there’s no one, there’s not the outlier of one in 10 million, right? There might be a million outliers in 100 million, because they’re all going to have the same problem in some sense. But that’s going to be an outlier as a problem. So I think once you have the data, and once you have kind of, again, this is geeking out and there’s a lot of quasi storage, unnecessary and kind of mining, mining the data, but it’s ultimately where if you think of the metaverse, it’s not always going to be synchronous. So it might actually be an asynchronous interaction, but I might see it as real time.

26:14
So I again, I think that that’s somewhere where we’re definitely going to go, especially advice if you think about how you use Google right now. Or even like no one does anything without saying I’m just going to google it, and watch a YouTube video how to do it. And almost everything nowadays is like, I’m going to cook something and you repair my car, I’m gonna do something in my house. I just Google it. I watch a YouTube video and I do it. Yeah. And I don’t even think about it. Right. It’s just, it’s just a natural kind of workflow for me. So maybe at some point, it just becomes that natural workflow for anything financial as well. Right? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you’re right. We, I mean, I do it to fix stuff, or you know, how to how to, you know, when the dishwasher whatever it is, but we don’t do financially, right. So how do I do that? Maybe we need to think more about that. And think about it even even without actually triggering it by actually typing in something into Google, right? You’re automatically fed something, because your computer knows that you just lost your job. You just missed already a payment. So maybe automatically, you’re you’re kind of in Hey, would you like to watch his video on getting out of this problem? And it’s just fed to you. Right? So we talked about, about the economy? And certainly, what’s been interesting is it’s, it seems like the pandemic and inflation seems like it’s quite a common story when the pandemic was a common story everywhere, right? And it’s been in multiple markets, when the pandemic hit, everyone’s thought, oh, no, we’re gonna have all these quality issues, all of a sudden, with collections. The thing is that people stopped spending money on a lot of luxury goods and just pay down their debt, which was a reaction that no one could have predicted. And let’s, let’s be realistic right now. And everyone, everyone is aware of the fact that there’s a problem coming, certain people might not be as aware of it, because they might not have as much access to data, for example. So someone somewhere in Africa who might not be as digital or in Southeast Asia or in South America might not see as much the problem as you were i because we’re getting bombarded by it. So our spending habits might actually be be put on hold sooner than, let’s say, other geographies. But we might have the same effect, right, we might actually not have as much collections issues, because people won’t be spending money.

28:06
I think the retailers are gonna have a problem, right? Because I mean, I’m not going out buying new sweaters and jackets and whatnot right now, because I just, first of all, I’m working less for from the office. So I don’t need to buy as much pandemic effect. And I’m also looking kind of at the next 1218 months and saying, Where are we going to be economically? So I am pushing out quasi luxury spending, for example, because why bother? Yeah, it’s quite hard to at the moment, because like, the speed of change is so fast. And it’s quite hard to predict what the collateral sort of changes in behaviour are. So we saw that in the pandemic. And I think every everyone I speak to in Europe, we’re all sitting here in houses that are probably like, two degrees colder than they were this time last year. And then what’s the, what’s the knock on impacts of that, right? And I suppose the only way you can do it’s like, how do you react fast when you actually see an issue. And it’s that speed of reaction becomes important, as much as predicting what’s going to happen. I think the underlying solution is to be fully digital. Because if you’re now still, in a situation where you have quality, outdated systems, your reaction time is that much slower. So if I had a message to kind of the market is to say, become fully digital, because then you can react faster. And that’s the name of the game. And I’m with you that I mean, how predictable is anything over the last three years, kinda. But even the markets, if you look at the public markets for stocks, for example, I mean, no one knew the dips and quasi troughs and whatnot, it’s all completely almost irrational behaviour. The speed of information is so fast, globally, as well. So again, we’re practically talking real time, sitting in two different countries. Everything gets shared immediately. So the effect again, is global with anything happening. And if you can’t react fast enough, I mean, that’s that’s probably going to be the name of the game is being able to keep up with the speed of change. I got one last one last question, which is obviously talking about interest rates, and there’s interest issues in terms of like cost of capital and those kinds of things, which is, what do you think the impact is going to be on development within the tech sector and I suppose particularly like the collections technology,

30:00
sector may not be the start of a slowdown in terms of the innovation, or do you think the fact that it’s changing so much means there’s going to be more innovation?

30:07
I think the innovation is definitely not going away. I just think it might be might be implemented earlier or later. Even the investors as well, right. So maybe even on the other end, where the investors were buying debt, for example, maybe they start using that technology completely differently. But trust me, innovation is not going anywhere. I don’t see that the change will drive innovation itself. Well, Paul, thank you very much. As always, it’s great to chat to you. So we all share about interesting ideas. So it’s a really, really appreciate it.

30:35
It’s always my pleasure, and it’s always a good conversation. So thanks again for having me.


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