ROTTERDAM, 23 September 2019 — Interactive video is the latest tool in the fight against late payments. Dutch energy supplier Eneco is the first to successfully use the innovation made by Alphacomm Solutions. Eneco’s customers in arrears now receive a personalized and interactive video message.
Interactive video as a tool against late payments
In the Netherlands, millions of people are in debt. Figures from the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud) show that 2.6 million Dutch households find it difficult to make ends meet. In addition, a study by the University of Groningen shows that 50% of the people with financial problems also had low literacy. This, while ‘only’ 18% of the total population has low literacy. The group of people with low literacy is therefore over-represented among those who struggle with debts. All over Europe, there are people with low literacy who struggle with staying out of debt.
“In particular, this group of people, who have difficulty understanding invoices and reminders, run an additional risk of unwittingly falling into arrears. This can quickly lead to increased debts if the debtor does not react to open bills and arrange payment on time,” says Marcel Amens of Alphacomm Solutions. “Innovation in credit management is therefore essential. We need to be able to connect with all people.”
The video uses animations, simple language and subtitles to explain to the viewer that he or she is in arrears. In addition, all possible solutions are offered in an accessible manner. These solutions include deferred payment, agreeing on a payment schedule as well as the option of filing an objection. For people who need it, the route to debt assistance is offered.
With the launch of the interactive video service, Alphacomm Solutions underlines the importance of self-reliance in preventing debts. “We involve the customer in solving the payment arrears. Thanks to the combination of image, text and sound, it is very easy to follow. You can also go through all the options at your own pace and pause or replay the video at any time,” says Michael Martens of Alphacomm Solutions.
“To further increase the effectiveness of payment reminders, we have started to support multiple languages and continue to innovate with our partners. The new service will be offered to all companies that want to take steps to serve their customers better.”
Partnership with Eneco
Since 2013, Eneco and Alphacomm Solutions have been working together to reduce payment arrears. Eneco is the ideal partner for Alphacomm Solutions. Martens reflects: “Eneco is a very active innovator in the field of credit management and in finding ways to better serve customers who are in arrears. It’s great that we were able to launch this project together.”
Walter Dillissen, Credit Management Manager at Eneco, is also enthusiastic about the positive customer impact of the interactive video. “We are very pleased to have achieved this in a very short time together with our partner Alphacomm Solutions.”
Alphacomm Solutions has been a pioneer in the field of online payment solutions and digital payment reminders since 2004. Alphacomm Solutions works together with its partners to get invoices paid faster in customer-friendly ways. This is achieved through the use of modern communication channels such as email, text messages, chat, voice messages and now also through interactive video. Alphacomm Solutions is also active outside the Netherlands in various countries including Germany, Belgium, Austria, England, France and Scandinavia.