We spoke with Ian McManus, Co-Founder and CTO of LATERAL, to get his insight on today’s tech climate.
Where do you think the future of the debt collection and credit control industry lies?
I think the industry has to evolve in order to embrace the demands of the 21st century. And this is about making all communication and software more personal and personalised. This can be achieved by leveraging technology such as workflow automation, and Artificial Intelligence, which makes debt collection and credit control efforts profoundly more effective and also less expensive.
What are the key strengths of LATERAL’S software when compared with its competitors?
In the UK, SMEs are owed £2.3bn in outstanding payments right now. If businesses and governments want to recover what they’re owed, I believe technology is needed to help speed up the process. Our software systems have been engineered so that the client can automate the creation and delivery of their own correspondence, which meets their own specific demands and needs. Our software provides instant oversight too, which makes it possible for its users to monitor and enforce automated workflows. We have developed advanced omni-channel solutions (SMS, text, email, Chat, WhatsApp) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes, which are focused on reducing labour costs. Also, all of our software is cloud-based, which increases security and means we can serve companies of all sizes, flexibly. And you can log in from anywhere in the world! At LATERAL we endeavour to always stay 5 steps ahead of the competition.
Can you talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) when it comes to debt collection and credit control?
Sure. In the past debt collection has been a very labour intensive business. Managing accounts has been time consuming, because credit control departments have been forced to liaise with debtors via the phone and through legal letters, but it’s all changed with AI, which is poised to reshape so many digital processes. At LATERAL we pay particular attention to machine learning, which is an AI subset. By applying machine learning to our software, credit controllers and debt collectors are able to recognise credit risks more quickly, and also respond to data changes more efficiently. The integration of machine learning approaches and AI software has a huge impact on efficiency, and has been proven, time and again, to improve cash flow.
What different types of software does LATERAL engineer?
We provide three software solutions: industry-leading debt collection software, which consists of business automation tools for organisations of all sizes. Secondly, secure, next generation, cloud-based legal case management software for lawyers. And finally we have built next-generation credit control software, which provides businesses and organisations with cutting-edge automation tools. All three software systems are designed to reduce their users operating expenses by increasing productivity.
In the past debt collection has often been considered quite a hostile process. It’s been an industry that doesn’t always consider the relationship between the consumer and the collector, and here at LATERAL we’re changing that.
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