New Digital Payment Channels Bringing in More Money, Agency Shares During Presentation

LAS VEGAS — While it might not represent a significant chunk of all the money it has collected in the past 11 months, Willams and Fudge have collected $700,000 via PayPal and Venmo — digital channels that many companies in the accounts receivable management industry have not yet embraced, a pair of executives from the collector said during a presentation yesterday at ACA International’s Ignite Conference.

The average payment that is made via PayPal or Venmo is $369, and consumers have to make a minimum payment of $150. The option to pay using those digital channels is only available through the company’s online payment portal. About 1,900 payments have been made through the two channels, but PayPal accounts for 90% of that volume, said David Williams, the president of Williams & Fudge, and John Balon, the company’s vice president of product and innovation.

And while the amount of money that has been collected through those methods may not be a lot, and may represent a small portion of the company’s overall collection volume, the pair urged those watching the presentation to think about it from a different perspective. How many times, they asked, has an individual expressed a willingness to pay a debt, only to find that you do not accept the payment method the individual wants to use. Those are lost payments that may never get made, they said.

Not using methods like PayPal and Venmo means that “you are leaving money on the table,” Balon said.

The insights from Williams and Balon were helpful to those in the audience who have considered adding additional payment methods in response to shifting consumer preferences. The ideas were representative of the new type of creative thinking that is needed for the industry to reinvent itself as a means of staying in lock-step with consumer trends rather than be years behind, which has happened in the past.

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