Financial institutions use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models to reshape debt recovery. Although you probably haven’t noticed any changes yet — these technologies are already having a massive impact on the finance industry.
Why AI and ML Are Essential for Debt Recovery
Debt grows out of control as people’s priorities shift, interest rates hit historic highs, and the cost of living rises. For instance, outstanding credit card debt reached over $1 trillion in the United States in 2023. Although it’s an unfortunate milestone, it reveals a systematic issue.
Now more than ever, loans are becoming delinquent. About 28% of American consumers have at least one debt in collections, and over one in four people can’t afford to repay what they borrow. You should be able to recognize the dilemma financial institutions are facing. Realistically, they can no longer afford to stay idle.
With delinquencies becoming more frequent, financial institutions are turning to modern technology for help. They use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to enhance debt recovery efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure fair collection practices.
Are you wondering why banks need AI and ML? Simply put, algorithms are unlike other modern technologies because they mimic human intelligence. If you’ve ever spoken to a chatbot, you know how lifelike they are. Financial institutions rely on them because they can imitate actual logic and reasoning without the risk of human error.
Why Do Creditors Use AI and ML Technologies?
Financial institutions use AI and ML technology for debt-related processes because it’s more affordable. It’s also faster and more accurate than humans are, offering numerous cost and time-saving benefits.
Predictive analytics — the practice of using historical data to predict future trends — is one of the main reasons financial organizations use AI. It improves business outcomes significantly by providing data-driven insights and increasing repayment chances.
AI lets creditors reach out to you much faster, making you more likely to repay your outstanding debt. Research shows direct engagement noticeably increases customer satisfaction, improving business outcomes. Their effort might even enhance their public reputation.
Creditors who use AI and ML perform noticeably better than the competing financial institutions. Research shows around 12% of businesses outperform competitors just by using algorithms. As these technologies become more lucrative, adoption rates are increasing.
If anything, you can be certain financial institutions rely on AI because it increases their return on investment. While algorithmic processing and data storage costs money, it’s usually much cheaper than hiring and employing a human to do the same job in double the time.
How Are AI and ML Technology Used in Debt Recovery?
Financial institutions use AI and ML models in numerous ways, from customer outreach to risk analysis. Since the technology is so versatile, its applications are practically limitless.
What if financial institutions could predict delinquency before it happened? AI and ML technologies make that possibility a reality. Algorithms can use your risk level, credit scores and loan history to build a profile on you and predict how likely you are to miss future payments.
Predictive analytics lets financial institutions prepare backup plans like debt settlement or credit counseling to help you stay in good standing and avoid collections. Early intervention strategies increase the chances they get their return on investment while protecting your savings.
Usually, banks use stock templates to message you. They can tailor their communications with AI and ML. For example, they can send you unemployment resources if they notice your salary suddenly drops to zero for an extended period. This technology lets you receive context-specific recommendations from financial experts.
AI and ML technologies can build a risk profile on you using your credit score, loan history and financial behavior. They can also monitor global trends like e-commerce spending or interest rate fluctuation to see how likely people are to enter delinquency.
ML models can track whether you prefer to talk over the phone, email or text. Also, they can analyze your response to identify your mood. As a result, they can react accordingly and de-escalate high-tension situations.
If you’re like most people, you’ll like AI chatbots. According to a 2020 survey, around 41% of people have positive experiences with them, with 34% saying they provide valuable assistance. Being able to ask questions and get immediate responses is much better than sitting on hold.
Have you ever opened mail from your bank only to see confusing legal jargon? Many institutions have realized making their messages easier to understand will increase your chances of repaying. Consequently, they’ve adopted natural language processing, a kind of ML model.
You know what a natural language processing algorithm is, even if you haven’t heard the term. It reads and generates text like humans do — think of chatbots and generative AI. Banks can use this technology to make their messages easily understandable and more accessible.
How AI and ML Technologies Reshape Debt Recovery
Historically, debt recovery has been a tedious, drawn-out process. After you missed enough payments, your creditor would mail you reminders and warnings. They’d send your loan to a collection agency if you didn’t respond. Sometimes, they’d even take legal action to garnish your wages, forcing you to pay.
Creditors want to get paid and you don’t want to face a lawsuit — AI and ML models can help. These technologies are reshaping this lengthy back-and-forth, transforming it into something more convenient for both parties.
ML models can develop early intervention strategies based on custom, data-driven risk profiles. Instead of waiting to take action until loans become delinquent, financial institutions can be proactive. They can send personalized reminders or suggest steps you can take.
Debt identification is another technology reshaping recovery practices. Sometimes, creditors mix up customer details and contact the wrong person. Other times, collection agencies go after debt you’ve already discharged through bankruptcy. AI prevents this by automatically pulling up a data-based profile on you whenever banks need to reach out.
One of the most noticeable AI-driven changes involves communication. You no longer have to wait five to seven business days for every exchange. Chatbots and voicebots can solve the most common questions in minutes. Also, administrative algorithms speed up message processing.
Algorithms can provide context-specific solutions when it comes to actual debt recovery. AI’s ability to offer data-driven guidance almost instantaneously allows creditors to spend more time on your case. Instead of sending you straight to collections, they may take alternative actions.
How Does AI-Driven Debt Recovery Benefit You?
If you owe tens of thousands of dollars, you’re not alone. In the United States, the average household had $101,915 in debt in 2023. Nationwide, that amounts to over $17.1 trillion in total. Realistically, there’s a good chance your loans will become delinquent — meaning you should want a new and improved recovery process.
Most importantly, AI-driven debt recovery protects your savings. If your loans are delinquent for too long and end up in collections — or your creditor sues you to garnish your wages — you’re forced to give up what little you have. Intervention and communication ML models can help you stay up to date and offer alternatives before your situation gets to that point.
If you’re like most people, the stress of owing money gets to you. Fortunately, the convenience of modern technology can make things easier. You can get one from AI in seconds instead of waiting multiple business days for a human response about your debt. Arguably, peace of mind is more valuable than anything.
AI technology is one of the few solutions that benefits you as much as it does creditors. For one, it can increase your credit score because it helps prevent delinquency. Since 35% of your credit score depends on your payment history, a few missed bills can be damaging. At the very least, you maintain what you have instead of plummeting from a 745 to a 650 in a matter of months.
Generally, AI technology is also much fairer and more ethical than humans are. Your first instinct might be to doubt that fact, considering algorithms are, by definition, less human. However, they don’t judge based on looks, ethnicity, or voice — they only use facts and trends. As a result, their risk assessments, messages, and suggestions will be more relevant to you.
The Future Outlook of AI in Debt Recovery
In all likelihood, AI’s introduction into debt recovery will permanently change how creditors and collection agencies operate. After all, algorithms can process massive amounts of data in seconds, automatically carry out high-level tasks, respond to numerous people simultaneously, and recognize patterns humans can’t.
For now, you should expect improvements in customer experience, more personalized messages, and new quality-of-life features. Since implementation happens on the backend, the only noticeable changes will be convenience and response times. While creditors will use algorithms to improve their debt recovery, they probably won’t announce they’re using AI.
In the long term, AI and ML technologies will revolutionize how funds are given out and paid back. It will change how creditors communicate with you, what alternatives they offer, and how soon they send your loan to collections. Even though it will likely take years before the entire finance industry catches on, the change is practically inevitable.
AI and ML Technologies Are Transformative
You might find it challenging to believe AI and ML models could reshape the financial industry. Some people thought the same thing about the internet. Many creditors are already adopting these technologies, so it’s only a matter of time before they permanently transform ordinary debt recovery processes.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Karolina Grabowska; Pexels
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