Welcome 2018!

By on January 5th, 2018 in Company News, Culture

Happy New Year! As we look back at 2017, we are thankful for a year full of growth for the company and for our team.  We hit some amazing milestones that could not have been possible without a smart, strong, passionate and dedicated team.

December is a month of celebrations, and we had an amazing holiday party to end the year.  We shed our casual work attire and had fun dressing to the nines and dancing the night away.

Of course, December is also a great time to give back and help those less fortunate.  We partnered with the San Francisco Fire Department for their Annual SFFD Holiday Toy Drive and were able to provide gifts to a number of program recipients. There are a few of us here at TrueAccord who benefitted from this program as kids, so it was awesome to see things come full circle. The SFFD Toy Program has been in operation since 1949 and strives to ensure all kids have a great holiday season full of toys. The team loved the idea of giving back and we hope to do more events like this in the future.

Our team continues to grow, we welcomed the final hires for 2017: Aviv Peretz, Senior Data Scientist / Cherlynne Serafino-King, Talen Acquisition Partner /Rocky Chau, Customer Engagement Specialist

Looking forward to what 2018 has in store.

Life at TrueAccord: November Edition

By on December 8th, 2017 in Company News, Culture

It’s been a really busy month for us at TrueAccord, and we’re a little late in posting, we almost can’t believe it’s December.  We’ve had some incredible highlights from November, the biggest was closing our Series B, which is going to help us grow our team and continue with our mission to change the debt collection space for good.  We have tons of open positions, and lots more coming next year.

Our team continues to grow, with a bunch of new team members coming on board: Marques Moore (Front Office Assistant), Jacob Hunt (Integration Engineer), Juan Gonzalez (Integration Engineer), Robert Rodriguez (Customer Success Manager), Jas Kao (Client Success Specialist), and Young Xu (Product Manager).

Of course, we always take the time for our happy hours and celebrating!  Nothing says November more than pumpkins and turkey.

As the weather cools down and the holiday season is just around the corner, we took some time to warm up with some jazz, sweets and hot chocolate.

TrueAccord Closes $22M Series B

By on November 14th, 2017 in Company News, Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

Debt Collections Technology Company Builds on Early Success for Sustained Growth and Innovation

November 14, San Francisco, CA – TrueAccord, the company driving transformation in the debt collection market, announced today that is has closed $22M in additional funding.  Arbor Ventures led the round, with participation from existing and new investors, Nyca Investment Partnership, Assurant Growth Investing, Caffeinated Capital Fund, Felicis Venture, TenOneTen and Crystal Towers. The Series B funding follows a period of sustained and rapid growth for TrueAccord which is providing exceptional customer experience for consumers in debt for nationally recognized financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders, and technology companies increase their recovery rates.

This additional investment will fund TrueAccord’s strategic growth initiatives, including ongoing product development and innovation of its customer-focused platform, providing world-class audit and compliance functionality, continued expansion into vertical markets, client acquisition and retention, and hiring.

“TrueAccord is redefining the debt collections industry through a digital approach for debt recovery. It is achieving higher customer engagement, satisfaction, and recovery rates through its data-driven platform, which tailors the collection process to individual consumer preferences,” said Melissa Guzy, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Arbor Ventures. “This unique approach is making a positive impact on an overlooked industry, ripe for innovation, impacting a major societal issue by empowering many of the estimated 77 million people in debt, to get on a path to better financial health.”

Since closing its Series A round in 2015, TrueAccord has reached a number of significant milestones, including:

  • Customer Expansion: Between 2016 and 2017, TrueAccord grew the accounts it collects by 2.5x with more than 2.0 million customers on its platform since inception.
  • Strong ROI: TrueAccord has demonstrated exceptional recovery results beating traditional agencies’ debt collection rates by a minimum of 50% to upwards of 500%.
  • Client Acquisition: TrueAccord’s clients include top 10 issuers, leading creditors, and technology companies such as Yelp! and LendUp with more than $1.5 billion of debt flowing through the platform since 2014.

“It was the personal experience of dealing with a debt collector that made me realize the traditional collections industry was ripe for disruption with technology innovation and a more human approach,” said Ohad Samet, Chief Executive Officer of TrueAccord. “With changing consumer preferences, strong regulatory support for innovation, and clients who understand a customer-focus collection process is good for their business, we’re experiencing tremendous demand from the market. We are seizing this opportunity to use machine learning to humanize debt collection for good.”

About Arbor Ventures

Arbor Ventures is a global early-stage venture capital firm focused on shaping the way the world transacts by investing in early-stage companies at the intersection of financial services, big data, and digital commerce, through partnering with extraordinary founders, and accelerating the growth of next gen FinTech, facilitated by unparalleled strategic networks.

About TrueAccord

Founded in 2013, TrueAccord’s data-driven debt collection platform is disrupting the collections industry by helping businesses collect more debt online than traditional methods. True Accord’s platform is powered by machine learning with a decision engine that analyzes consumer behavior and delivers personalized experiences by communicating with consumers at the right time in the right channel with payment options that meet their needs. TrueAccord is providing exceptional recovery rates for top 10 financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders, and technology companies, and is empowering many of the estimated 77 million consumers who are in debt every year to get on a path to better financial health.  To learn more, visit TrueAccord.

 

Press Inquiries:

Sandy Pfaff, Pfaff PR

sandy@pfaffpr.com

415-819-7447

Life at TrueAccord: October Edition

By on November 2nd, 2017 in Company News, Culture

October has been chalk full of fun, continued growth, and a few firsts here at TrueAccord.  Our weekly themed happy hours continue, and this month we had a wine and cheese tasting, introducing our pallets to some French wines to swirl and sniff for a much-needed break in the middle of the week.

With our rapid growth, we are looking to grow our team and attended a few career fairs, including the SF LGTB fair at LinkedIn.

Another first, we hosted an SF Bay Area Machine Learning meetup at our office and had a packed house of 110 attendees, lots of networking, tech talks, and of course great food and beer.  Meetups are a huge part of the SF tech culture and a great way to talk about what we do by bringing in a crowd into our office to help our hiring and brand awareness efforts.  Check out Chief Innovation Officer/co-founder, Nadav Samet talk about how we use machine learning to humanize debt collection.

We added quite a few new members, soon will be entering the triple digits!

Lauren Sawicki, Director of collections, Parris Preston, Customer Support Specialist, Veronica Tong, Data Entry Specialist, Marc Jackson, Technical Recruiter, Patsy Cunningham, Compliance Auditor, Yelizaveta Geurkova, Customer Support Specialist, Trisha Cole, Customer Support Specialist, Karina Munoz, Customer Support Specialist, and James Reynolds, Customer Support Specialist.

The Voice of the Consumer: Motivation to Pay Off the Debt

By on October 31st, 2017 in Debt Collection, Industry Insights, User Experience

Today, data science and analytics are empowering organizations to analyze user behavior and create better user experiences that drive success.  Big data and scale are top of mind as companies compete for market share and aim to deliver the best user experience possible. While powerful tools and testing can tell us a lot about what users want and how they interact with applications, features, and content, neither tells the whole story. It is still important to talk to your users in a traditional sense, by picking up the phone and having a conversation to understand how they feel and ask questions that data cannot fully answer. 

At TrueAccord we touch millions of consumers by empowering them to pay off their debt and reach financial health through a personalized, digital, self-managed process.  We are providing a powerful platform that is connecting our customers and consumers in debt during a sensitive process.  We are constantly testing and improving our product for better engagement and conversion, but when it comes to questions like, “how does it feel to be in this situation?” or “did you experience collections with other agencies? If yes, what was the process like and how did it make you feel?”, the only way to get valuable feedback is to have a conversation with consumers.  Their answers help us form an understanding of our users’ needs and shape more quantitative research. We want to understand how our users think and feel so we can better serve them. 

Meet a few of the consumers that have recently used TrueAccord for their debt repayment process:

Stacy: from suspicion to delight

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Stacy is a 29-year-old, married woman with one child and works in the medical field.

Do you remember when you received your first TrueAccord Email?

I was surprised to get an email, it wasn’t the usual process that I had experienced with other collections agencies.  So at first I ignored them and didn’t open them, but when I finally opened and read it, and did a little research on the company, I realized how easy this was going to be.  I could see my total balance, pick a payment plan and do everything online. It was so refreshing to have an easy and friendly process.  I love that it was digital, that’s what I’m used to with other services, and it really made it stress-free to manage the process myself and not to have to talk to anyone.

Have you ever dealt with traditional agencies?

Yes, I had previous debt, I got letters in the mail, so I called in good faith, I know I owed the money and wanted to pay it off, and they made everything so difficult and were incredibly unprofessional.  I wasted more than 30 minutes of my time talking to them, it was so frustrating.  

What can we do better?

It would be great to have some tools and content to learn how to manage my credit and budget. Sometimes when you’re in debt you may not know where to start and then it’s easy to just ignore the problem.  There are a lot of tools out there, it’s just making it top of mind is important.

Josh: sometimes all you need is a reminder

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Josh is 27 years old, engaged, lives in Colorado Springs, has a 4-year degree and works in digital marketing.

Can you tell me a bit about the situation you were in?

It was a dispute with a ticket reseller, and I was going back and forth with them regarding the issue, but it was taking a while and getting frustrating.  It was an honest mistake on my part that just turned out to be expensive. Then all of a sudden, I received an email from TrueAccord.

What did it feel like to receive the first TrueAccord email?

Honestly, I was surprised that they sent me to collections so fast, but I liked the fact that I could take care of it online, it felt more professional and user-friendly.  I paid it off right away, I didn’t want to have it impact my credit in a negative way.  

Have you dealt with other collections agencies, what was the process like?

I had medical debt previously that I had to deal with, it was a very frustrating process, they called me all the time, sent letters, called my employer, it felt like there ware no limits on what they could do. I needed someone to work with me and help me through the process.  

What was your experience with TrueAccord?

I was very impressed with TrueAccord, it was so easy to use, everything was digital and the communications were professional.  I could see my account overview, decide how and when to pay and do everything online. Getting a phone call in this age is so outdated, and easy to ignore.  The fact that I could do it online motivated me to pay faster.

Do you have any feedback for us?

Continue to do what you’re doing, keep it easy and digital, adding humans to the process adds an embarrassing element and frustration, it just adds emotion that is not helpful during this process.  People respond to being treated well and respected and given options that are on their terms.

What about learning more about how to manage debt?

I think when you’re younger you need to understand more about credit, if not managed well it can negatively impact your finances, so having more information on the site would be a great opportunity to help educate people.  

Vera: a positive process in hard times

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Vera is 30 years old, single, lives in Flower Mound, Texas, and works in digital advertising.

Tell me a bit more about the debt?

It was a payday loan, and I hit a rough time and couldn’t make the payments.  I’ve had other times where I was in debt, it’s not a great feeling, it hangs over you.

Did the original creditor try to collect from you?

They did, it wasn’t easy, they called me and I ignored the calls, in order to pay I had to call them, and I just didn’t feel like it.  

What happened when you were contacted by TrueAccord?

When I received my first email from TrueAccord, I began paying within a week.  The fact that it was digital had a lot to do with it, the process was positive, easy and I was ready to pay and put the debt behind me. Not having to talk to someone makes it a better experience. I use a lot of other apps, it’s just what I expect these days.

Have you used other resources for learning about debt or managing finances?

I use several apps: Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, WalletHub, I also like the Reddit forums, there is a lot of information about debt out there, and it’s easy to talk to strangers online where you’re anonymous.  For me, debt is a private issue so it’s not something I would widely talk about, just with close friends and family.

Richard: ease of use made the difference

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Richard, 35 years old, single, lives in Seattle and works in technology

Do you remember getting your first TrueAccord email?

I got an email and I paid my debt within the week.  It’s not a great feeling to be in debt, no matter how small the amount is.  

What was your experience with other agencies?

The process is always so time-consuming and difficult, they always call or just sent letters in the mail, these days that is not an experience I want to deal with.

How was your experience with TrueAccord?

TrueAccord was spectacular, I could just sit in front of my computer and take care of it.

Do you have any feedback for us?

Continue to work with people, help them if they need it.  Giving them the ability to do things online is easy to manage and convenient.  I think having options is helpful, choosing payment plan vs paying it off in a lump sum, flexibility is so important.

This is the first time I have ever had a call from an agency after having debt, it feels great to be asked for feedback.  Shows you genuinely care about what you’re doing and the people you work with.

What other financial services do you use or like?

I use Mint, Credit Karma, and my bank’s financial management tools.  I know how to manage my debt, but sometimes you can still get into trouble.  The are also a lot of blogs out there, so the content is there, but sharing with people during this time might be a good way to help them, people don’t always want to talk about this issue, or have someone to talk to.

Our users have strong opinions

From these conversations, it’s clear how much digital, self-managed experiences drive a more positive, trusted, and easy interaction for both sides.  How we feel has a lot to do with how we act, and by empowering consumers to make their own decisions and giving them the control and flexibility they want, we see they are more motivated to engage and pay.  Continuing the conversation, testing, and data analysis are at the forefront of what we do.   We are going to continue to bring great user experiences and new features to improve and enhance the TrueAccord experience to help consumers reach financial health.  

 

Consumer in Crisis: What To Do When Disaster Strikes

By on October 24th, 2017 in Company News, Culture, Debt Collection, Industry Insights, User Experience

Hurricanes, wildfires, floods. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of natural disasters in the past few months. Sometimes, disasters are more personal such as losing a job, losing a loved one or facing an unexpected medical condition. When these crises happen, financial institutions and debt collectors want to do whatever they can to ease the burden, if only for a short time. The key? Communicating early, communicating often, and asking for relief whenever it is available.

It may be hard to imagine that our bank or lender cares about our circumstances. That is often not true. Financial institutions work within communities and understand the need to support them. That’s true for debt collection as well.

The premise we work with is that people want to pay their debt, they just need the right tools. They also need to be treated like people which is why we offer personalized approaches to each customers’ unique situation.

When paying debt is not possible, it’s in everyone’s interest to find other solutions. At TrueAccord, many clients proactively ask us to stop collecting in crisis-struck areas, and we often do so ourselves. Hardship programs allow us to provide longer and even more flexible payment plans, delay collection attempts and sometimes pause collection efforts for a long period of time.

Many consumers don’t hear about these options – or even consider that there may be another solution available to them – because they choose to disengage with financial institutions and debt collectors. This can make a bad situation worse. We, and your bank, may not be aware of your situation. We understand that calling us may be the last thing on your mind. That’s why you can email us, and in some cases text or write to us on social media. Reaching out will allow you to get in front of the situation early. For your financial institution, it will help them support you sooner and more effectively.

If you are in a crisis, talk to your bank, talk to TrueAccord, and explore your options. While we may not be able to solve every problem, we’re here to help as much as we can.

 

Life at TrueAccord: September Edition

By on October 2nd, 2017 in Company News, Culture

September has been a busy month at TrueAccord. We wanted to share some of the highlights as we take a break from it all and enjoy some themed food and drinks at our weekly happy hour. Since September in SF is one of the nicest months, we took our happy hour to a rooftop BBQ in SOMA, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold on to summer for a bit longer and enjoy a great evening with our coworkers.

We are also growing quickly, all our teams are expanding, and we added some key hires in September to help us delight our customers and build a platform for financial health. We added David Han (Implementation Manager), Tim Collins (Chief Compliance Officer), Gopi Karunamoorthy (Accounting Assistant), Adam Gomez (Senior People Operations Associate), Matt Botts (Customer Success Manager), Lilia Paz (Customer Engagement Specialist) Nick Bright (Customer Engagement Specialist), Tyler Watt (Customer Engagement Specialist). Come work with us!

Yelp Partners with TrueAccord to Deliver Digital Collections and Streamline Data Loop for Customer Engagement

By on September 28th, 2017 in Company News, Debt Collection, Industry Insights, User Experience

Highlights:

“TrueAccord saved our collections team tons of time, the integration with their system was fast and easy, without needing to do tedious, manual tasks.”

“Our company goal is to grow a large, loyal and happy customer base. TrueAccord’s digital collections process supports our goals by extending a great user experience to the collections process.”

“Digital, personalized collections are driving high engagement rate.”

“With TrueAccord we have timely data into customer standing.”

Challenge:

Yelp was founded in 2004 and is now one of the largest platforms to connect people with great local businesses. Traditional agencies required a lot of man-hours and manual processes.  Yelp faced several challenges with the traditional agencies; first, they required a manual process to transfer debt accounts, which was both time-consuming and tedious, requiring lots of forms and faxes being sent, lacking automation and data tracking functionality that Yelp required for business success.  Second, the agencies were employing traditional collections tactics that did not adhere to Yelp’s values.

 Why TrueAccord:

Yelp was looking for a collections agency that would increase recovery rates and help the collections team save time by automating the account transfer process as well as deliver great consumer experiences to support their brand and customer satisfaction. They needed a data-driven collections process that would streamline the visibility into consumer account status, so they could better serve their customers and run their business.

“TrueAccord’s digital collections process was a natural fit for Yelp,” says Parker Asche, Senior Collections Analyst. Yelp’s customers are used to digital interaction, and TrueAccord’s consumer-centric, digital collections process was an extension of our business practices.

Benefits:

“TrueAccord saved our collections team tons of time, the integration with their system is fast and easy, without needing to do tedious, manual tasks.” TrueAccord makes it easy for Yelp to continuously feed new account data into the system, without burdening their collections team with paperwork, saving the team time to focus on business objectives.  The quick transfer and collections process helps their business to continuously keep their customers engaged.

Consumer preferences are changing, and they demand a modern approach to communications. TrueAccord enabled Yelp to reach their customers via a communication method they prefer and engage with, and empower them with the ability to self-service themselves. Yelp is using TrueAccord to deliver engaging digital user experiences for their customers.

About Yelp:

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across 32 countries. By the end of Q2 2017, Yelpers had written approximately 135 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Approximately 28 million unique devices* accessed Yelp via the Yelp app, approximately 74 million unique visitors visited Yelp via mobile web** and approximately 83 million unique visitors visited Yelp via desktop*** on a monthly average basis during the Q2 2017. For more information, please visit http://www.yelp.com or send an email to press@yelp.com.

* Calculated as the number of unique devices accessing the app on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period, according to internal Yelp logs.
** Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via mobile website on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period.
*** Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via desktop computer on an average monthly basis over a given three-month period.

Press Release: Tim Collins Joins TrueAccord as Chief Compliance Officer

By on September 25th, 2017 in Company News, Compliance

TrueAccord, the debt collections technology company, has hired Tim Collins as Chief Compliance Officer. TrueAccord’s platform is powered by machine learning that uses a consumer centric, data-driven approach to help businesses recover more debt online than traditional methods. Collins joins TrueAccord from Convergent Outsourcing, where he was General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer since 2013.  

Collins has more than 25 years of experience in collections, having held leadership roles in legal and compliance at various financial organizations, including Hyundai Capital America where he established a comprehensive compliance system across all areas of the business. In his new role at TrueAccord, Collins will oversee the company’s legal and compliance practices to meet the requirements of the highly regulated debt collections industry.

“Having an industry veteran such as Tim join our team is a testament to the strength of our business and the major clients we represent, as well as our vision for how to transform collections for good,” said Ohad Samet, Chief Executive Officer. “The top 10 banks and lenders who use TrueAccord demand the highest level of compliance. Tim’s deep and relevant expertise will ensure we consistently meet and exceed their expectations.”

“After following TrueAccord for the past few years, I have been intrigued by their unique approach to debt collection, an industry that in my experience is ripe for disruption,” said Tim Collins, Chief Compliance Officer. “With an inspiring vision, a strong product, and an exceptional management team, TrueAccord is well-positioned for accelerated growth and investment. I look forward to contributing to the company’s continued success and to helping shape the future of the collections industry.”

Collins received his JD from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Iowa’s Tippee College of Business. Collins is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego Law School where he teaches seminars on in-house corporate practice; and he also serves on the Federal Affairs Committee for ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collections Professionals.

About True Accord

Founded in 2013, TrueAccord’s data-driven debt collection platform is disrupting the collections industry by helping businesses collect more debt online than traditional methods. The platform is powered by machine learning, with a decision engine that analyzes consumer behavior and delivers personalized consumer experiences by communicating at the right time in the right channel with payment options that meet their needs. TrueAccord is providing exceptional recovery rates for top 10 financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders and technology companies, and is empowering many of the estimated 77 million consumers who are in debt every year to get on a path to better financial health. To learn more, go to: www.trueaccord.com.

Industry Expert Says: Phone Calls Are Dying

By on September 12th, 2017 in Compliance, Debt Collection, Industry Insights, Machine Learning

Yesterday, in an article on InsideARM.com, Tim Bauer, the President of InsideARM, described a somber state of affairs:

The TCPA and the 2015 FCC Rules interpreting the act have effectively eliminated the use of technology to efficiently call cell phones. Land line usage is dropping like an anchor. The CFPB is on the brink of announcing proposed debt collection rules that are likely to reduce the number of call attempts that can be made. Now, add this latest call blocking technology and the industry is challenged again.

This is a strong statement from a prominent thought leader in the debt collection industry. Mr. Bauer pointed out many efforts by different regulatory agencies and how they impact call centers: “anecdotal reports of right party connects down by 15-30%”, as the FCC includes debt collection calls as an “unwanted call” category in it’s “robocall” blocking initiatives.

At TrueAccord, we agree. The industry has been seeing tremendous pressure on its ability to call consumers efficiently, not only because of regulatory pressure – this pressure is driven by consumer preference, and the fact that consumers often opt to not pick up the phone, not to mention opening a letter. As strong advocates for technology in debt collection, with our CEO now part of the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board, we will continue to support forward thinkers such as Mr. Bauer and others who call for the use of new technologies in debt collection. It is the consumer friendly, smart, and efficient approach for the 21st century, and we strongly encourage our peers in this industry to begin adopting and utilizing these channels in preparation for the CFPB’s expected Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, expected later this year.