For the credit services industry (and particularly those parts of the industry whose activities include tracing customers with whom organisations have lost contact), changes to the housing market over recent years have had significant implications. The high loan-to-value mortgages and interest-only deals that were common prior to the 2008 downturn have now either disappeared completely or have become an extreme rarity. This means greater numbers of people are living in short term rental arrangements or else are living with parents or other family members under informal arrangements for longer periods of time. For the consumer credit industry, this means it is often harder to differentiate genuine ‘goneaway’ scenarios from those situations where an individual is intentionally ignoring all attempts to make contact.
This has led to the development of what is referred to as ‘smart-data’-based tracing solutions. Whilst such solutions can provide a useful tool in those situations where an organisation is seeking to re-establish contact with an individual, they have their limitations (especially if used in isolation). What’s more, as Wescot points out, there is a marked correlation between the growth of these products and the incidence of mis-tracing. The company places a strong emphasis on treating customers fairly, which means it understands the need for organisations to pay due care and attention to the source and accuracy of the data they hold on customers and how they check and then go on to use that data. Avoiding mis-trace scenarios is an important part of this.
One potential cause of high mis-trace levels is the fact that the majority of organisations use the same type of credit reference agency (CRA) trace lead-generation data tools. It is very often the case that the same data sources are accessed on multiple occasions. If that information happens to be incorrect, it is easy for multiple mis-traces to occur. Wescot welcomes the fact that CRAs are taking steps to address this problem. One useful idea devised by the CRAs is a shared information line to deal with those instances where a mis-trace is identified. In such circumstances, all CRAs will be able to update their records to highlight incorrect data. This should reduce the chances of repeated mis-traces against an individual. For businesses looking for a locate solution with a proven track record, Wescot is worth serious consideration. The company combines tracing expertise with up-to-date validation processes to deliver results on behalf of clients and to treat customers fairly.