Kirk Brinks of Merchant Processing Advisors Discusses Payment and Safety Options Available to Collection Agencies
Collection agencies do have choices when it comes to merchant services
It has become a fact of life that the average person carries around with them a high amount of debt, This feature of modern life, when coupled with the recent economic turbulence, has led to a marked increase in the number of debt collection agencies as more and more individuals stopped paying what they owe. In 2016, there were 8,514 collection agencies open for business and employing 124,351 people in total. Recovering debts owed has become big business as the revenue total for the industry was a staggering $11 billion. (1) Yet for all the need for collection agencies, most banks refuse to open accounts with them due to the fact that they consider such businesses to be high risk. Despite this perception of having nowhere to turn for payment processing services, experienced merchant consultants, such as Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado, know that collection agencies actually do have options available to them for payment services and security.
Debt collection agencies are definitely a growing industry due to several factors. The first is that the average person now carries a significant amount of debt. The average family in the United States that has credit card debts owes a whopping $16,061. The amount of debt that the normal household carries has increased due to expenses outpacing income. Overall, household income has increased by 28% since 2003, but the expenses that families face have increased even more so. Food and beverage costs has gone up by 36% while medical costs have skyrocketed by a full 57% during the same time span. (2) Employment has been shaky as well over the last decade. The real unemployment rate went up from 8.4% in 2006 to a high of 16.7% in 2010. (3) Such factors have led many individuals to default on their legally owed payments, which has led to a rise in collection agencies opening up for business. In 2013 alone, there were 30 million Americans with a debt in collection or subject to collection. (4) Independent account consultants, such as Merchant Processing Advisors, know that another factor in the rise of collection agencies is that they can operate from any location, such as a person’s home or even their vehicle, due to modern technology.
It is true that many banks will not provide services for collection agencies due to their perceived high risk nature. Such a circumstance need not derail the aspirations of those looking to open a debt collection business. Experienced merchant consultants, such as Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado, can now offer a wide range of available services for such businesses. This is done by shopping around many different merchant account providers and finding those that are the perfect fit and who offer the best services and rates. The modern financial world means that the collection agency owner is no longer forced to only deal with their local bank as that merchant account providers from all around the world are only a mouse click away. This increased competition means lower rates than that of a traditional banking institution would offer to a collection agency.
The technology of today allows for collection agencies to accept payments through a variety of means. Independent merchant account consultants, such as Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado, can find merchant account providers that offer card-not-present transactions to allow payments to be processed over the phone. A smart phone, tablet, or laptop is all that is needed to access virtual terminals and payment gateways for processing debt collection payments, which means that a collection agency can operate from virtually any location. Such processed payments are fully secure, allowing for peace of mind for both the debt collector and the individual making good on what they owe.
Kirk Brinks of Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado, notes, “Collection agencies have become a major industry in the United States over the last couple of decades, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue. The rising costs of daily life, coupled with economic uncertainties, have led many people to default on what they owe. Despite how collection agencies are portrayed in the media, they offer a vital service, allowing businesses to recoup some return on what they were owed, and they also help out those from whom they are collecting from. A debt that is paid, even on a fractional basis, can help turn one’s credit rating around. Unlike in years past where a collection agency was forced to deal with the local bank, who may not even offer them an account, the rise of the internet allows merchant account providers from around the world to compete for the company’s business. Collection agencies can choose multiple options for processing payments, such as virtual terminals and payment gateways. Even better is that such payments are secure and encrypted. Another important service we look to find for our clients is that of protection. There is always the possibility of fraud or a chargeback when trying to collect a debt, so we seek out merchant account providers who offer specialized features that protect against such occurrences. The reality is that the owner of a collection agency now has quite a few choices at their fingertips to choose from, and we work hard to find them every available option that suits their needs.” (5)
Overall, the debt collection industry is booming and features a solid profit potential. Modern electronic technology allows collection agencies to bypass local lending institutions that don’t cater to their needs to find merchant account providers that are happy and willing to work with them. Experienced account consultants, such as Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado, can scour the globe to find the best payment processors that offer a plethora of services, from fraud protection to card-not-present transactions. Collection agencies now have choices and are no longer shackled to the local bank down the street.
5) Quote from Kirk Brinks of Merchant Processing Advisors of Aspen, Colorado