Mobile optimization has quickly become a hot topic for collection agencies now that consumers are accessing the web through mobile devices. 50% of mobile phones are now Smartphones and tablet devices have created a new niche all their own. With consumers quickly adapting to these new mobile devices and new ways of paying bills online collection agencies need to adapt their technology and interact with consumers where they are most comfortable, online.
Why is Mobile Important for Collection Agencies, Law Firms & Debt Buyers
As mobile technology becomes more ubiquitous among consumers the importance to be represented online through a mobile optimized site is becoming increasingly important. Branding Arc currently manages mobile optimized websites for popular collection agencies receiving hundreds of thousands of web visits each month. Over the past 18 months we have seen a sharp uptick in the percentage of web traffic coming from mobile devices. In early 2012 collection agencies were receiving an average of 10-15% of their web traffic from mobile devices. Since the beginning of 2013 this same segment has increased to 20-25% of traffic coming from Smartphones and tablets. We estimate that by the end of 2015 more than 50% of collection agency web traffic will come from mobile devices.
This dramatic traffic shift has prompted many of our clients to create mobile optimized versions of their website that users are automatically redirected to when they visit from mobile devices. Companies with mobile optimized sites are poised to take advantage of the opportunity to accept payments from mobile devices.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites
We are often approached by collection agencies asking if we can build a mobile app for them. We tend steer our clients away from developing expensive mobile apps (that only work on one kind of device) and concentrate on developing a mobile optimized version of their website instead. Developing a mobile version of their website allows users on any device to access the site and read the marketing information or make a payment from any device with an internet browser.
Custom mobile applications for Apple iOS or Android devices can be useful tools for your collection agencies business-to-business relationships. For collection agencies and law firms having a native app for consumers is ineffective and expensive. If you were the consumer, would you want to download an app from the collection agency? I highly doubt you would. A mobile website can be visited and forgotten within minutes.
Mobile applications are expensive to develop with prices for simple apps starting around $5,000 and potentially going above $100,000 depending on the functionality required. The development of a mobile website can start around $1,000 making it a far more economical choice for collection agencies and law firms.
Accepting Mobile Payments
One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile optimized website is the ability to collect payments on that site and increase your bottom-line results. Accepting payments from your mobile website can be simple when you are using a payment processor or collection management software that allows for website integration like BillingTree. Accepting mobile payments is a little different than regular desktop payments because mobile devices are more difficult and slower for the user. Whenever available, find custom mobile payment tools to make it as easy as possible for consumers to make payments online.
QR codes can be used to allow consumers to scan a code on dunning letters directing them to the collection agencies mobile optimized website to make a payment right from their Smartphone. With over 20 million QR codes scanned each month consumers are clearly comfortable with the new technology. Collection agencies, law firms and debt buyers should all be ready to start accepting these payments.