Data Sharing With Your Competition

*GASP* Data Sharing with Your Competition?

Litigation runs high in the collection world. The many regulations and regulatory bodies to contend with creates a minefield for agencies: FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, UDAAP, CFPB…

A lot of litigious action stems from consumer complaints regarding attempting to contact the wrong person. If an agency attempts to call a number 100 times and on the 101st attempt finds out it is not even the correct party, it can be setting itself up for an FDCPA claim. It would be much easier if the agency had the right contact information in the first place, but how can they reliably know it’s the correct information before they dial? If you’re collecting as a secondary tier agency, it might very well be that the agency who had the account before you knows exactly that.

But wouldn’t that mean data sharing with a competitor? Gasp!

Although that goes against the historical ways of doing business, constant scrutiny combined with dollars spent on compliance tools, litigation and fines means agencies must come together for the greater good of the industry. There are those who will be skeptical, but there has been success in data sharing among competitors in other industries. In an article about sharing clinical trial data in the pharmaceutical industry, it was noted that embracing the positives from data sharing with your competitors comes in stages:

  • Stage 1. “We see merit in the idea, but we also see many ways it could go wrong.”
  • Stage 2. “We need to do something before external entities impose a data sharing framework on us.”
  • Stage 3. “We’re excited to be at the forefront of creating policies and processes to make this work.”
  • Stage 4. “This may not be the final state of things, but here’s what has been working for us.”

I think the collection industry is at Stage 2, on the brink of Stage 3. Want to talk through this blog or share your opinion on data sharing? Connect with Julie Anderson on LinkedIn.

Julie Anderson

Author: Julie Anderson

Julie is our Manager of Operations and comes from a background in debt collection and technology. While not at work, Julie appreciates a good read and heading north to enjoy cabin life with family.