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Chris Smith | 20 February, 2024

Why a System of Record is essential to comply with the TCPA

Regularly communicating with customers throughout their collections journey is key to guiding them back to financial good health, but must be done mindfully and without being seen as predatory.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a regulation that balances these two factors. By being compliant, you can be confident that your communications are received as supportive rather than unnecessary.

What are the key requirements of the TCPA?

Adhering to do-not-call lists

Subsections (c)(2)) and (d)) of the TCPA focus on the importance of do-not-call lists in relation to customer communications. They state that customers who have opted into either nationwide or company specific do-not-call registries must not be contacted. This is to be “honored indefinitely,” or until the customer requests to be removed from either list. In collections, this often describes a specific channel that institutions must avoid using to be compliant.

Following strict guidelines surrounding voice calls and SMS messages

Subsection (a)(9)(iii)) of the TCPA outlines strict guidelines that financial institutions must adhere to when leaving voice or SMS messages for customers. The caller must clearly state the name and contact information of the institution, be concise (one minute or less for voice calls), and cannot send more than three messages (whether by voice call or text message) per event over a three-day period for an affected account.

Only contacting customers during designated hours

Subsection (c)(1)) outlines that financial institutions can only contact customers during designated hours. This is between 8 A.M. and 9 P.M. of their local time. Any call outside of these hours will be a clear breach of the TCPA.

Why a System of Record is necessary, even if you’re fully compliant

Without a centralized System of Record (SoR), it’s impossible to manage each facet of customer communications. This is especially the case as your accounts grow; you need to manage a growing number of channels, contact frequencies and time zones to be compliant with the TCPA.

On top of that, it’ll be difficult to collect evidence of your communications for the FCC in the case of an audit. Even if you’ve been completely compliant in your communications, you need to be able to showcase it to them. And without an SoR, this becomes unnecessarily challenging and can land you in hot water as a result.

Configurable platforms are a dynamic System of Record solution

Configurable platforms support a wide number of system integrations that enhance the capabilities of an SoR to produce a dynamic and compliant collections solution. Centralized data, omnichannel communications and AI systems make it simple to enforce the guidelines of the TCPA across all of your communications.

  • Centralized data - A configurable platform stores all data in a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) system. This makes TCPA compliance easier to manage as you have clear visibility of your customer communications. Additionally, this system helps you easily provide the FCC with evidence of compliance in the case of an audit.
  • Omnichannel communications - Configurable platforms store your customer’s contact preferences and integrate with your preferred omnichannel system. This accommodates their preference of contact and ensures compliance with the TCPA.
  • AI and automation - AI and automation systems can manage basic customer communications to be inline with the TCPA’s requirements. This includes avoiding specific channels customers have opted out of, or sending customers communications within the 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. period of their local time zone. This gives your team more time to focus on your customers and minimizes the risk of human error.

Make it easier to comply with the TCPA with C&R Software

When communicating with your customers, you need to follow strict guidelines to make sure you’re compliant and are providing a customer-centric service. To achieve this, you need a dynamic SoR solution that makes it easier to comply with the TCPA and other related regulations.

At C&R Software, our industry leading Debt Manager platform makes compliance simple with centralized and easily accessible data. You can manage all of your customer communications in the same place with automatic compliance checks and AI systems to automate basic communications. You can be confident in your TCPA compliance while freeing up time for your team to dedicate towards your growing accounts.

To find out more about Debt Manager and how it can help you be compliant in your communications, contact a member of our team today.

 Chris Smith
About the author

Chris Smith

Having spent his entire career in the credit and collections space, Chris Smith started out building and implementing collection strategies before leading product teams. Now the Vice President of Product at C&R Software, he supports organizations in a variety of countries and industries achieve their ROI goals. Chris is an analytically-driven product leader, specializing in defining and executing product strategy and positioning to drive business growth.

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