Let’s face it: falling into debt can happen to anyone, and it comes with significant costs. We all know the stress of feeling lost, struggling to find our footing, and not knowing where to turn. In the debt collection industry, claiming to be sustainable means more than just empty words. We must stand alongside those who are facing challenges and ensure that the trust associated with offering credit is upheld. Failing to do so would result in higher costs for loans, credit cards, and even “buy now, pay later” options. At Kredinor, we have committed to shouldering our share of responsibility and always putting the customer first.
One thing that deeply troubles me is the prevalent approach of solely focusing on individual cases, as if it were a competition to be the first to engage the customer. It begs the question: should the most aggressive debt collector be the “winner”? Is using this aggressive approach as marketing strategy to gain more business a true measure of success? I believe it’s time for a paradigm shift.
At Kredinor, we have committed to shouldering our share of responsibility and always putting the customer first.
The United Nations has called upon businesses to wholeheartedly support their sustainability goals. When reading annual reports these days, it’s clear that the sustainability section has become the meat of the statement. However, we must pause and reflect on what the “S” in ESG truly means for the debt collection industry. Is “returning people back to financial inclusion” a sufficient KPI for social responsibility? Does the term “amicable collection” adequately convey the essence of our true performance to the outside world?
Let’s also delve into the idea of “ethical standards.” Is that framework robust enough to measure the impact of our actions? When we consider the alternatives, it’s clear that unethical practices are the polar opposite of what we stand for. Similarly, “amicable” implies friendliness and fairness, whereas its opposite—hostile or unfriendly—has no place in our industry. Ethical behavior should be a given; it’s the baseline expectation.
Does the term "amicable collection" adequately convey the essence of our true performance to the outside world?
This brings me to a critical point: clients and the industry as a whole need to critically assess the criteria for distinguishing between greenwashing and genuine sustainable performance. Lip service won’t cut it anymore.
Returning to my initial point, falling into debt can happen to anyone, burdening them with its weight. In my opinion, true sustainability in our industry can only be defined by the value we add to our customers’ lives. Are we adding to their burdens, or are we diligently working to set them free from debt as quickly and inexpensively as possible?
Are we merely solving individual cases, or are we actively addressing the underlying problem? Are we crafting comprehensive, holistic plans that consider all aspects, or are we simply trying to be first in line to get our piece of the pie? Are we alleviating stress and pain, or are we relentlessly pursuing debtors through various channels, driven solely by being “paid first”? Most importantly, what message are we sending to the world about our industry practices? What does our annual statement convey in terms of ESG? Are we genuinely sustainable, or are we just engaging in greenwashing?
By gaining a complete understanding of the problem, we can develop solutions that minimize costs, save time, and optimize the situation for our customers.
At Kredinor, we have rigorously scrutinized our practices, making tangible changes with more on the horizon. For instance, we now ensure that no additional fees are imposed on our customers. We have also eliminated unfavorable charges associated with establishing repayment plans. During Black Week, we even rebated fees to encourage people to prioritize repaying their outstanding debts instead of indulging in shopping sprees. Our next step involves empowering customers to see the bigger picture. That’s why we were the pioneers in integrating with Inkassoregisteret, a private initiative facilitating seamless data exchange across the industry. This consolidation allows customers to access a comprehensive statement encompassing all their outstanding debts. By gaining a complete understanding of the problem, we can develop solutions that minimize costs, save time, and optimize the situation for our customers. This, in my view, is the true embodiment of the “S” in ESG.
One of the greatest barriers to transitioning from greenwashing to genuine sustainable practices is the fear of losing revenue. It’s challenging to let go of something, even if it’s for a noble cause. However, I firmly believe that there is no alternative. Making money in an unsustainable manner simply doesn’t align with our values. Fortunately, numerous industries have proven that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand. I recall a previous company where, fifteen years ago, we debated the value of applying a green filter to our investments. Time has shown that it was not only the right decision but also a highly profitable one. Now, it’s time for the debt collection industry to follow suit. At Kredinor, we’re excited to lead the way.
Stay tuned for more groundbreaking actions and updates.