What do a data breach and a television commercial about car insurance have in common? More than you think.
The data breach at a collection agency that has exposed the personal and financial information of more than 20 million consumers sent tidal waves through the credit and collection industry. Agencies are receiving questions, audits, and more from their clients, seeking to make sure that they don’t end up on the front page of the news, in front of a Congressional hearing, or the defendant in dozens of class-action lawsuits. Not unsurprisingly, the agency at the center of the breach has filed for bankruptcy protection because the costs of notifying millions of consumers and paying for outside security experts is costing the company a fortune.
One of the topics that was discussed during the webinar was the debate over buying an off-the-shelf system vs. building a proprietary platform. While there are pros and cons to both options, one of the big pros associated with buying and one of the big cons associated with building is accountability. When an agency buys a system, it is relying on the expertise and assertions being made by the company selling the product or service. When building your own system, an agency is out on its own island, with nobody to help them.
This is where the car insurance part comes in. There are no shortage of car insurance commercials on television these days, but one of the better series is from Farmer’s, where they talk about their experience. “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two,” the tagline of the commercial says [Farmers Insurance TV Commercial, ‘Hall of Claims: Abstract Accident’ - iSpot.tv].
The same can be said of technology providers in the accounts receivable management industry. They work with dozens of collection agencies and it is unlikely there is anything that would shock or surprise them anymore. That is the kind of partner you want at a time when everyone and their mother is scrutinizing your information technology infrastructure. Being able to rely on a company that has seen and handled it all can go a long way toward providing your clients — and yourself — with the peace of mind you need to sleep at night.