Would you use a mobile tag in a debt collection letter or receivables document? Do you even know what a Mobile Tag is? I didn’t until I read “Tag, You’re It!” – How Mobile Tags Can Help in Debt Collection in the October 4th issue of InsideARM.com. From there I went to the Internet to learn more about the technology and its many uses. In an industry that’s skittish about trying new technology for fear of raising compliance issues, I’m sure NL members and clients, and anyone involved in debt collection would be happy to read what you think about this possible new collection tool.
A Brief History
Mobile tagging was developed in 2003, but caught on first in Asia. In 2009, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Tag format that uses their High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) standard. Unlike most 2D barcodes, which use black-and-white square pixels, HCCBs are based on colors in a triangle-based arrangement. (See illustration.) Now you can find them everywhere: in newspapers, magazines, direct-mail pieces, retail stores, product packaging and websites—anyplace where a company or even an individual wants to provide an instant electronic link to a web page, smart phone, database, video, application download, payment channel, etc.
How They Work
Mobile tags or QR codes are two dimensional barcodes that can be read using the camera on smart phones with tag reader capabilities (most apps are available for free online). There are a lot of competitors offering this technology, and I don’t know enough to recommend one over the other, but Microsoft’s website provided me with this simple explanation: “With Microsoft Tag, you can extend your marketing [or collection efforts] to mobile phones with just two simple tools: Tag Manager and Tag app. You use Tag Manager to create Tags and run reports showing when and where they’re being used. The free Tag app is the only thing your customers need to scan all your Tags.” With a tag reader app, when you do scan a tag on your smart phone, it can do all of the things listed above, including dialing a phone number.
The producers of the tag readers are working to develop solutions that will increase the number of compatible mobile phones. Most providers offer free software downloads directly onto your mobile device or PC. Many providers also offer users a generator for creating their own codes.
But Should We Use them?
According to Mike McDonnell of DANTOM Systems, “Collection agencies, and the companies that use them, should consider taking advantage of mobile tags, especially as consumers rely more on their smart phones. They should not lose sight of this opportunity to create an easy-to-use, inbound communication and payment channel for consumers.” I couldn’t find any other comments on the use of this technology in collection efforts.
What Do You Think?
Please share your thoughts about Mobile Tag use in debt collection by entering a comment below. Or to be a guest blogger on the subject, contact us at email@example.com. Your feedback is important to us and of interest to our readers.