I am thrilled to share that Chaser has been shortlisted for the Technology Development Award at the CICM British Credit Awards 2024. The awards recognize stand-out achievements of individuals, teams, and organizations in the international credit industry, and Chaser is honored to be recognized by this prestigious awards body.
Being shortlisted for this award recognizes the efforts of the Chaser team to use cutting-edge technology and advancements in artificial intelligence to support SMEs globally to reduce late payments and improve efficiency, at a low cost
The Technology Development Award recognizes the development of information and communications technology that demonstrates a clear achievement in driving greater efficiency, has an effective implementation, and has been delivered within agreed budgets and timelines. The nomination celebrates the success of three AI-driven features released by Chaser in 2023 to improve efficiency and reduce late payments for small and medium businesses:
- Recommended chasing time
- Late payment predictor
Chaser is shortlisted for the Technology Development Award at the CICM British Credit Awards, for developing AI-driven features that help businesses reduce late payments: Recommended chasing time, Payer-rating, Late payment predictor
Technology Development Award
Research shows late payments are only getting worse for SMEs, and dealing with them is putting a significant time burden on their already-stretched finance teams.
Chaser conducted research with SME credit controllers and found one of the biggest pain points for them today is struggling to prioritize their limited time and resources.
In response, we looked at ways cutting-edge technology and advancements in artificial intelligence could support them to reduce late payments and improve efficiency, at a low cost. In 2023 we released 3 AI-driven features to improve efficiency and reduce late payments: Recommended chasing time, Payer rating, and Late payment predictor.
Some only released this summer, these features have already helped businesses save over 117 hours on their credit management tasks. The features have led to 61% of all payments being made before or on the invoice due date (a 35% improvement since before AI features were released).
Furthermore, for Chaser users who have adopted all AI functionality, there’s been a 55.7% reduction in time between payment reminders being sent and payment being received. With the average reduced from 17.44 to just 7.74 days.
Why the AI solutions were developed
50% of businesses spend 4+ hours per week on receivables tasks. This time goes to tasks like working out which customers to chase, when, how often, and manually following up on overdue payments. In total businesses waste a predicted 56.4million hours/per year on these tasks (QuickBooks).
Additionally, late payments are becoming a bigger problem for SMEs today. Research in 2022 found 87% of SMEs are usually paid late, compared to only 58% in 2021. This suggests late payments are becoming more prevalent.
Through focus groups, a theme emerged that knowing what to prioritize, and when to take certain actions within the payment-chasing process was a recurring pain point for many in credit-management teams.
Interviewees expressed wanting to be persistent in chasing ‘bad payers’ to pay, but not wanting to take the same approach with ‘good payers’ out of fear of annoying them or damaging customer relationships. It became clear users needed an easy and clear way to categorize customers according to payment behavior.
When deciding on times and days to send payment reminders, finance teams often chased customers ‘just when they have time’, rather than using data-driven insights. This resulted in random and unoptimized collection efforts. It also meant customers would sometimes receive reminders out of hours when finance team members were catching up on work.
Results of the AI feature developments
The goals of the new feature developments were:
- Help businesses decide what to prioritize when spending time on credit management
- Give SMEs the best chance of receiving payments on time, by helping them optimize timings of their payment-chasing efforts
We planned to use AI to help SMEs reduce late payments, and save time whilst doing so.
Payer ratings use data on customers’ previous payment behavior and compare trends seen across Chaser, assigning every payer an AI-generated ‘rating’. Ratings are ‘Good’/‘Average’/ ‘Bad’ and predict how likely a customer is to pay their future invoices on time. This lets SMEs who are often strapped-for-time see at a glance how their customers are paying. Payer ratings let SMEs prioritize effectively and instantly see who the problem payers are, assess at-a-glance who to extend credit to, and optimize their follow-up approach for different payer groups.
Late payment predictor
The late payment predictor gives instant AI-generated predictions on how likely an invoice is to be paid late, assigning a percentage score out of 100. Giving visibility on whether to expect cash on time, and whether to pursue collections.
Recommended chasing time
Recommended chasing times analyze data on thousands of B2B payments to suggest a custom, optimal time and day to send customer payment reminders to increase the chance of payment. This new feature uses AI to let SMEs reach customers when they’re most likely to pay, automatically.
Chaser has addressed critical issues faced by SME credit management teams with the release of these 3 features and has made the benefits of AI accessible to small-business finance teams, instead of restricted to large enterprises.
With the features only released a few months ago, they have already achieved remarkable results for SMEs. Chaser's commitment to leveraging AI for credit control has made a significant difference, and since March 2023, these features have assisted SMEs in getting $4.2 billion paid.
The CICM British Credit Awards Ceremony 2024
Join the Chaser team at the ceremony on Thursday 1 February, at the Royal Lancaster London to recognize and celebrate the very best in credit management. You can view the full 2024 finalists list, or book your table at the event here.