ANZ beefs up tech in debt fight

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has unveiled plans to combat bad debt on its books with a raft of new technologies including SMS messages, new calling technology and better collections software.

update Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has unveiled plans to combat bad debt on its books with a raft of new technologies including SMS messages, new calling technology and better collections software.

The bank announced yesterday that it was being squeezed by the global credit crunch and softening local markets. ANZ CEO Mike Smith said while its institutional business would take time to turn around, investments in technology that targeted risky consumer borrowers would play a key role in reducing the bank's exposure to bad debt.

A spokesperson for ANZ told ZDNet.com.au that the technologies would target reducing the bank's exposure to potentially worsening conditions for customers who couldn't fully finance their debt.

"ANZ has recently upgraded its existing outbound dialling functionality," the spokesperson said. "This initiative has brought all collections teams in the bank onto the same platform."

"In addition, the bank has been trialling innovative ways of contacting its lower risk customers by using outbound voice technology and SMS reminders." The bank will also invest in its collections software and risk assessment technology.

The investments in technology would also be aimed at improving the bank's ability to assess the credit-worthiness of business customers and would be matched by investments in more staff and improved processes, said the spokesperson.

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