The Next Generation

Gen Z and Debt

While it might sound absurd to raise the topic of debt since the youngest Gen Zers are only 10 years old, it’s never too early to look to the future. With the cost of living on the rise1, wages remain the same. University tuition is raised each year and for many, the prospect of becoming a homeowner is a distant dream.

Gen Z encompasses those born from 1997-2012, an age group that has grown up on both the luxuries and harsh realities of technology. With a myriad of resources at their fingertips, Gen Z has the potential to be the most financially literate generation ever. We may scoff at the educational value of YouTube and TikTok, but a lot can be gleaned if you look in the right places. There are two sides to every coin—you can watch a video of a girl flaunt making a minimum payment on her credit card, just as easily as you can watch another girl explain why you should open a Roth IRA now. Technology is not inherently good or bad, and while many have gone into debt due to targeted advertisements and influencer sponsorships2, it also provides plenty of resources that nurture education3

Alongside technology dictating the habits of many Gen Zers, the impact of the 2008 financial crisis cannot be discounted. Senior Enterprise Consultant at Experian Gavin Harding said, “Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession. After seeing the hardships their parents went through, many are determined to pave their own way.”

And while paving their own way might give rise to an extremely entrepreneurial generation, financial literacy is key. Even if Gen Z better manages and budgets, many will still enter into the debt cycle, but they will also be empowered to resolve that debt.

Currently, the majority of Gen Z debt comes from credit cards4, a statistic that is likely to shift as more Gen Zers enter college and take out student loans. Similar to Millennials, Gen Zers avoid phone calls and it is reasonable to assume that they will prefer to handle debt through digital channels as well. 

Though it is impossible to predict the full extent of debt for a generation that is still in middle school, we can observe trends and plan the best way to accommodate future financial resolution. 

In an increasingly digital world, it is imperative to have digital solutions. Incorporating multiple platforms through which consumers can resolve debt has been a game changer for digital generations. Millennials prefer digital channels, and Gen Z will as well, at an even higher rate. 

Gen Zers are digital natives, as such 95% use a smartphone5. Additionally, over one third of Gen Z transactions are made on a mobile device. The figure below demonstrates not only the power, but the necessity of connecting with this generation through the platform that they feel most comfortable: often text and email. 

Additionally, these digital tools will need to satisfy tech-savvy users. Gen Z has been signaling for years that their preferred communication channels are digital and MRS has been listening.

Though the majority of Gen Z has not yet entered adulthood, they are the future, and we must be thinking about how they will operate and how to best service them. 

Recognizing the needs of burgeoning Gen Z is crucial. MRS is a forward thinking business, with innovation and customer care at the core of everything we do. We know that stagnancy is defeat and good for now is not good enough. MRS continues to pioneer digital solutions that create real results. We know we’ll be ready for the next generation—will you?

Sources:

1 https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/06/11/cols-j11.html

2  https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22436051/social-media-credit-card-debt-instagram-tiktok

3  https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/other/social-media-usage-provides-educational-benefits-research-shows-4836/

4 https://newsroom.transunion.com/gen-z-drives-credit-card-industry-rebound/#:~:text=Consumer%20performance%20has%20remained%20strong,0.5%25%20YoY%20to%20%24727%20billion

5  https://99firms.com/blog/generation-z-statistics/#gref

Kevin Mendenko Joins the MRS Team as SVP of HR

CHERRY HILL, NJ, JANUARY 10, 2022 — MRS is pleased to welcome Kevin Mendenko to the company as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Mendenko has 12 years of experience in Human Resources throughout various industries including Supply Chain & Logistics, Retail, and Charitable Donations. In his most recent role, Kevin served as the Vice President of Human Resources for GreenDrop LLC and 2nd Ave LLC, where he was responsible for creating a Best in Class HR Service Center. 

Mendenko will be leading the Human Resources team, working closely with all departments to further develop and deploy strategies to ensure success across the organization. His expertise includes implementing Human Resources Technology, Automating Processes and Procedures, Employee Relations, Staffing/Recruiting, etc. Under Mendenko’s leadership, we are confident that the HR team will flourish and grow. 

CFO Jim Curham says, “MRS welcomes Kevin Mendenko as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. We look forward to great contributions from Kevin and the HR team in fostering our continued ascent as the premier technology-enabled provider in the accounts receivable management and business processing outsourcing market. Kevin’s demonstrated experience and accomplishments in the specific areas critical to MRS’s growth—process automation, benefit plan design, and recruiting and retention—will enhance MRS’s reputation as the employer of choice best poised for growth in a rapidly evolving customer centric market.”

Kevin Mendenko, MRS’s new SVP of HR

Mendenko says, “I’m excited to join an organization as welcoming as MRS BPO. From the moment I first spoke to Jennifer Barquero, to the interview process, to my first day, MRS BPO already feels like home. I am excited to work with the HR team to help our company grow and evolve. I look forward to working with everyone in the MRS family.”

ABOUT MRS BPO, LLC

Founded in 1991, MRS has served the accounts receivable management needs of companies within the Financial Services, Governmental, Student Loans, Telecommunications, and Utility sectors for 31 years.

MRS BPO, LLC is a full service accounts receivable management firm based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The company’s unique combination of experience, technology, and compliance management processes allows them to provide industry-leading debt recovery solutions while enhancing their client’s brand and reputation. For more information on MRS BPO, LLC, visit them online at http://www.mrsbpo.com.

Finishing the Year Strong

As the weather cools down, it’s important to ensure business doesn’t follow suit. It’s common knowledge in the industry that the fourth quarter is typically the hardest time to collect. Why is that? Come November and December, many people prioritize the holidays instead of a payment, which is completely understandable. But what if customers didn’t have to choose one or the other.

Compassionate customer care is a cornerstone of MRS’s business. What exactly does that mean though? Our agents have passed a rigorous training program that instills core values and empathetic techniques when talking to customers. We listen to our customers and offer personally tailored payment plans, always trying to find the best solution for everyone. 

The holiday season is a busy time too and many people don’t have a free moment to talk on the phone. No worries! MRS has adapted with technology and connects with customers through a myriad of channels including but not limited to text, email, web chat, and our customer service portal. We want to empower customers to resolve their debt with ease. 

2021 turning to 2022 calendar

The 2021 year has certainly been atypical. Pandemic government stimulus funding impacted the seasonal payment curve usually seen through the first three quarters of the year. While the entire industry is experiencing a disruption to the debt cycle, MRS remains focused on quality and technology. 

Chief Operating Officer Jim Beck said, “In 20 years in this industry this is probably the most unique time I have seen. The pandemic impacted so many people, the national workforce is going through a transition, Regulation F and changing customer preferences and payment patterns. One thing that has remained constant is that strong agent training and a customer centric approach yield exceptional results. I am proud to work in an organization that continues to use technology and make continued improvements in our recruiting and training to improve the customer experience.”

MRS believes in building relationships with clients and their customers. Being intentional and responsive with our communications fosters a stress free experience. Our dedication to excellence is exemplified through our long term client relationships and our best in class results.

Co-CEO Jeff Freedman Said, “2021, like 2020, has been an interesting year to say the least.  There have been many challenges, but like with all challenges, it has presented many opportunities as well. I am extremely proud of how our team rose to these challenges and continued to show compassion, empathy, and flexibility to customers in these difficult and uncertain times. I am also incredibly proud of our development team which has created amazing technical innovations that have led to more channel choices for customers, as well as simpler and stress free ways for customers to self service their accounts on their terms and at times most convenient for them. Investment in technology and analytics continues to be our number one priority and we look forward to the many exciting and new innovations we intend to introduce to the collection industry in 2022.”

With 2022 right around the corner, MRS is excited to see what the new year will bring.

Reg F Demystified

Do you still have a few questions about Reg F? Listen to Co-CEO Jeff Freedman and Attorney John Rossman chat about some of the most pressing questions regarding the new rules.

How MRS Stays Ahead of the Competition

MRS is a leading collections agency, pioneering innovative digital solutions, paired with excellent customer care. The principles that propel MRS to success might seem simple—in reality, they’re anything but. Dedicated workers, trailblazing methods, and family values underlie all that MRS does.

1. Look forward, not adjacent

If you want to lead the way as a forward thinking company, you can’t wait around to see what other people in the industry are doing. MRS firmly believes in thought leadership, with an innovative drive. Sometimes, our first try doesn’t work, but we wouldn’t have created the first Interactive Voice Response Virtual Collections Agent, Adam, if we gave up when the going got tough. Failure is a learning experience that helps us get better. At MRS, we don’t follow trends, we set precedents.

Want to hear more about MRS’s innovative spirit? Check out our podcast, Collections Success with MRS, and tune into our two part series, All About Adam.

2. Prioritize your customer

Customers nowadays know what channel through which they want to be communicated. They’re tech savvy individuals who rarely pick up the phone for an unknown number. Customers have agency! At MRS, we listen to our customers and contact them on their preferred platform; we treat customers with respect and empathy. Our goal is to find the best solution for everyone. 

Curious to read more? Don’t miss our article about how debt collection became one of the most consumer focused sectors, An Industry Transformed.

3. Clients as partners

After all, we are working towards the same goals. As members on a team together, MRS approaches client relationships as partnerships that best thrive when everyone supports each other. With this philosophy, MRS is able to form lasting relationships with clients that span decades and sector divisions.

Don’t take it from us, though. Listen to our podcast where we talk with clients about a myriad of topics, and be sure to check out our partnership episode. 

4. Value your employees

It’s a no brainer, right? Wrong! You have to show your employees that you value their hard work and respect their efforts day in and out. MRS ensures a family environment runs through the company through monthly incentives, charitable drives, spirit weeks, and employee spotlights. Additionally, MRS is a big believer in promoting from within and bolstering team members to grow their careers with us. There’s a reason we have so many tenured employees. 

Watch our employee spotlight videos to get an inside look at a day in the life at MRS, from the training department to customer services. 

MRS encourages inventive thinking, paired with empathetic collections. And at the end of the day, we stay competitive by caring about our customers, clients, and employees. If you care about what you do, it shows in your work.