The Berlin-based Fintech company PAIR Finance raised €4,5M in series A funding from strategic investors and financial investors. Among others, Zalando, Hitfox Group and a prominent selection of business angels from the German industry participated in the funding round (some being Maximilian Zimmerer, former management board member of Allianz and Marc Stilke - former CEO of Immoscout). Existing investors like the Company Builder FinLeap, yabeo Capital and Ey Ventures confirmed their trust in PAIR Finance with renewed investments into the company.
Kai-Uwe Mokros, VP Payments at Zalando: “PAIR Finance stands for the future of debt collection: digital, efficient, customer-oriented. The technology-driven approach as well as the competence of the team convinced us to invest. We look forward to further developing the existing successful cooperation.”
Stephan Stricker, CEO and founder of PAIR Finance: “We are proud of the trust of our investors. PAIR Finance aims to make debt collection in Germany and Europe customer-friendly and digital. Our new partners enable us to reach further milestones and to expand our company.”
PAIR Finance is an important partner for its clients. By facilitating efficient and fast repayment of open claims, PAIR Finance not only improves the payment cycle but in turn helps companies to adjust their risk management in order to generate higher revenues and extend the product and service offerings behind their brand.
Gerrit Seidel, Managing Partner at yabeo and previously an executive at payment provider Klarna A.B.: „PAIR Finance represents a radical change in a traditional industry: the behavioral science based approach paired with a modern platform and socially accepted communication channels makes it a success.”
More than 150 companies, from the e-commerce sector, the digital service industries and up to big media houses are using the debt collection services of PAIR Finance. In the future, the plan is to tap new segments that are in the process of digital transformation, for example banks and insurance companies. With the investment, PAIR Finance plans to expand its marketing strategy and its specially developed technology, based on artificial intelligence.
How PAIR Finance works
PAIR Finance’s main asset is a self-learning algorithm that considers a vast number of data points that are continuously analyzed before and during the interaction with the customers, who are in arrears with their payments, all while maintaining compliance with stringent German data privacy standards. With the aid of the latest behavioral science and psychology, the customers are clustered, individually approached and offered totally personalized solutions. The aim is to sensitize the customers and to help them to pro-actively resolve the payment problem and settle the claim. Beside the content and the tonality of the approach, the optimal channel, time and frequency are determined by the system. PAIR Finance contacts the customer via email, SMS and messenger services.
Unlike traditional debt collection companies that require the customer to type out IBANs while doing bank transfers, PAIR Finance’s digital way of communication makes it possible to send a link to an individual payment page through which the customers can settle their open claim quickly and painlessly. Because of this, the customer doesn’t experience media disruption because paying his open debt is as easy as the few clicks it took him to order a product or service online.
On the other hand, using digital channels to reach out to the customer works much faster. Sending letters as first point of contact means the customer gets contacted after one to two working days at the earliest. Using email or SMS it only takes on average ten minutes - because smartphone users look at their phone up to 150 times a day. Thus, open customer invoices are balanced on average within a few days.
PAIR Finance also forgoes cooperation with a lawyer in the pre-court phase in order not to establish a threatening posture and to spare the customer the resulting additional costs. However, depending on the reaction of the customer, the tonality and the intensity of the approach are adjusted as necessary to collect open claims more efficiently.
Automating much of the background processes during the collection process means it can be executed faster and more cost-efficiently, which benefits the customer. Also, the attention to respectful interaction ensures that the customer relationship is not strained and they are retained as returning customers after settling their debt. PAIR Finance transforms debt collection into a win-win situation for their clients: on the one hand, clients are balancing their open debts faster, without long-lasting and expensive trials and lawsuits. On the other hand, customer retention is ensured through an improved experience with a normally unpleasant situation, such as going into debt.