Upending the $15B Debt Collection Industry with Ohad Samet, Founder of TrueAccord

Ryan Zauk
Ryan Zauk
Dec 28, 2020 · 3 min read

“The most contrarian take I have is that there is value in working with consumers in debt.”

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Here are a few stats for you:

  • The average US household as of November pays almost 9% of its income to debt
  • Total household debt reached $14.35 trillion this fall per the New York Fed
  • The average person in debt owes money to 4 different lenders

The current process for debt collections — a highly sensitive, case-by-case, and often life-defining financial situation—has not evolved much in the last 50 years. The process is still how most would imagine…a collections team is assigned a low-base salary and high-commission, and is tasked with harassing debtors multiple times a day with a one size fits all approach. This process is inflexible, stressful, and borderline inhumane as each person has unique financial needs.

Enter Ohad Samet and TrueAccord. After honing his time at companies like Fraud Sciences (acquired by PayPal), Signifyd, and Klarna (as their CRO), Ohad recognized this enormous problem and the need for a better solution.

Fast forward to 2020, TrueAccord has built a digital-first, ML-powered, humane debt collection agency that leads with empathy. TrueAccord’s successes have been incredible, with collection rates 30–50% higher than industry averages and an NPS of 40 (astoundingly high for a debt collections agency, and higher than a lot of financial institutions).

TA’s impact on daily lives cannot be understated. One stat I loved — “85% of customers wouldn’t have been able to repay their debt without the highly flexible payment plans we offer.”

In today’s episode, Ohad comes on the show to discuss:

  • The different ways TrueAccord engages with the customer, and how that approach has shifted overtime thanks to Machine Learning
  • 3 questions about debt that he bets none of our listeners can answer
  • Why his HQ2 city, Kansas City, is a hidden talent and cost of living gem
  • The cruciality of mission-alignment in business and at TrueAccord (P.S. they’re hiring!)
  • Navigating FinTech partnerships
  • A special “rapid-fire” question set

…and much more.

TrueAccord is a fantastic mission and company that I loved learning about. Enjoy the episode!

Other Stories You May Enjoy:

Transforming Debt Collections with Hanif Joshaghani, Co-Founder & CEO of Symend

Frank Rotman, Founding Partner at QED Investors — Past, Present, and Future of Fintech!

Plaid’s John Pitts on the Current Regulatory Landscape, COVID FinTech Adoption, and More

Reinventing Financial Systems — Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder/Co-CEO of Brex

Anish Acharya, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz — Doubling Down on Fintech

Building Big Things and Moving Fast — Allison Barr Allen, Co-Founder/COO at Fast

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Ryan Zauk

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Ryan Zauk is an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School, where he runs the Wharton FinTech Podcast. He currently works with the US International Development Finance Corp looking at tech impact investments in developing markets. After graduation, Ryan will join Morgan Stanley’s Menlo Park Office working with the world’s largest technology companies. He has a passion for music, media, and all things FinTech.

You can reach him at rzauk@wharton.upenn.edu or on Twitter.

Wharton FinTech

We are FinTech thought leaders connecting innovators, academics, and investors with the ideas and products that are reinventing global financial services.

Ryan Zauk

Written by

Ryan Zauk

Head of Media at @Whartonfintech. Hosting America’s #1 Fintech podcast, and absorbing all things Fintech.

Wharton FinTech

We are FinTech thought leaders connecting innovators, academics, and investors with the ideas and products that are reinventing global financial services.