In March 2013, FELA implemented its LifeCents online financial education program for PRA Group [NASDAQ: PRAA], a leading buyer of consumer debt in the U.S. and internationally. PRA works with millions of consumers in the debt collection process where communications with consumers often lead to the best outcomes. Through direct communication, consumers benefit by learning what their options are in the debt collection process as well as their rights. They also can create workout plans for the debts that they owe.
The purpose of the LifeCents initiative for PRA is and has been to offer consumers a special debt reduction offer by participating in the financial education program. Through LifeCents, PRA’s consumer clients earn “badges” to unlock a special debt reduction offer (i.e. “reward”). The reward enables the consumer to eliminate some percentage of their debts owed to PRA.
Since the program’s launch, the outcomes have been significant for both consumers and PRA Group. These include: reductions in consumer debts, improvements in consumer communication and engagement, and as importantly, increases in debts collected. PRA continues to use the program today.
Initially, PRA Group engaged FELA to develop a financial education program that PRA’s consumer clients could use to access information, tools and resources to acquire the knowledge and skills to improve their financial well-being. However, based on the high-levels of consumer engagement with the LifeCents program, the opportunity to deliver more meaningful outcomes to consumers became readily apparent.
FELA customized LifeCents to include more in-depth content on collections and the debt collection process. FELA also structured the program so that PRA’s consumer clients could unlock a special debt reduction offer by completing a number of educational goals and earning several badges that are aligned with PRA’s business objectives. Upon completion of the educational requirements, participants receive a unique, secure reward token/code which is validated by PRA’s customer service team and used to confirm the abatement of debt.
The debt reduction offer gives consumers an unprecedented opportunity to significantly reduce the debts that they owe to PRA – and ultimately put them on a pathway to improve their overall financial health.
Outcomes and Impact
Since the program’s launch, the bottom line the results have been compelling:
- The response rate to the direct mail letters to consumers mentioning the LifeCents program have outperformed the letters not mentioning LifeCents (control group)
- Of the increased numbers of consumers responding to the direct mail – more of those consumers are paying towards their debts, and they are paying more towards their debts
- The conversion rate of new users who complete all of the requirements for the debt reduction offer is greater than 70%
- Thousands of consumers have participated in the program and have benefited from reductions in their consumer debts
- At least one federal agency has expressed interest in this initiative, including the possibility of conducting a research study, given the impact of “leveling the playing field for consumers”
You can read the original press release by clicking here.