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    • More than 60 percent of European companies identify increased levels of employee and customer satisfaction thanks to chatbots
    • Bots becoming humanized: More than half of the companies polled believe that in ten years chatbots will be able to recognize emotions and react accordingly
    • Surprisingly, more than 40 percent of German consumers don’t care whether they are communicating with a chatbot or a human being, as long as their issue is resolved

    Hamburg, Germany, November 23, 2021 – What role can chatbots play in the customer service of the future? What positive effects argue for the use of this technology? The recent EOS Chatbot Survey 2021 has explored this topic in depth. The international financial services provider and investor surveyed 2,800 decision-makers from 14 European countries about the use of chatbots in their companies. The survey revealed that almost a third of digital communication between companies and their customers is already being handled by bots. And this is having a positive impact: Both in Europe as a whole and in Germany, companies determined that these digital assistants were increasing the satisfaction of employees (64 percent) and customers (62 percent).

    Technology with a future: Clear benefits of chatbot communication

    Overall, all parties regard the technology as being a useful tool that reduces workload and provides support. An additional EOS consumer poll revealed that users in Germany were impressed above all by the fast accessibility of the bot (56 percent), followed by the simple initial contact (26 percent) and ease of use (around 18 percent). 

    “The bots mainly process small routine tasks and relieve customer service personnel of the work of providing simple answers to the same questions again and again. It’s a win-win situation for all participants,” explains Michaela Homann, Head of Technical Customer Communications at EOS. “The matter is dealt with quickly and uncomplicatedly, giving staff more variety in their work and the freedom to develop in their professional role and undertake more meaningful or business-critical activities. However, chatbots are not going to replace human beings, because especially in these sensitive situations, real people make an important difference,” says Homann.

    Michaela Homann, Head of Technical Customer Communications at EOS in Germany

    For complex tasks, the human factor continues to be crucial

    From the company’s perspective, chatbots should not only generate data (total and GER: 64 percent) but of course also save costs (total: 62 percent / GER: 60 percent). Nevertheless, fewer than half of the companies (total: 45 percent / GER: 47 percent) expect the digital assistants to lead to a reduction in personnel. When it comes to the human factor, the majority agree: Around two-thirds (total: 65 percent / GER: 69 percent) do not believe that intelligent chatbots will do a better job than their staff in future. Nevertheless, companies do think that bots are becoming more humanized: More than half think that in ten years, bots will be able to recognize emotions and respond to them (total: 57 percent / GER: 56 percent) or that voice bots will have replaced text-based chatbots (total: 55 percent / GER: 52 percent).

    According to the consumer poll by EOS, just under one in two Germans currently prefers to talk to a person rather than a chatbot, even if they get the same answers from both. This number is as high as around 60 percent for those who have never used a chatbot. What is astonishing is the prevailing opinion among the remainder: 42 percent of users ultimately do not care who they communicate with as long as their issue is resolved. 

    “The quality of the service provided by chatbots in future will be crucial. In our sensitive line of work, being able to communicate anonymously with chatbots helps reduce inhibitions about contacting us. However, when the digital assistants reach the limits of their capabilities, there must always be an immediate transfer to a human customer service agent. Despite the great potential and wide range of uses for bots, important agreements will also continue to be made with real people, especially in the debt collection segment. This is the only way to ensure that we find individualized solutions and take a personalized approach to defaulting payers, for example,” Homann stresses.

    About the representative EOS Chatbot Survey 2021

    The representative EOS Survey was conducted in 14 European countries in the period April to June 2021. In partnership with market research company Kantar, computer-assisted phone interviews were conducted with 200 B2C companies in each country. The total 2,800 decision-makers from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia answered questions e.g. on the use of chatbots, their acceptance by users, and the potential opportunities for the future.

    You can download the survey report at: Chatbot survey 2021.

    About the representative consumer poll with INNOFACT

    In partnership with market research institute INNOFACT AG, EOS polled 1,000 men and women on the topic of chatbot use. The random sample corresponds to a representative segment of the German population according to age, gender and region. The independent online poll was conducted in September 2021.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is a leading technology-driven financial investor and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, real estate, telecommunications, utilities and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 6,800 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to: www.eos-solutions.com

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    • 65 percent of companies in the B2C segment are using chatbots in their communication with customers
    • More than half of Germans have already interacted with a chatbot
    • Need for improvement: a quarter of chatbot users were not happy with the service

    Hamburg, Germany, November 17, 2021 – During the pandemic, ensuring fast and direct contact to customer service was often a challenge, which has made chatbots more important. In the recent Chatbot Survey 2021 by financial services provider and investor EOS, this is confirmed by around 70 percent of European companies in the B2C segment. The same applies to Germany, where 65 percent of companies are already using a chatbot in customer communication and almost every second inquiry addressed to a chatbot is fully resolved by it. Here too, the European and German results coincide. The majority of companies also believe that the number of chatbots will continue to grow in the next two years (total: 68 percent / GER: 67 percent) and that in future, all larger companies would need to offer this kind of service (total and GER: 61 percent).

    Companies and consumers have different viewpoints 

    The fact that chatbots are becoming more important is also reflected in the way they are being used and accepted by customers in Germany: An additional consumer poll conducted by EOS revealed that more than half of Germans have already used a chatbot at least once for communicating with customer service, while another 23 percent can well imagine doing so. With regard to the acceptance of chatbots, perceptions differ: Whereas companies believe that only 4 percent of their customers are skeptical towards chatbots, a quarter of German consumers stated that they were skeptical about the new technology and its use. The performance of bots also needs to be improved in some areas: Around a quarter of chatbot users were highly satisfied with the service, and just under half found it okay. But for a quarter, the service offered was not satisfactory. 

    Wide range of applications and tasks for chatbots

    Across Europe, the digital assistants are primarily used for the initial contact (total and GER: 97 percent), followed by customer service (total: 51 percent / GER: 57 percent) and product advice (total: 39 percent / GER: 42 percent). The EOS Group has put chatbots to work at its subsidiaries in Croatia, France and Belgium. The company is planning to also introduce them in Germany in future for use on various channels. 

    “In some EOS locations, chatbots are already handling simple inquiries very successfully and can even retrieve personal data relating to defaulting payers. This has resulted in a decline in the number of calls to the respective service centers,” says Michaela Homann, Head of Technical Customer Communications at EOS in Germany. “In this context, we naturally make sure that we meet the strictest data privacy requirements. Especially in our line of work involving the handling of sensitive data, it is not always easy to find the right balance in the development between providing the necessary security and making the bots easy to use.”

    Michaela Homann, Head of Technical Customer Communications at EOS in Germany

    Increasingly smart chatbots: A technology with a future

    The companies polled also identified data privacy issues as the greatest challenge for the use of chatbots (total: 70 percent / GER: 73 percent), followed by the need to revise data structures (total: 59 percent / GER: 60 percent) and establish expertise in-house (total: 58 percent / GER: 59 percent). Astonishingly, consumers are much more relaxed about data privacy, with only 20 percent of Germans concerned about this aspect when using chatbots. 

    Overall, companies and consumers seem positively disposed to the use of these digital assistants, which makes an increase in more intelligent bots likely. Whereas, according to the EOS Chatbot Survey 2021 companies are currently still mostly using bots with a moderate level of intelligence (total: 57 percent / GER: 55 percent), more than a quarter plan to improve bot quality, and one out of two companies even wants to increase the quality and quantity of bots in use. 

    About the representative EOS Chatbot Survey 2021

    The representative EOS Survey was conducted in 14 European countries in the period April to June 2021. In partnership with market research company Kantar, computer-assisted phone interviews were conducted with 200 B2C companies in each country. The total 2,800 decision-makers from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia answered questions e.g. on the use of chatbots, their acceptance by users, and the potential opportunities for the future.

    You can download the survey report with infographics at: Chatbot survey 2021.

    About the representative consumer poll with INNOFACT

    In partnership with market research institute INNOFACT AG, EOS polled 1,000 men and women on the topic of chatbot use. The random sample corresponds to a representative segment of the German population according to age, gender and region. The independent online poll was conducted in September 2021.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is a leading technology-driven financial investor and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, real estate, telecommunications, utilities and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 6,800 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to: www.eos-solutions.com

    Print
  • The EOS Group's sales in the financial year 2020/21 are distributed among the individual regions as follows: 36.5 % at € 289.1 million is attributable to Germany, 31.5 % at € 249.7 million to Eastern Europe, 26.1 % at € 207.1 million to Western Europe and 5.9 % at € 46.6 million to North America. Eastern Europe accounts for 31.5 %, Western Europe for 26.1 % at € 207.1 million, and North America for 5.9 % at € 46.6 million.
    • EOS clearly profitable despite slight decline in revenue and earnings
    • High level of investment in secured and unsecured receivables accompanied by targeted cost-cutting measures
    • Corporate responsibility to be firmly embedded in business model

    Hamburg, August 11, 2021 – Despite all the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hamburg-based EOS Group successfully concluded its 2020/21 financial year (ending on 28 February). With a slight decline in revenue of 7.1 percent to EUR 792.5 million, the financial investor and technology-driven debt collection service provider reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of EUR 312.4 million (previous year: EUR 343.4 million). Apart from the restrictions on collection activity due to statutory moratoriums in several countries, the financial year was marked by a decline in the volume of non-performing loans (NPLs) on offer on the receivables market. Nevertheless, EOS was once again able to invest a significant sum (EUR 534.3 million) in secured and unsecured receivables and real estate in need of restructuring.

    “In view of the difficult conditions of the last year, the positive operating result was by no means a given,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. “We needed to continually assess the wider implications of the pandemic, make the right investment decisions and adjust our costs accordingly. I am therefore extremely proud of the fantastic achievement of our teams who faced up to these challenges and made this success possible through their dedicated collaboration.”

    Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group

    Social responsibility to become integral part of business model

    The ongoing development of the organization and heavy investment in IT to improve business operations were the key drivers behind the sustained stability of EOS. The values-driven yet forward-looking approach of EOS, which is part of the Otto Group, also contributed to its success. With a new corporate responsibility (CR) strategy, the EOS Group aims to firmly embed four key actionable areas into its business model in future. In this context, the focus is on solution-driven and sustainable debt relief for defaulting consumers, proactive funding initiatives and (financial) education measures, climate-neutral operation by 2030, and the championing of strict and binding industry standards in all 26 countries where the company is located. 

    “As one of the leaders in our industry we are absolutely aware of our responsibility towards society. Through our actions, we do not just want to help the economic system to function by improving the financial situation of our clients and of defaulting payers; we also aim to use our new CR strategy to do our part to change the world we operate in for the better overall,” says Engberding.

    Overview of key figures:
      2020/21 2019/20
    Sales revenue (in EUR million) 792.5 853.1
    of which     
    Germany 289.1 303.3
    Eastern Europe 249.7 266.7
    Western Europe 207.1 232.0
    North America 46.6 51.0
    EBITDA (in EUR million) 312.4 343.4

    Different figures may appear in tables due to rounding.

    Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors with responsibility for the German market

    Germany remains the most important EOS market

    With a turnover of EUR 289.1 million and a 36.5 percent share of consolidated revenue, Germany continues to be the region with the highest revenue within EOS Consolidated. At EUR 168.2 million, the investment level in receivables and real estate was stable. “Our success is primarily due to our operational excellence and understanding of our customers’ needs, which makes us a strong and reliable partner in the debt purchasing and fiduciary collection business,” says Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors with responsibility for the German market. “Even in this challenging year, we continued to systematically pursue the digitalization of the company and in doing so have given a substantial boost to our future viability.”

    As a longstanding member of the German Association of Debt Collection Companies (BDIU), EOS has continued its commitment to high ethical standards in the industry. In the last financial year it also established an in-house ‘hardship case community’, where specially trained personnel find solutions for cases of debt affecting people in permanently dire financial straits. Moreover, the company is committed to financial education for children and young people through its finlit foundation, whose ‘ManoMoneta’ initiative has already reached more than 100 schools.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its focus is on banks and companies from the real estate, telecommunications, energy supply and e-commerce sectors. EOS employs more than 6,800 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to: www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Hamburg, August 3, 2021 – For the 17th time in a row, Scope Hamburg, formerly Euler Hermes Rating, has given EOS Holding an A rating. Thanks to the company’s high earnings and very stable cash flows, the rating agency once again confirmed the excellent credit standing of EOS. The rating rationale also emphasized the extensive experience of EOS, as a financial services provider and investor, in the valuation, acquisition and recovery of non-performing receivables, its leading market position in Germany and strong market position in Europe.

    EOS weathered the COVID-19 crisis solidly and was able to cement the trust of its business partners. Accordingly, Scope Hamburg rates the company’s financial risk as low and its capital structure, deleveraging potential and interest coverage ratio as good or very good. The rating agency also expects the company’s earnings to grow in the current 2021/22 financial year.

    Sustained investment at a high level

    “The last financial year was particularly challenging. We needed to assess the potential effects of the crisis in good time and make the right investment decisions. By successfully bringing down costs during this period, the decline in earnings stayed within acceptable limits and EOS made a clear profit, even in this crisis year,” explains Justus Hecking-Veltman, Chief Financial Officer of the EOS Group. “For our development going forward, two decisions were important: Firstly, we again invested heavily in receivables packages. And secondly, we systematically pursued the upgrade of our IT systems to enable us to manage the company even better and with the use of more digital tools in future.”

    Investments: CFO Justus Hecking-Veltman on the EOS Group’s outstanding results in financial year 2018/19
    Justus Hecking-Veltman is pleased with the 17th A-rating for EOS in a row

    EOS has stepped up its activities as a financial investor in recent years and has become established in many countries as a market leader for the purchase of debt packages. In fiscal 2020/21, the company invested EUR 534.3 million in unsecured and secured receivables and real estate in need of restructuring.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investor and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, insurance companies, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    Further information about the EOS Group: www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Hamburg, June 7, 2021 – The phone dunning specialists EOS Serviceline GmbH (ESL) and EOS Communication Center Nürnberg GmbH (EOS CCN) will become part of EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst GmbH (EOS DID) with retroactive effect from March 31, 2021.

    The merger of the three EOS companies will result in even closer collaboration for professional receivables management on the German B2C debt collection market. All subsidiaries in Hamburg, Berlin, Potsdam, Kamp-Lintfort and Nuremberg will be retained and will in future pool their expertise to benefit customers to an even greater extent.

    EOS DID was established in Hamburg in 1974 and is the original company of the international EOS Group. With close to 50 years experience in receivables management, the company combines digital collection processes with professional phone dunning and delivers impressive results with its innovative technologies and high-quality receivables processing.


    About EOS Deutschland

    EOS Deutschland, which has its head office in Hamburg, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Otto Group. The EOS Group has been providing receivables management services for almost 50 years. With its more than 60 subsidiaries and affiliates it is represented in over 25 countries.

    In both the fiduciary collection and receivables purchasing segments, EOS takes tailored measures and leverages the synergies from its decades of experience in receivables management and the use of cutting-edge technology. Companies from a wide range of sectors, including banks and insurance companies, e-commerce and energy utilities, rely on the experience of the collection specialists at EOS Deutschland.

    More information

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    • One in ten Germans has taken on debt during the crisis, and equally as many have been unable to meet their liabilities
    • Debt caused above all by living expenses
    • Single parents (26 percent) and young people (18 percent) disproportionately affected

    Hamburg, February 25, 2021 – The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the consumption patterns and financial situation of many consumers in Germany. As a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, around one in ten has been forced to take on debt. These are some of the insights from the recent Covid-19 Financial Report by financial services provider and investor EOS, based on a representative survey in five European countries. The report shows that the respondents from Germany borrowed money mainly just to make ends meet: 39 percent of the Germans with debts have borrowed money to cover their ongoing living expenses, while 29 percent borrowed to cover housing costs and 20 percent for health-related costs. The majority (57 percent) had debts of up to €2,500, while 40 percent owed even more than that. One problematic issue is that 12 percent of respondents stated that since the start of the pandemic they have no longer been able to pay back their liabilities.

    Covid-19 Financial Report: Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors

    “We are currently in an exceptional situation that was difficult to predict and hard to plan for, and that nobody expected. If some people are then forced to take on debt temporarily to cover the necessities of life, that is perfectly understandable. However, it is highly problematic if they can then no longer meet their obligations as a result,” explains Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors with responsibility for the German market.

    Single parents and younger people suffer particularly from the crisis

    The pandemic is hitting single parents the hardest, with one in four (26 percent) stating that they have incurred debt as a result of Covid-19. As many as 23 percent have even ended up with excessive debt. Moreover, 39 percent of single parents fear that they will have to borrow money in the next six months as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Another population group with a disproportionately high financial burden consists of young people aged 18 to 29, 18 percent of whom said they had got into debt because of the pandemic. By way of comparison, this was the case for just 6 percent of 50-65 year-olds. In addition, 31 percent of the younger generation fear that they are going to have to take on debt in the future, whereas this applied to just one in ten of older respondents.

    Covid-19 Financial Report: Consumers have ended up with excessive debts in the course of the coronavirus crisis.

    Germany still in a comparatively good position

    To some extent, a European comparison paints quite a different picture. Whereas in Germany 12 percent of respondents had got into debt, this situation had affected 15 percent in Spain, 19 percent in Croatia, 28 percent in Romania and as many as 32 percent in Bulgaria. “German government measures like short-time work payments or economic assistance have helped to protect many Germans from debt due to the pandemic,” says Kropp. “Accordingly, Germany has so far come through the crisis with relative stability.”

    Germans are cutting expenditure above all on vacations, but are keen to travel again soon

    The strained economic situation is nevertheless being reflected in the consumption patterns of Germans. A large majority (80 percent), for example, have refrained from necessary or planned expenditure during the pandemic. German consumers most often went without their vacation (65 percent), but were also cutting spending on furnishings (21 percent), renovations (19 percent) as well as on health (12 percent) and education (12 percent). And after the crisis? Above all, Germans are longing to travel again. After the pandemic is over, 60 percent plan to spend money on a vacation first.

     

    About the EOS Group’s Covid-19 Financial Report

    On behalf of the EOS Group, online survey specialist Dynata polled 7,000 consumers (of whom 2,000 were Germans) aged 18-65 in Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Spain. The respondents provided information about how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected their consumption patterns and financial situation. The survey was conducted in January 2021 and is representative of the (online) population aged 18 years and over in the participating countries.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, insurance companies, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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  • Hamburg, Germany, December 1, 2020 – On Friday the German Parliament adopted a new debt collection law whose provisions include a reduction in fees charged. EOS, one of the largest German debt collection companies and a major buyer of NPLs on the market, expects that this will have negative consequences for many creditors. The law is expected to enter into force in October 2021.

    “We welcome the government's intention to improve consumer protections through the new debt collection regulations. However, we do see a risk that SMEs in particular will experience a higher number of payment defaults because it will no longer be possible in future to recover small amounts cost-effectively, for example,” explains Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors responsible for the German market. “In addition, payment practices could deteriorate, which has a negative impact on creditors and the economy in general.” Among other things the law provides for a lower collection fee in the event of small claims of up to €50.

    Investments increased: EOS Consolidated once again bumped up revenue in Germany in 2018/19
    Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors responsible for the German market

    Even now, in keeping with its purpose “For a debt-free world”, EOS does not always exhaust the fee options available to it under the statutory framework, so as to give defaulting payers a realistic chance of paying back their outstanding debts. Moreover, the company has established a dedicated team to look at cases of hardship and seek individual solutions depending on the life circumstances or age of the consumers involved. “Anyone who engages in dialog with us can rely on our willingness to talk. Unfortunately there will always be people who do not have a genuine interest in settling their bills,” says Kropp. “I think there is a danger here that the new law will be seen as an invitation to incur debts, to the detriment of creditors and all consumers who do pay their bills on time. In addition, I would have preferred to see more centralized oversight of the debt collection sector, so that the few black sheep operating in our industry are no longer able to do business.”

     

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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    • Only 35 percent of Germans trust companies to handle digital data
    • Banks and online payment providers enjoy the greatest trust overall, but there is less trust than in other countries
    • Germans particularly cautious about health data

    Hamburg, October 27, 2020 – Digital data are a valuable asset for companies. Data helps companies better understand their customers and their preferences and respond to market trends. However, the willingness of consumers to disclose their data is crucially dependent on trust. In this respect, companies in Germany have not fared particularly well until now, as only 35 percent of Germans trust companies to handle digital data. This puts Germany in the European average (mean value: 33 percent). The lowest level of trust is in France (18 percent). These are some of the findings from a representative survey entitled “What’s the value of data?” conducted by financial services provider and investor EOS in 17 countries. Germans have good reason to be concerned, as more than one in five consumers in Germany (22 percent) has had negative experiences with disclosing their data online. Only Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Poland and the Czech Republic have higher percentages in this regard.

    Digital trust: Infographic “Great skepticism about handling data”

    More skepticism towards banks and health data than in other countries

    There are clear differences between sectors: In Germany, banks and financial services providers enjoy the greatest level of trust when it comes to handling customer data (47 percent). However, in an international comparison, Germany is below the average in this context (Europe: 54 percent, USA: 56 percent, Russia: 54 percent). The fact that in all countries, financial data are regarded as the most worthy of protection shows how important trust is in this segment. In this respect, Germans do not have more concerns than other nationals, however, they are the only respondents to find insights into their bank accounts even more sensitive than account and credit card details. What is noticeable is that in Germany, health details are considered to be particularly sensitive. The majority of Germans would not hand over this data even to a company they consider trustworthy. Whereas 31 percent of Europeans would disclose health data for money, in Germany the figure is only 18 percent. Like consumers in all the other countries polled, Germans are least likely to trust social networks and messaging services (12 percent).

    Data minimization and transparency create trust

    The challenge for companies is to show consumers in a transparent and credible way that they will treat their data responsibly. This is something that EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst is also working on, as Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, explains: “EOS uses data to achieve the best possible individualized management of receivables, and this benefits defaulting payers as well. We need to make this more transparent and at the same build trust that the data will only be used for very specific purposes.” According to Stolze, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can help significantly towards achieving this. Thanks to its clear-cut framework, it has already increased trust in the use of data in many places and has created the necessary transparency for consumers about what happens with their data.

    What’s the value of data? Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst.
    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst
    Digital trust: Infographic “Which data do Germans consider to be the most sensitive?”

    Call to action: continue to build trust

    As the survey shows, gaining and building trust is still a major work in progress for many companies in Germany as well. “We need to move away from information asymmetry and give consumers back their sense of control over their data,” says Stolze. The survey revealed that a lot of Germans feel that they often do not have a choice about disclosing their data. Around two thirds (63 percent) complain that without disclosing their details they otherwise cannot even make full use of online services. In addition, more than half of German consumers feel they do not have enough information about how to prevent or limit the disclosure of their data.

    Digital Trust: Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS in Germany
    Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    Data minimization in self-service portals

    One example of data minimization is the EOS service portal for defaulting payers. Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst, explains how this helps build trust: “Via the portal we only collect the data absolutely necessary for the payment process. This allows consumers to settle their debts quickly and simply by themselves, as only the claim number, amount and necessary payment information are requested. No other personal data needs to be provided. Only those wishing to have a customized processing arrangement may opt to volunteer additional details.”

    About the representative EOS survey “What's the value of data?” 2020

    The EOS survey, which was conducted in partnership with market research institute Kantar in the spring of 2020, is representative of the (online) population over the age of 18 in the 17 countries polled. A random sample of 1,000 respondents from each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and 300 respondents from North Macedonia, was used for the analysis. The survey participants answered questions on their personal handling and disclosure of data, their trust in companies and their willingness to sell data for compensation.

    You can download other survey results and infographics, and a free white paper, here.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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    • Opportunity for companies: More than a third of respondents in favor of “compensation for data”
    • Just 23 percent have already been made an offer to disclose their data
    • Majority of Germans not aware of the value of their data

    Hamburg, October 6, 2020 – In today's digital environment, data like bank account number, date of birth, address, health details or purchasing preferences have become a key economic asset. This is why increasingly certain questions about the value of data and how it is handled are becoming a matter of public debate. This has also been borne out by a recent representative survey entitled “What's the value of data?” conducted in 17 countries by financial services provider and investor EOS. The survey found that almost 60 percent of German consumers think that they should be compensated for the use of their data. The willingness of German consumers to sell their data is surprising: At 36 percent, Germans come in at slightly above the European average (34 percent) and are not as cautious as their reputation suggests. In the under-35 cohort, the figure even increases to almost half (46 percent). A good 22 percent have already taken up a “data for compensation” deal, which is also higher than the European average of 18 percent.

    What’s the value of data? Infographic “Data for compensation”
    Germans are especially cautious about their fitness data and contact details, but one in six is prepared to reveal data on their purchasing behaviors in return for payment.

    Trust and type of data are crucial for disclosure

    The willingness to share personal information with companies depends on consumer trust in how they handle the data, particularly when it comes to complying with statutory regulations. However, another relevant factor is the type of data involved. For example, according to the EOS survey around 60 percent of Germans would disclose personal information or data on purchasing decisions and preferences for products and brands in return for money. Interaction data or data on surfing behaviors are also seen as rather unproblematic (45 percent). However, account or credit card details, and insights into their bank account, are considered by a vast majority to be too sensitive to sell (less than 10 percent). When asked about their specific compensation preferences, around half of the respondents found material rewards and discounts particularly attractive, while there was less demand for privileged customer status (18 percent) and better services (13 percent).

    What’s the value of data? Infographic “What compensation do Germans prefer in exchange for their data?”
    What would you exchange your data for? Germans clearly prefer discounts and material rewards.

    Data-based analyses and customized solutions

    The survey makes clear that companies are often still not exploiting the potential of encouraging their customers to disclose information and then using this data effectively. A look at receivables management shows that this can be worthwhile. “We evaluate debt collection processes to constantly improve our services with the help of machine learning algorithms,” explains Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst: “In Germany in particular, the legal framework provides a sound foundation for an appropriate handling of data. With the help of a robust database, we determine the most efficient action to be taken next in the collection process. We see data as the fuel for analytical decisions, therefore it is a valuable resource. The better the data available, the better for all parties, because the defaulting payers also benefit from realistic payment plans.”

    What’s the value of data? Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analytics & Data Governance at EOS Germany
    Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst, adds: “Companies need to start being more transparent about compensation for data and how it is used. That means also pointing out the options for what a consumer can specifically get in return for providing data. This allows both sides to benefit.”

    Lack of clarity about the value of data

    The EOS survey revealed that only one in five Germans had been offered compensation to disclose certain details. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the specific monetary value of data. For example, 65 percent of Germans believe that most consumers are not aware of the monetary value of their data. Although 78 percent of respondents would sell their personal information to a trustworthy company, only around a half of them (47 percent) actually had a specific price in mind. For about 43 percent of them this was less than 50 euros, while another 20 percent specified a range of up to maximum 100 euros. However, 17 percent would be willing to disclose data for a sum of up to 500 euros, while one in five would even hold out for more than 500 euros as compensation.

    What’s the value of data? Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst.
    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    “The uncertainty about the value of data affects all parties equally, whether consumers or companies,” says Stolze. “Everyone is familiar with the saying ‘data is gold’, but what does that actually mean? At EOS this resulted in a project where we defined what were the most valuable data fields for us and determined as specific a value for them as possible based on relevant parameters like risk avoidance or cost reduction. If as a company we quantify the value of data to us this can provide a basis for very sound decision-making. Because once you are aware of the value of data you treat it very carefully. It's a discussion that is set to continue over the next few years.”

    About the representative EOS survey “What's the value of data?” 2020

    The EOS survey, which was conducted in partnership with market research institute Kantar in the spring of 2020, is representative of the (online) population over the age of 18 in the 17 countries polled. A random sample of 1,000 respondents from each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and 300 respondents from North Macedonia, was used for the analysis. The survey participants answered questions on their personal handling and disclosure of data, their trust in companies and their willingness to sell data for compensation.

    You can download other survey results and infographics, and a free white paper, here.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Berlin, September 18, 2020 – The EOS Group will provide the President of the German Association of Debt Collection Companies (BDIU) for another four years. Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Public Affairs for the international financial services provider, was unanimously confirmed in office yesterday by the association's members. Pedd, who has been representing EOS in the BDIU for almost 20 years, was the first woman appointed to lead the association in 2016.

    “I am very pleased that the members of the BDIU have given me their vote of confidence by re-electing me,” says Pedd. “I am especially proud that we were able to adopt our Code of Conduct, which shows that responsibility and fairness are not just empty words for us but a real commitment.”

    The Code of Conduct unanimously adopted at the AGM covers the entire life cycle of a receivable, from acceptance of the collection order and communication with defaulting payers to other obligations related to the processing of payments and the handling of complaints and queries. Kirsten Pedd was the driving force behind its development.

    Profile of Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Public Affairs
    Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer & Head of Public Affairs, EOS Group

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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About the EOS Group

The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-based financial investors and an expert in processing outstanding receivables. The focus is on the purchase of unsecured and secured receivables portfolios. With more than 45 years of experience and locations in 26 countries, EOS offers its 20,000 clients worldwide smart receivables management services. The focus is on banks and companies in the real estate, telecommunications, energy supply, and e-commerce sectors. EOS employs more than 6,800 people and is part of the Otto Group.

 

  • Visual 6.800 employees

    in 26 countries work for EOS.

  • Visual for investment real estate and receivables

    were invested by the EOS Group in receivables and real estate in 2020/21. 

  • Graphic with sales figure of the EOS Group in the financial year 2019/20

    is the total revenue of the EOS Group in the financial year 2020/21.

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