What is Dunning?

Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management
Author: Paul Cox Business Development Manager
Date: 7th November 2017
Categories: Technology, Data, Financial, Telecoms, Revenue Assurance, Optimus, Neural Technologies, Revenue Management, OSS/BSS, B/OSS, Dunning, Collections

Neural Technologies are expanding our solution pack to help customers with their Dunning requirements. Some of you, like certain people throughout our company, might be in the dark as to what Dunning is. I only discovered its meaning when I first started work in an office – each customer of ours seemed to have a Dunning level, which was the bespoke level of pressure applied to them to pay their invoices. This ranged from ‘gentle pressure’ to ‘baseball bats and knuckle dusters’…. Well, maybe not that severe but you can understand what I mean.

The word dunning comes from a 17th century verb ‘dun’, meaning to demand the payment of a debt. Intrigued, I elected to investigate how debt was pursued over the years. In the late middle ages many countries introduced laws to effectively aid debt collection. If you were incapable of paying, you could be summoned to Court and this could trigger a bailiff who would be instructed to attend your house and remove your possessions to cover the debt and give them to the creditor as compensation. Well, that sounds similar to what happens today but during the Middle Ages they would often take away a lot more… they may even force you to handover ownership of your house, to cover a debt a fraction of its worth.

The Victorians often found themselves in prison for owing money. They even had special debtors prisons where you could be confined until you could settle up - but how? Well, the Victorians would just get you to work off the debt while in prison! However, once the prison had taken its cut and your work covered other ‘expenses’, it would sometimes take years to clear a minor obligation.  

Wind on a couple of hundred years and Dunning is executed in a far more civilised manner. You may get a polite reminder via text, letter or e-mail, then if you don’t respond you will receive a more forceful communication. Any further delays to paying your debt will cause more and more escalated correspondence, eventually leading to a withdrawal of services and like the Middle Ages, court action - with the bailiff being a last resort.

But how is Dunning carried out? The Middle Ages would see clerks with quill pens entering payments in enormous ledgers, a process that really didn’t change until the advent of the computer and mobile device. Perhaps the quill pen was replaced with a ballpoint at some point, but by and large it was hand and paper that determined the pressure to recover the money owed. The Neural Technologies Dunning solution gathers all of your data from your systems and combines it with your business rules, effecting a solution that enables you to streamline your processes, interface with your customers and improve your cash-flow. Some may say a big improvement on the debtors prison.      

     Dunning Collections

If you want to learn more about how Neural Technologies can help and improve your collections needs, contact me:

Paul Cox, Business Development Manager
paul.cox@neuralt.com  or  info@neuralt.com