Consentsys, a service launching today, has developed a cloud-based, programmatic system for governments and businesses to more easily collect debt so they don’t have to hand the problem off to collection agencies. A Siri-like assistant guides the debtor through payment options in a relatively non-threatening script.
The technology is licensed by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Plus2Technologies.The idea is that businesses need to find a better way to recoup lost funds. The founders claim that by using Consentsys, businesses can save money, as they won’t need to employ additional collection personnel or an outside agency or law firm. In addition, the debtor can use it to create a payment plan or settlement that they can afford.
“The user experience was really amazing,” said Harshul Sanghi, American Express Ventures managing partner, in an onstage review of the startup at DEMO.
“If you’re in debt, you’re in debt for a reason. I question whether a payment plan or settling is something that would be interesting to [debtors]. But as a last resort, [Consentsys] is much better for both parties.”
“I founded Plus2 [Technologies] after coauthoring a book in law school to provide digital legal solutions to low income individuals,” said Michael Heller (pictured left), the company’s cofounder and chief operating officer. “The idea was to create a product that would help people get out from under their debt and move on with their lives, while helping businesses turn collections into profits.” Prior to founding the company, Heller was an executive in the legal wing of Bear Stearns & Company, a New York investment bank.
On the site, debtors are guided through the payment process in a friendlier, easier way. It’s in its early days, but they have already partnered with global payment processor Chase Paymentech, so users can find an affordable option and start paying off their debts. “People need assistance in finding payment solutions that work with their budget, not a debt collector’s commission,” said Heller.
The founders are a father and son team. Paul Heller, the chief executive, was the senior managing partner of a Chicago law firm that specializes in consumer and commercial collection litigation. Since founding the company in 2011, the Hellers have poured $120,000 of personal funds into developing the technology.
Consentsys is one of 75 companies and 6 student “alpha” startups chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
Top image via Flickr