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    • Great opportunity for companies: More than a third of consumers in favor of “compensation for data”
    • Majority willing to sell at least one item of personal information to a trustworthy company
    • Willingness to disclose data even exceeds demand in some cases

    Skopje, 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 the handling of data and its value, and the reasons why companies are keen to make use of it, are increasingly a topic of public debate. This has also been validated 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 revealed that more than 60 percent of consumers in Europe and the USA and as many as 70 percent in Russia believe that companies should compensate customers for the use of their data. More than a third of respondents, and in Russia as many as half, said they were willing to provide certain data in return for compensation.

    Trust and financial rewards the drivers for increased disclosure of data

    For people to be prepared to disclose personal data, it is crucial for them to trust a company or organization to handle their data responsibly and adhere to the relevant statutory regulations. The EOS survey showed that a clear majority of consumers would sell at least one item of personal data for money to a trustworthy company (Europe: 82 percent, USA: 75 percent, Russia: 90 percent). People are least concerned about disclosing purchasing decisions and preferences for products and brands, but consider account or credit card details, or insights into their bank account, to be especially worthy of protection. When asked about their specific compensation preferences, more than half of the respondents found material rewards and discounts particularly attractive, whereas in all regions there was less demand for services as compensation, with only around 20% in favor of this option.

    EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?

    Data analysis as the basis for modern receivables management

    A look at receivables management shows that it is worthwhile for companies to provide incentives to consumers to disclose their data. Because the better the data available about the purchaser of a product or service, the quicker they can be reached in the event of a payment default. And, the more empirical data from similar receivables cases is already available, the better the proposed installment plan will match the customer’s financial situation and the more likely the customer will comply with it as a result. This is why its Center of Analytics plays a key role at receivables management service provider EOS. With the help of machine learning algorithms, its central platform analyses thousands of debt collection cases to determine the best processing steps to be taken next.

    Willingness to disclose data even exceeds demand in some cases

    The EOS survey revealed that one in five consumers had already been offered compensation to disclose certain details. In Europe this was most common in Spain and Romania, where as many as one in four consumers had received such an offer. In some cases, however, the willingness of consumers to disclose data actually exceeds the number of offers of compensation by companies. “I think there are still significant opportunities and unexploited potential here,” stresses Joachim Göller.

    “Already, installment plans are produced on the basis of intelligent data analysis in a lot of the countries where EOS operates,” explains Joachim Göller, Head of the Center of Analytics. “It is in the interest of all parties to conclude a collection case as soon as possible to save costs on both sides. And this is where data can help. The sooner the contact is established and the better the chances of the payment agreement being met, the more likely it is for the creditor to get their money and the consumer to become debt-free. So it can absolutely be in the interests of the defaulting payer to disclose data.”

    Joachim Göller, Head of the Center of Analytics at EOS, sees great potential in data analysis.
    Joachim Göller, Head of the Center of Analytics
    EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?

    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 find more information on the survey 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.

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    • Only 33 percent of Europeans trust companies to handle their digital data properly; in the USA as few as one in four consumers
    • Banks and online payment providers enjoy the greatest degree of trust, while telecommunications companies, online retailers, social networks and messaging services rank lower on the trust scale

    Hamburg, October 6, 2020 – The responsible handling of the valuable commodity “digital data” has become more important than ever. Because data like this helps companies to better understand their customers and their preferences and to respond to market trends. However, the willingness of consumers to disclose their data is crucially dependent on trust. In this respect, companies have not fared particularly well until now, with only 33 percent of Europeans trusting companies to handle their digital data. US citizens are even more distrustful (23 percent), while Russians are somewhat less skeptical (41 percent). These are some of the findings from a recent representative survey entitled “What’s the value of data?” conducted by financial services provider and investor EOS in 17 countries. The reasons for this skepticism result in part from bad experiences with disclosing data. Every fourth or fifth consumer has at some point had a negative experience online in this regard.

    Significant differences in level of trust depending on sector and type of data

    There are clear differences between sectors: Banks and financial services providers enjoy the greatest level of trust for their handling of customer data (Europe: 54 percent, USA: 56 percent, Russia: 54 percent), although not unconditionally across all countries. Energy utilities and insurance companies also come off relatively well (average value across all countries 39 percent). However, there is a lack of trust when it comes to telecommunications companies (28 percent on average), online retailers (21 percent on average) and social networks and messaging services (14 percent on average). That people still provide their data to the latter (contact information, movement data, purchasing and surfing behavior) can be explained by the fact that users regard this data as less sensitive. Universally, financial details are regarded as being the most worthy of protection.

    EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?

    Data minimization and service quality create trust

    Financial service providers in particular can therefore benefit from the higher level of trust they enjoy when it comes to the use of data. However, they need to create a balance between optimizing processes through as much data as possible and avoiding unnecessary requests for data. This is a challenge that EOS is facing as well. The debt collection service provider, which commissioned the survey, employs around 60 people worldwide in the data privacy and information security fields. “To build trust among our customers and consumers, we emphasize data minimization at EOS even when initially setting up projects. Instead of ‘collecting data for data's sake’, we pursue a data minimization approach and collect data only for specific purposes,” explains Stephan Bovermann, Senior Group Privacy Officer at EOS Group. He works with his colleagues to ensure data privacy in all 26 countries where EOS operates worldwide. From his perspective, however, handling data responsibly is just one way of establishing trust. “Naturally, high quality products and an excellent level of service are just as important for creating trust in a company as its careful handling of the data entrusted to it,” says Bovermann.

    Стефан Боверман, Виш офицер за приватност на EOS група
    EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?
    Естер ван Оирсву, раководител на интеграција на портали EOS технолошки решенија

    Data minimization through self-service digital portals

    One example of the data minimization approach are the EOS service portals which defaulting payers can use to settle their outstanding debts. These portals only collect the data that is necessary for the payment process. This creates trust, says Esther van Oirsouw, Head of Portals & Integration at EOS Technology Solutions: “Our online portals allow defaulting payers simple and self-determined access to their outstanding debt. After entering the individual case number, they can complete payment with just a few clicks. And for the majority of payment methods offered, no personal data has to be provided. This makes the obstacles to payment extremely low, because we know from experience that the more self-determination and flexibility we create, the better the payment rate and the higher the trust in us.”

    Action needed across all national borders

    As the survey shows, gaining and building trust is still a major work in progress for many companies. In all countries, mistrust and skepticism on the part of consumers is on a similar scale. But one thing that is clear is that the digital environment is a leveler. If you want to be part of the digital universe you will meet the same global players and be subject to their rules in all countries. Many respondents felt that they often didn’t have a choice when it came to disclosing their data. Around two-thirds of Europeans (66 percent) and Americans (58 percent) and four out of five Russian consumers complain that they are not even able to use all the features of a lot of online services without disclosing their data. In addition, around 60 percent do not have enough information about how to prevent or limit the disclosure of their data.

    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 find more information on the survey 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.

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  •  

    • New highs in revenue and EBITDA
    • Strong investment in debt purchases: another step towards becoming a global financial investor
    • “We will greatly expand our real estate-secured business, besides unsecured debt purchasing.”

    Hamburg, Germany; July 16, 2019 – EOS Group, with headquarters in Hamburg, increased its revenue in financial 2018/19 by 2.3 percent to EUR 813.7 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew to EUR 283.6 million. Thus, the international provider of customized financial services, which belongs to Otto Group, chalked up a new record in both key performance indicators. One of the main reasons for the positive development was the high investment in the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios: EOS invested EUR 668 million in receivables and real estate in the last financial year and is evolving more and more into a global financial investor.

    High investment in debt purchases continues unabated

    “I am happy about the extremely satisfactory financial year,” says Klaus Engberding, Chairman of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors. “Both for revenue and for profit, we once again achieved an outstanding level. Despite the financial year harmonization in the previous year*, we were able to increase the revenue of EOS Group. This is a clear sign of our sustainable business growth,” states Engberding. “We will greatly expand our real estate-secured business, besides unsecured debt purchasing. With our data-driven technologies, we can optimally assess and process receivables – the perfect basis for continuing to invest strongly in worldwide debt purchases.”

    EOS Group comprises more than 60 companies in 26 countries and employs more than 7,500 people. Via a partner network, EOS offers smart services to its around 20,000 customers in 180 countries around the world.

    *In the 2017–2018 reporting period around 30 EOS companies were included with 14 instead of 12 months in the consolidated year-end financial statements.

    Overview of key performance indicators:

     

    2018/19

    2017/18

    Revenue (EUR million)

    of which
    Germany

    Western Europe
    Eastern Europe
    North America

    813.7

     

    341.1

    220.9

    203.2

    48.5

    795.0

     

    327.5

    240.4

    183.2

    44.0

    EBITDA (EUR million)

    283.6

    279.8

    Differences may be shown in tables due to rounding.


    Eastern Europe with an increase in secured receivables

    In Eastern Europe, EOS is enjoying all-time highs: “We are very proud of our result in Eastern Europe for the last financial year,” says Marwin Ramcke, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and responsible for this region. “At 203.2 million euros, revenue exceeds that of the previous year by more than ten percent. Earnings before tax are also much higher than in last reporting period.” For both KPIs, EOS reached the highest level ever in this region. “We were able to increase our investment volume in bad debt portfolios again. Especially in Poland and Croatia, but also in Russia and Slovakia, the level from the previous year was clearly surpassed,” comments Ramcke. Investment in secured receivables in particular was expanded; EOS is now active in this field in nine Eastern European countries. Ramcke: “We continue to see excellent growth opportunities in this segment and plan on expanding the business segment to all our Eastern European locations in the future.”


    More on EOS’s financial year for Eastern Europe: LINK to the respective country-website

    About EOS Group
     The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group. 

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

  • Debt collection agency EOS Matrix DOOEL, a member of the EOS Group, is undertaking activities to comply with the changes and guidelines provided by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    In the past period, EOS Matrix DOOEL actively worked to maintain standards for securing the highest level of information security (ISO 27001), and consequently moved proactively to comply with the recommendations of GDPR. At the same time, the company monitored the changes in the local regulations for the protection of personal data and harmonized its work in a timely manner.

    In the following period the contractual relationships of EOS Matrix DOOEL will be complied with the requirements of the regulation

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    • Payment practices continue to improve, with 81 percent of all invoices being paid on time
    • But future outlook more pessimistic than of late
    • Consumers more reliable payers than business customers

    Hamburg, September 9, 2019 – Payment practices in Europe have continued to improve in both the B2C and B2B segments, with 81 percent of all invoices currently being paid on time. Five years ago it was just 75 percent. In Eastern Europe, four out of five payments arrive on time (80 percent); in Western Europe it’s as much as 83 percent. Punctual payment is especially high in Russia, where 89 percent of all receivables are paid on time, followed by Germany (86 percent) and Denmark (85 percent). In Europe, Slovakia (76 percent), Bulgaria and Greece (each 77 percent) are bringing up the rear for punctuality. The representative survey “European Payment Practices” 2019, conducted on behalf of financial services provider EOS, polled 3,400 companies in 17 European countries.

    The outlook is gloomy – is the tide about to turn for payment practices?

    Despite the ongoing positive trend in payment practices, European companies are meanwhile looking skeptically to the future. Only 22 percent expect a significant improvement in payment practices in the next two years; in 2018 the figure was 24 percent. On the other hand, 15 percent of those polled expect things to get worse; that’s an increase of two percent compared with the previous year. In Western Europe, companies from Germany and the UK are particularly negative about the future. In Eastern Europe, it is primarily companies from Russia and Slovenia that assume an adverse trend.

    “The survey confirms what many current economic forecasts are also showing: the mood in the European economy is no longer as optimistic as it has been in recent years,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. “In the UK, a possible no-deal Brexit is dampening expectations, and in Germany the negative economic outlook in particular is having an impact on morale. If global trade disputes are further exacerbated, a decline in payment levels in Europe can be expected as early as next year.”

    Five-year trend: payment terms in Europe were reduced and payment practices improved ...

      2019 2014
    Average payment term 33 days 37 days
    Receivables paid on time 81% 75%
    Receivables paid late or unrecoverable 19% 25%

     

    … but how long will the trend continue?

      2019 2018

    “Payment practices will generally/significantly improve in the next two years”

    22% 24%

    “Payment practices will generally/significantly deteriorate in the next two years.”

    15% 13%

     

    Majority still dispenses with outside support for receivables management

    In Europe, companies getting professional support with their receivables management are still in the minority. Just four out of ten companies (42 percent) work with external service providers to recover outstanding debts. “With a view to a potentially depressed economic climate in particular, those companies not already doing so should professionalize their receivables management to a greater extent and look at working with external collection providers, to keep their cash flows stable in the event of a possible decline in the level of payments,” says Engberding.

    Consumers more reliable payers than companies

    As the EOS Survey shows, European companies set their customers an average payment term of 33 days; five years ago they were allowed four days more. Whereas in 84 percent of cases consumers and private customers meet this deadline, only 79 percent of companies manage to do so. The main reasons for payment delays cited by the respondents were primarily cash flow problems in the B2C segment (57 percent) and in the B2B segment, outstanding payments by a customer’s own clients (55 percent) and the use of supplier credits (51 percent).

    Please find further information in our EOS newsroom.

     

    About the EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

    In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

    About EOS Group

    EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.

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