Du engage – Video-based avatar puts customers in control of their debt, improving recovery rates while reducing costs

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New Consumer engagement software for debt collection announces a 91% engagement rate in a pilot campaign

Video-based avatar puts customers in control of their debt, improving recovery rates while reducing costs

The Digital Sheriff and SCAD Software have launched dū-engage, a cloud-based consumer engagement platform which uses a video avatar to take a personalized approach to consumer debt collection via SMS and email. In a pilot project dū-engage achieved a 91% engagement rate and recovered over £2,8m of aged debt within four weeks and arrangements to pay debts off from consumers of over £1m.

The platform allows companies to send personalised video avatar messages to consumers via SMS or email (with Whatsapp as an option). The messages can be tailored for individual campaigns and personalized based on the customer’s situation. For example, a message can invite the consumer to respond by setting up a call at a time that is convenient for them, paying the debt or opting for a payment plan.

By contacting customers directly via SMS or email, with a sympathetic and personal message, du-engage overcomes the challenges of outbound phone collection, which can be intrusive and have notoriously low success rates. The platform is easy-to-use and can be configured in minutes.

Traditional call centre collection approaches are not only high cost, but struggle to connect with consumers; and when they do reach customers, research shows that, in 55% of accounts, it required 2-4 attempts and in 26% of cases contact was made only after 5-7 attempts.

In late 2021 The Digital Sheriff and SCAD Software ran a pilot project with a major city in South Africa. The campaign targeted 8,000 accounts with over £15M of outstanding aged debt. The initial outreach achieved a 91% engagement rate and resulted in over £2.8M of recovered aged debt within 4 weeks.

Commenting on the launch: Jannes Du Plooy, Founder and CEO of The Digital Sheriff said, “In today’s volatile global economy, debt collection is a growing challenge for many businesses. And as the number of vulnerable customers grows to record levels, it is vital to take a sensitive approach to collections. This is a very exciting solution that not only significantly reduces the cost of debt recovery for businesses, but also improves the experience for consumers.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with both SCAD Software as our Software Development Partners and Burford Solutions, our exclusive UK distribution partner.”

Andy Fensham, CEO and Founder of SCAD Software remarked that “This is an ethical solution that puts the consumer in control of their debt, helping them engage with the source of that debt at a time and manner that is convenient to them. By taking a sensitive and sophisticated approach du-engage addresses a growing issue in society across the world. We are delighted to be partnering with The Digital Sheriff on this solution and helping them take this to market across multiple Geographies.”

Bruce MacLeod, CEO of Burford Solutions commented that “We are delighted to be part of this development. As a team, we have over 60 years of experience in the Debt Management and Financial Services markets. We are building a new and innovative approach to debt management that we are very excited to be bringing to the UK. This is a multi-year deal which we believe will positively resonate with the UK market”.

For more information go to www.du-engage.com

For more information on SCAD Software, please visit: scadsoftware.com

For more information on Burford Solutions, please visit: www.burfordsolutions.com


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Shaun Orpen

Managing Director - International

Shaun is an accomplished commercial leader with extensive experience in the IT and Telecoms industry. Much of his early career was spent with Microsoft, where he progressed from launching Excel into the UK market to the UK Executive Board, responsible for Marketing. He then went onto Orange where he ended up running the business unit responsible for selling to Small, Medium businesses.

Since then he has worked with a number of smaller technology businesses in both Commercial and Advisory roles. His strong commercial focus has led him to consistently contribute to the growth of every organisation that has engaged him. Shaun is heading up the Commercial side of SCAD Software.

He is spearheading the company’s expansion in the UK, Europe and the USA as well as the launch of SCAD Solutions, a business focused on launching innovative solutions to the international market. Shaun’s strong sense of ethics is perfectly aligned with Andy’s vision for SCAD Software.

Andy Fensham


After working as a software consultant to the global banking industry for six years, Andy has devoted the last two decades to realising his vision to transform the software development industry.

Since 1998, when he founded SCAD Software, Andy was aware that the business world was accumulating a vast and unsustainable level of technical debt, with legacy source code becoming a risk factor for organisations of all size. As markets change and digital transformation becomes integral to every business, Andy realised that out-of-date software would put the future of many organisations in jeopardy.

To address this risk, Andy developed a radical new approach to custom software development, which time and time again has delivered large-scale software projects 75% faster than other methods.

Andy is now overseeing the expansion of SCAD Software into new markets in Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe and North America as well as extending the portfolio to include a number of packaged solutions.