Data Enrichment & Validation

Compliant Customer Communications for Financial Services

March 19, 2020
Author
Inkit Team

Every year, around 50,000 of the UK small and medium businesses close because of slow payments. Even though larger suppliers receive their money much faster, they are still forced to wait a lot. This tendency also relates to the US and other countries.

Proper financial communications may help to reduce the waiting time. Transactional print and mail services establish the rules and warn consumers about possible adverse actions. Besides, financial services communications enable companies to stay compliant and build more transparent relationships with their customers. This saves them from million-dollar penalties, data breaches, and other serious troubles.

Although electronic transactions are allowed and even encouraged, printed transactional documents remain essential in many fields. They serve as physical evidence that an addressee received the notice and formalize the communication. Moreover, with the right approach, setting up the mailing of statements, invoices, and bills is a much easier process than you think.

Modern transactional print and mail services look nothing like traditional snail mail 20 years ago. Today, state-of-the-art mail automation brings accuracy into financial services communications and allows you to fully transfer mail processing to a third-party mail company.

Read on, to discover more about:

  • Compliant transactional print in financial services communications: invoicing, healthcare billing, and credit card statements
  • Billing statement letter examples and other useful templates
  • Inkit’s direct mail automation for transactional print and mail services

Compliant Transactional Print in Financial Services Communications: Invoicing, Billing, and Credit Card Statements

Financial services communications is a broad field. Today, we will talk about one of its components – transactional documents and regulatory compliance. This is the type of customer communications that anyone from asset managers or wealth management providers to healthcare insurance companies deals with.

Therefore, it’s necessary to know how to design, print, and deliver financial services communications to make them effective and compliant. Some billing statement letter examples and templates may also be helpful to understand how such mail pieces should look like.

direct mail

Requirements for transactional print invoicing

An invoice is an official written document in which the supplier lists all the provided services/goods and requests the customer to pay from them. Invoices aren’t mandatory but from a legal perspective, it’s always advisable to have proof of any claim.

In the United States, to be legally recognized as an invoice, financial services communications must contain the following details:

  • Port of the entry (if any)
  • Names of the seller and the recipient
  • Addresses of the seller and the recipient
  • The date of the purchase
  • Description of the goods
  • Quantities of the goods in weights and measures
  • The price of each item
  • Currency type, additional charges, separately itemized rebates, drawbacks, and bounties

Note. For more information on invoice contents and general requirements, visit this page.

Also, it is critical to make sure that all the invoice details are accurate. In 61% of cases, late payments are caused by mistakes in invoices, whereas 11% of customers don’t receive the invoices that need settling at all.

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Requirements for billing transactional print and mail services

Bills are sent at the end of every billing cycle, which in most cases lasts for one month. When it comes to compliant billing in the United States, you should be especially careful with healthcare services. The thing is that all medical billing is regulated with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other normative acts that protect the security of patient data. Fair enough, an estimated amount of healthcare fraud in the US exceeds $400 billion per year.

Yet, this also means that anyone engaged in healthcare billing should expect rigorous checks from governmental bodies. Quality transactional print and mail services will help to survive these tests and provide decent customer experience to patients.

If you want to reduce the risk of any billing mistakes, watch out for:

  • Billing for services that weren’t provided or were medically unnecessary
  • Upcoding, billing for mutually exclusive, not-covered, or out-of-network services
  • Not collected copays.

Note. For more details on medical billing compliance, visit this page.

Keep in mind that if the payment is delinquent or settled only partially, the biller is responsible for taking action. It’s necessary to contact the recipient directly, send follow-up bills, or engage a collection agency. It’s a valid reason to use third-party transactional mail and print services that know how to organize such financial services communications. Besides, the delivered mail pieces will prove that the biller took steps to inform the customers about the possible adverse actions.

Requirements for credit card statements

All clients of any company in the financial services industry have received at least one billing statement – if not more. Such financial services communications must meet the requirements of the CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act) published in 2009. This federal law was designed to protect cardholders from lending fraud and reduce unexpected fees.

Transactional direct mail

If you are related to a financial organization that sends credit card statements and want to do everything right, follow these recommendations:

  • Mail billing statements at least 21 days before the due date. Otherwise, you have no right to charge customers a late fee
  • If a credit account is subject to late fees, make sure to indicate the payment due date and the amount of the fee/interest rate increase
  • Minimum payment warnings (For more information, read this article)

Fortunately, there are numerous billing statement letter examples and other financial services communications you can use for guidance. They should help you better understand the allowed format of transactional documents and avoid any mistakes.

Billing Statement Letter Examples and Other Useful Templates

First of all, it’s always better to consult with your legal advisor about financial services communications. A person with relevant expertise will be able to recommend the most appropriate format based on all legal limitations. Once you know what information to include, you can use one of the billing statement letter examples and templates available here or here.

You may also use any other reliable resource with templates of financial services communications. Besides, many transactional print and mail services provide customizable templates.

Inkit’s Direct Mail Automation for Transactional Print and Mail Services

In our recent publication, we already talked about transactional print and mail services outsourcing. Financial services communications significantly benefit from the use of full-service print & mail companies. This helps to save time, stay regulatory compliant, focus on the core business activities, and mail more efficiently.

automation process

Inkit takes mail outsourcing to the next level with the full printing and mailing automation. Here are additional benefits our automated transactional print and mail services provide:

  • All financial services communications are tracked within a single dashboard
  • Automated data transfer and processing ensures the ultimate accuracy of mail pieces
  • Inkit can automatically personalize the content of every mail piece with variable data printing
  • Inkit’s transactional print and mail services deliver in-time so meeting deadline is much easier
  • The service securely handles recipients’ data and ensures the necessary level of privacy
  • Inkit integrates with hundreds of CRMs and other third-party products for ultimate transactional and marketing mail automation

We hope our advice on financial mail compliance and billing statement letter examples were useful to you. Once you are ready with the mail content, start automating the statement printing and mailing process using Inkit. Click here to get the demo now.

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