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TransUnion Survey: Online Databases Help Collectors Double Right Party Contact Rates

A new survey from TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) found that nine in 10 (95.2%) collectors have improved their right party contact rate since using online databases and sophisticated technology. Nearly three in 10 respondents (27.4%) have more than doubled their right party contact rate by using online databases to uncover information.

Right party contact information – such as phone numbers, addresses and place of employment – helps debt collectors reach the right person on the first attempt. More than eight in 10 (85.5%) collectors surveyed by TransUnion said online databases greatly improve the accuracy of customer information.

“As right party contact rates become increasingly important, the collections industry needs to invest in databases with search technologies to identify the best contact information. Our survey findings clearly demonstrate the value of using an online database with up-to-date, accurate and actionable data.”
Peter Ghiselli, vice president at TransUnion

The survey also found that despite the benefits derived from using online databases, only 57.6% of respondents said they always use them. Approximately 40% said they “sometimes” use the databases. “We have shown the value of using online databases and it would be in the best interests of collectors to embrace this technology to help improve their process and aid them with their compliance efforts,” added Ghiselli.

Uncovering Best Practices and What Works

According to survey respondents, having one best phone number for an individual is the most important aspect of right party contact information. Seven in 10 respondents (67.9%) ranked having an accurate phone number as the most important tool, while 63.9% ranked address as one of the most important pieces of information.

“One best phone number, available through TransUnion’s TLOxp® solution, allows business to achieve better results while investing fewer resources,” said Ghiselli. “At TransUnion, we combine credit and alternative data with sophisticated analytics through a variety of products and services to offer collectors the latest available information to improve right party contact rates.”

Respondents’ Rankings of Most Important Right Party Contact Information Types

Type of Right Party Contact Information

Percentage of Respondents Who Ranked in Top Two

One best phone number




Place of employment


Top three phone numbers


The survey, conducted in January 2016, included 635 respondents from debt buying organizations, first-party collection agencies, third-party collection agencies and collection law firms. Respondents collected a variety of types of debt, including auto, bankcard, commercial, consumer loans, government and municipal, medical, mortgage, private label, student loans, telco, and utility. TransUnion conducted the survey to better understand what solutions work best for the collections industry and their continued right party contact efforts.

TransUnion Collections Solutions combine its almost 50 years of experience with deep data and analytics to provide customers with better insights to improve skip tracing, contact the right party and prioritize accounts. TransUnion’s tools and strategies allow organizations to streamline processes so they can work more accounts and achieve better results.

Visit TransUnion’s booth (#301) at the Debt Buyer’s Association Conference at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas from Feb. 9 – 11. For more information about TransUnion’s right party contact solutions, click here.


About TransUnion (NYSE:TRU)

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion reaches consumers and businesses in more than 30 countries around the world on five continents. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

We call this Information for