The Panthera Finance Group

A Collections Company With a Compassionate Culture

Panthera was founded on the principles of being willing to do things differently and put people in the centre of the collections process.

Jamie and Mathew Hough were only 24 when they decided to take a chance and start their own debt collection company. Aside from an abundance of youthful ambition, the two brothers started with a combined $2000 in savings.

Panthera’s early years laid the foundation for future growth, where the Hough brothers recognised that in order to reshape the collections industry, they needed to grow their business.  They brought in three key people – a Collections Officer, an Operations Officer and a Chief Information Officer.  With these three additions Panthera was able to expand and introduce new technology into the debt collection industry.

A significant portion of Panthera’s innovation activity has been dedicated around one simple concept – seeing customers as actual customers, and not just debt to be collected. One major innovation inspired by the customer-centric approach is Panthera’s online payment portal where customers don’t have to interact with collectors to arrange repayments. This innovation behind this payment platform provides a seamless payment portal as well as built-in mechanisms for tailoring payment arrangements based on people’s individual circumstances.

In further advancing a positive customer experience, Panthera’s routinely conducts customer focus groups, which are facilitated in partnership with Kildonan UnitingCare. Such engagement provides insights which allow Panthera to recognise that their customers feel more at ease knowing they did not have to talk to a ‘live’ person about their situation.

Aligned to Panthera’s founding principles, the Hough brothers were determined to ensure that customers who were facing significant financial distress were able to have their circumstances easily taken into account and a range of options made available to them, including not having to pay their debt at all.

In traditional debt collection companies, customers must provide documents and evidence to prove that they are suffering hardship. This can be an onerous task at the best of times, let alone when customers are suffering illness, grief, domestic violence or other significant personal or professional difficulties.

The importance of having this interpersonal-meets-technical innovation at Panthera has proven to be an invaluable resource in the past year in light of the COVID pandemic. Panthera stopped collecting altogether throughout the early stages of COVID and the pandemic has brought about ongoing changes to the way the company collects.

Looking into the future, Panthera will continue to lead the way forward in the collections industry and continue to be the benchmark other companies to compare themselves against, whether they acknowledge it or not.