Pioneer is an Australian company bringing a fresh new approach to financial services.

We began life as a financial services provider to people in financial difficulty. Today, with more than 160,000 customers throughout Australia and New Zealand, we continue to focus on helping people get their finances back on track and achieve their goals.

In 2016, we embarked on the next chapter in our growth story, with the launch of a range of products to our customers. Ultimately, our aim is to help customers achieve home ownership, using loans we will broker back through our valued banking partners.

The Pioneer Leadership Principles are the core values that underpin every aspect of the business. They are integral to every action and are reflected through the relationships that Pioneer form with their Team Members, Customers, Shareholders and Key Stakeholders. These Principles align to the expected qualities and behaviours of everyone in the team and are the backbone of how we audit these standards within the business.

Leadership principles_layout

Pioneer is currently in partnership with three of the ‘big four’ banks, regional banks and leading consumer leasing providers.  Pioneer builds relationships with partners that have similar standards for risk assessment, retail credit origination, customer service and brand values to their own. The customer segments acquired by Pioneer are all similar in nature, predominantly credit cards, personal loans and high quality consumer leases. This allows the Customer Service Team at Pioneer to become specialists in working with this type of customer.  They all had good credit history when originated, have experienced a ‘life event’ and are generally motivated and eager to meet their obligations and get their financial life back on track. 
The majority of retail portfolios sold in Australia and New Zealand are under forward flow agreements, where a purchaser agrees to purchase and a vendor agrees to sell a proportion of its portfolio, meeting agreed characteristics for an agreed term (typically of 12-24 months).

At the time of purchase, the price paid is generally determined by a tender process in which participants perform their own due diligence and determine the price they are willing to pay.

Existing in-house knowledge of the portfolio under offer or similar equivalents is utilised along with a consideration of macro and micro economic factors assessed using the experience of senior management.

The sale of debt portfolios is highly regulated and Pioneer invests in best practice compliance processes, quality customer service and utilises data analytics processes to deepen the understanding of portfolio characteristics.  This investment as well as the depth of vendor relationships developed over time have positioned Pioneer with access to the vendor panels of all of the ‘big four’ banks.

The majority of Pioneer’s purchases are unsecured personal loan and credit card portfolios.  Pioneer also purchases consumer leases, consumer rental agreements and transactional accounts.

Pioneer does not purchase lower quality and quick liquidating telecommunications, utilities or pay day lending accounts.

Pioneer’s customers are regarded as Tier 1.  That is, they were not credit impaired when originated.

A key criterion in determining the success of Pioneer’s customer acquisition activity is the price paid for a portfolio. Pioneer uses a combination of methods to value portfolios, however the priority is always to enter into partnerships and pay a long term, sustainable price providing the vendor with surety of demand and unwavering brand protection. Pricing is typically reported as a percentage of the face value of the debt or “cents in the dollar”.
Pioneer enters two types of Payment Arrangements with its customers:

  1. Fixed Schedule Payment Arrangements – whereby agreed periodic payments are made until the account is closed with interest at an agreed rate; and
  2. Non Scheduled Payment Arrangements – whereby the customer agrees to pay but does not commit to a fixed schedule.

In both cases, Payment Arrangements are tailored to the customer’s situation and managed by a Specialist Customer Service Team.

As at 30 June 2015, the average account balance of arrangement customers was approximately $11,000 with a weighted average age of 1.9 years.
The geographical spread is representative of the Australian population, providing resilience to fluctuating economic trends across the country The graphic below illustrated that spread as at 31 May 2017.

Portfolio Geographic Spread

Pioneer’s primary activity is the servicing of customer accounts.  Its business model is characterised by two key activities:-

  • Investment in unsecured retail debt portfolios; and
  • Working with its customers over time so that they can meet their obligations and progress towards financial recovery.

Pioneer’s objective is to work closely with these customers who – for a range of reasons – have found themselves in financial difficulty. In the great majority of cases this has come about through a significant life event such as loss of job, serious health issues, marriage breakdown or domestic violence.

A key goal at Pioneer, is to see their customers achieve financial recovery and evolve as a ‘new consumer’.

Due to our unique approach, across the entire portfolio, our overall return is evaluated and managed on a return multiple to the acquisition investment. Our financial performance is evaluated on a total return basis.

As at 31 May 2017 Pioneer has approximately 550 staff members in Australia and the Philippines.