Your Role

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Mercantile Agent

+ Agent Assistant

Mercantile Agent

Specialising in repossessions, collections, field calls, process serving and skip locations.
4 minute read
Agent Manager Icon

Agent Manager

Mercantile Agency Staff
Coordinating mercantile agents, vetting reports and liaising with clients.
4 minute read

Compliance Manager

Mercantile Agency
Ensuring agents and staff follow regulatory, legal, SLAs and internal policies.
3 minute read

Credit Provider

Staff + Managers
Issuing instructions to the field and directing mercantile agent activity.
3 minute read

Common Questions

Answered

Answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Get in touch if you can't find the answer.

Have a look!


Mercantile Agent & Agent Assistants

A Mercantile Agent, also known as a Commercial Agent, is appointed by those in business. In context, a financial institution engages Mercantile Agents to act on their behalf or represent them in dealing with their customers and other persons, usually via on-site visits. Under ASIC regulatory training guidelines, a Mercantile Agent is an "authorised representative", whereas the financial institution is known as the "credit licensee."

Agents often come from a background in law enforcement, finance or credit management, although in recent times, many new entrants are seeking a career change and join from unconnected professions.

Duties of a Mercantile Agent are varied and may include:

  • Collection of monies under a loan contract.

  • Repossessing assets secured against a loan, typically cars, other vehicles, boats, aircraft, machinery and commercial fittings.

  • Ascertaining the whereabouts of a customer or asset (skip inquiries).

  • Field calls to a customer’s, guarantor’s or third party’s home or place of business.

  • Negotiating payment arrangements or the return of secured assets.

  • Identifying and reporting on customer hardship.

  • Liaising with lawyers, insolvency trustees and financial counsellors.

  • Completing asset valuation inspections.

  • Coordinating tow operators, auction facilities and related service providers.

  • Process serving (delivering of court documents).

  • Securing premises after a Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer eject the occupants and arranging a locksmith to re-secure the premises to prevent re-entry by the debtor/occupier.

  • Submitting factual reports, progress updates, affidavits, condition reports, photographs and video.

Agent assistants provide administrative support to the Mercantile Agent and are not generally licensed to perform repossession or debt collection activities; their duties may include those outlined in + What do Mercantile Agents do?

Likewise, the assistant will provide bookkeeping support and the logging and coordination of new assignments.

Mercantile Agents must possess a high standard of ethical and professional standards. Visit the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA) for more on this subject. Visit IMA.

Regional and remotely located Mercantile Agents will often act as the appointed Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer in their jurisdiction; this function must be performed impartially to their duties as a Mercantile Agent.

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 saw Australia passing new laws further regulating financial institutions. Ethical and professional standards to protect the domestic consumer was the focal point. 2009 saw the introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCPA) and the National Credit Code (NCC).

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) became responsible for administrating the NCCP and NCC at a federal level.

 

​In the same year, ASIC released Regulatory Guide 206 - Credit licensing: Competence and Training. From the top-down, virtually every person in the financial services sector must complete annual training, including office assistants processing the agent's field reports regardless of experience, work volumes, licence type or tertiary qualifications. The objective being 'combined accountability'.

RG 206 Table 1. states, "Representatives must complete training as determined by the licensee, and as appropriate to the representative's role and industry sector… Between 10 and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year… If a licensee determines that less than 10 hours of CPD per year is an appropriate number of hours for its representatives to engage in, we would expect the licensee to explain to us why this is sufficient."

​As with most industries in Australia and the developed world, measurable annual compliance training is an essential audit and regulatory requirement. Without it, a mercantile agency or credit provider may not be able to provide you with work.

Consider:

  • A debt collection, repossession or inquiry licence (as required by the state or territory you operate in).

  • The completion of annual compliance training (ASIC - federal requirement). We can help here.

  • Business insurance (credit provider and mercantile agency requirement).

  • Secure office or home office and data protection protocols.

  • Other compliance items or training modules as required by the credit provider or mercantile agency’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

  • Recommendation– Become a member of the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA). Established in 1961, they represent collectors, investigators, process servers and repossession agents throughout Australia. Their annual conferences present key speakers and excellent networking opportunities. Visit IMA

  • Mercantile Agent’s training - is our core business.
  • Course authors and mentors have over 30 years of repossession, debt collection and investigative experience in the finance and related sectors.
  • Known and proven in the industry.
  • Your certificate of annual compliance - accepted by more than 22 mercantile agencies Australia wide. One course, one cost, one certificate - 22 potential clients.

  • Possible business insurance discounts for your commitment to risk mitigation (speak to your insurer).
  • We consult with key personnel in the industry, including legal advisors, educational professionals and IT consultants, to keep up with industry demands and expectations.
  • Our training is 'niche market' and explicitly tailored to your job.
  • We grade your long answers manually and give personal feedback to your test attempts.
  • We provide over the phone coaching on course content and answer over 100 queries each year based on real-life scenarios. All are free of charge but subject to some limitations.
  • We assist your employer (agency) with maintaining a training register for their annual audit.
  • Discounts apply when two or more enrollments from the same entity are ideal for a husband and wife team.
  • Tax deduction.
  • Compliance badge – can be used with email signature.
  • We guarantee that you will learn something new every year.

Have a question? Start the chat


Agent Managers / Client Liaison Officers

An Agent Manager, also known as an Operations Officer or Liaison Officer, facilitates communication and quality control between a Credit Provider and a Mercantile Agent. A mercantile agency employs the Agent Manager and assigns them a Credit Provider-client, fostering an excellent professional relationship. An Agent Manager as an employee usually does not require a debt collection or repossession licence. They work under the provisions of the mercantile agency's master licence.

An Agent Manager is considered an 'authorised representative' for the 'credit licensee' for training purposes. Agent Managers often come from a background in call centre collections, finance or credit management. Although in recent times, many new entrants are seeking a career change and join from unconnected professions.

Duties of an Agent Manager are varied and may include:

  • Ensuring instructions from a Credit Provider meet legal, regulatory and Service Legal Agreement (SLA) compliance;
  • Logging and allocating instructions from a Credit Provider to the appropriate mercantile agent;
  • Vetting Mercantile Agent field reports, progress updates, condition reports, photographs and video for legal, regulatory and SLA compliance;
  • Ensuring agency costs fall under SLA guidelines;
  • Relaying telephone and written instructions between a Mercantile Agent and a Credit Provider;
  • Prioritising mercantile agent workloads;
  • Recording the collection of monies and repossession activity and notifying the Credit Provider promptly of the occurrence.
  • Identifying and reporting on customer hardship and trigger statements;
  • Assisting Mercantile Agents with location inquiries on customers or assets (skip searches);
  • Negotiating payment arrangements or the return of secured assets;
  • Liaising with lawyers, insolvency trustees and financial counsellors;
  • Communicating with tow operators, auction facilities and related service providers; and
  • Ensuring process serving documents (delivering of court papers) are carried out, and mercantile agent affidavits are correct and valid.

Agent Managers must possess a high standard of ethical and professional standards. Visit the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA) for more on this subject. Visit IMA.

Note: Regional and remotely located Mercantile Agents will often act as the appointed Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer in their jurisdiction; this function must be performed impartially to their duties as a Mercantile Agent.

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 saw Australia passing new laws further regulating financial institutions. Ethical and professional standards to protect the domestic consumer was the focal point. 2009 saw the introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCPA) and the National Credit Code (NCC).

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) became responsible for administrating the NCCP and NCC at a federal level.

​In the same year, ASIC released Regulatory Guide 206 - Credit licensing: Competence and Training. From the top-down, virtually every person in the financial services sector must complete annual training, including office assistants processing the agent's field reports regardless of experience, work volumes, licence type or tertiary qualifications. The objective being 'combined accountability'.

RG 206 Table 1. states, "Representatives must complete training as determined by the licensee, and as appropriate to the representative's role and industry sector… Between 10 and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year… If a licensee determines that less than 10 hours of CPD per year is an appropriate number of hours for its representatives to engage in, we would expect the licensee to explain to us why this is sufficient."

​As with most industries in Australia and the developed world, measurable annual compliance training is an essential audit and regulatory requirement. Without it, a mercantile agency or Credit Provider may not be able to provide you with work.

Consider:

  • The completion of annual compliance training (ASIC - federal requirement). We can help here.
  • Secure office or home office and data protection protocols.
  • Other compliance items or training modules as required by the credit provider or mercantile agency's Service Level Agreement (SLA).
  • Recommendation– Become a member of the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA). Established in 1961, they represent collectors, investigators, process servers and repossession agents throughout Australia. Their annual conferences present key speakers and excellent networking opportunities. Visit IMA

  • Mercantile agency training - is our core business.
  • Course authors and mentors have over 30 years of repossession, debt collection and investigative experience in the finance and mercantile agency sectors.
  • Known and proven in the industry.
  • Your certificate of annual compliance - accepted by all leading credit providers in Australia. One course, one certificate, once a year – 100% relevant.

  • We consult with key personnel in the industry, including legal advisors, educational professionals and IT consultants, to keep up with industry demands and expectations.
  • Our training is 'niche market' and explicitly tailored to your job.
  • We grade your long answers manually and give personal feedback to your test attempts.
  • We provide over the phone coaching on course content and answer over 100 queries each year based on real-life scenarios. All are free of charge but subject to some limitations.
  • We assist your employer (agency) with maintaining a training register for their annual audit.
  • Discounts apply when two or more enrollments from the same entity are ideal for a husband and wife team.
  • Tax deduction.
  • Compliance badge – can be used with email signature.
  • We guarantee that you will learn something new every year.

Visit our Course Page for more on this year's Banking Code of Practice and The Combined Acts & Professional Practices course.

Have a question? Start the chat


Compliance Managers (Mercantile Agency)

A Compliance Manager, or Compliance Officer, ensures a Mercantile Agency operates legally and ethically while meeting its business goals. They are responsible for developing compliance programs, reviewing company policies, training and advising management on possible risks.

Duties of a Compliance Manager usually include:

  • Maintaining agent and staff files with current:
    • Agent licences,
    • Agent insurance certificates,
    • Agent & staff training certificates.
  • Implementation and monitoring of:
    • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),
    • Credit Provider Service Level Agreements (SLAs),
    • Regulatory, legal and guidelines.
  • Quality control.
  • Conducting internal & assisting with Credit Provider audits.
  • Complaint handling, dispute resolution, including litigation.

Compliance Managers must possess a high standard of ethical and professional standards. Visit the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA) for more on this subject. Visit IMA.

Note: Regional and remotely located Mercantile Agents will often act as the appointed Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer in their jurisdiction; this function must be performed impartially to their duties as a Mercantile Agent.

If performing any of the summarised duties in the Mercantile Agent or Agent Manager job descriptions, they would be considered an 'authorised representative' for the 'credit licensee' for training purposes.

 

Compliance Managers are frequently required to guide Mercantile Agents and Agent Managers on the training course material, and therefore, they should possess content knowledge and certification on the same course.

RG 206 Table 1. states, "Representatives must complete training as determined by the licensee, and as appropriate to the representative's role and industry sector… Between 10 and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year… If a licensee determines that less than 10 hours of CPD per year is an appropriate number of hours for its representatives to engage in, we would expect the licensee to explain to us why this is sufficient."

​As with most industries in Australia and the developed world, measurable annual compliance training is an essential audit and regulatory requirement.

Consider:

  • Ensure that your agents and service providers have a secure office environment and data protection protocols.
  • Complete annual compliance training for agents, their sub-agents, assistants and staff (ASIC - federal requirement).
  • Other compliance items or training modules as required by the Credit Provider or Mercantile Agency's Service Level Agreement (SLA).
  • Recommendation– Become a member of the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA). Established in 1961, they represent collectors, investigators, process servers and repossession agents throughout Australia. Their annual conferences present key speakers and excellent networking opportunities. Visit IMA

  • Mercantile Agency training - is our core business.
  • Course authors and mentors have over 30 years of repossession, debt collection and investigative experience in the finance and Mercantile Agency sectors.
  • Known and proven in the industry.
  • We maintain and provide access to your live training register.
  • Annual audit assistance.
  • Our certificate of annual compliance - accepted by all the leading Credit Providers in Australia. One course, one certificate, once a year and 100% relevant.

  • We consult with key personnel in the industry, including legal advisors, educational professionals and IT consultants, to keep up with industry demands and expectations.
  • Our training is 'niche market' and explicitly tailored to your job.
  • We grade your long answers manually and give personal feedback to your test attempts.
  • We provide over the phone coaching on course content and answer over 100 queries each year based on real-life scenarios. All are free of charge but subject to some limitations.
  • We assist your employer (agency) with maintaining a training register for their annual audit.
  • Discounts apply when two or more enrollments from the same entity are ideal for a husband and wife team.
  • Tax deduction.
  • Compliance badge – can be used with email signature.
  • We guarantee that you will learn something new every year.

Visit our Course Page for more on this year's Banking Code of Practice and The Combined Acts & Professional Practices course.

Have a question? Start the chat


Credit Provider Staff & Managers

Credit Provider Staff refer to employees of an Australian Financial Services Licence holder. They are also known as Collections Officers, Credit Officers and Asset Managers.

 

Financial institutions structure their asset management and credit collections teams differently but primarily operate in the same way. All financial institutions must follow stringent regulatory and legal compliance.

 

ASIC considers Credit Provider staff in the context of training to be 'authorised representatives’ for the 'credit licensee'.

 

The day-to-day functions of Credit Provider staff vary depending on their specific job roles. When engaging the services of a Mercantile Agent, they must ensure that 'less intrusive means' to contact or negotiate favourable outcomes with their customers have been exhausted. Once a Mercantile Agent commences an action, there will be costs involved that the customer will invariably be liable to pay. Therefore, the appointment of a Mercantile Agent should be only as a final remedy.

Credit Provider staff core functions:

  • Ensuring instructions to a Mercantile Agency meet legal, regulatory and Service Legal Agreement (SLA) compliance;
  • Allocating instructions to the appropriate Mercantile Agency;
  • Requesting agent field reports, progress updates, condition reports, photographs and video.
  • Ensuring agency costs fall under SLA guidelines;
  • Relaying telephone and written communications between their customers and the assigned Mercantile Agency;
  • Directing agent activity;
  • Recording the receipt of monies and notifying the designated agency promptly of the occurrence.
  • Ensuring legal (default) notices are valid;
  • Identifying and considering customer financial hardship and trigger statements;
  • Applying variations to loan agreements;
  • Reviewing payment arrangements;
  • Liaising with company lawyers, insolvency trustees and financial counsellors;
  • Instructing auction facilities and related service providers;
  • Reporting on and achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
  • Complying with Anti Money Laundering (AML) legislation and fraud prevention awareness and;
  • Ensuring process serving documents (delivering of court papers) are carried out, and Mercantile Agent affidavits are correct and valid.

Credit Provider managers core functions:

All points contained in the title 'Credit Provider staff core functions' plus;

  • Performing Mercantile Agency audits;
  • Complaint handling, dispute resolution, litigation, liaising with internal and external dispute resolution providers.

Credit Provider staff must possess a high standard of ethical and professional standards. Visit the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA) for more on this subject. Visit IMA.

Note: Regional and remotely located Mercantile Agents will often act as the appointed Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer in their jurisdiction; this function must be performed impartially to their duties as a Mercantile Agent.

Depending on the role performed by the staff member will determine the amount and level of training required under ASIC Regulatory Guide 206.

 

Most financial institutions will have an internal Training Officer who works closely with their legal and compliance department — delivering specific training modules to fit their companies policies and procedures.

 

Credit Provider staff may need to guide and instruct their Mercantile Agents on the topics contained in our training courses. We recommend they should possess content knowledge and certification on the same course. The objective being 'continuity and uniformity.'

 

For more on who should complete annual compliance training. Visit our Mercantile Agent's - Flip Card. 'Why do Mercantile Agents and their assistants need to be trained every year?'

RG 206 Table 1. states, "Representatives must complete training as determined by the licensee, and as appropriate to the representative's role and industry sector… Between 10 and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year… If a licensee determines that less than 10 hours of CPD per year is an appropriate number of hours for its representatives to engage in, we would expect the licensee to explain to us why this is sufficient."

​As with most industries in Australia and the developed world, measurable annual compliance training is an essential audit and regulatory requirement. 

Consider:

  • A debt collection, repossession or inquiry licence (as required by the state or territory you operate in).

  • The completion of annual compliance training (ASIC - federal requirement). We can help here.

  • Business insurance (credit provider and mercantile agency requirement).

  • Secure office or home office and data protection protocols.

  • Other compliance items or training modules as required by the credit provider or mercantile agency’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

  • Recommendation– Become a member of the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA). Established in 1961, they represent collectors, investigators, process servers and repossession agents throughout Australia. Their annual conferences present key speakers and excellent networking opportunities. Visit IMA

  • Mercantile Agent, credit collection and repossession training - is our core business.
  • Course authors and mentors have over 30 years of repossession, debt collection and investigative experience in the finance and Mercantile Agency sectors.
  • Known and proven in the industry.
  • We maintain and provide access to live training registers. Subject to client approval.
  • Annual audit assistance.
  • Our certificate of annual compliance - accepted by all the leading Credit Providers and mercantile agencies in Australia. One course, one certificate, once a year – 100% relevant.
  • Share your ideas on new course content based on the current trends.

  • We consult with key personnel in the industry, including legal advisors, educational professionals and IT consultants, to keep up with industry demands and expectations.
  • Our training is 'niche market' and explicitly tailored to the mercantile and repossessions industry.
  • We grade the long answers manually and give personal feedback to your students.
  • We provide over the phone coaching on course content and answer over 100 queries each year based on real-life scenarios. All are free of charge but subject to some limitations.
  • Discounts apply for multiple enrolments from the same company.
  • We guarantee that you will learn something new every year.
  • We can bulk-issue your student's certificates of annual compliance. Copy and paste them into your audit training folder – done!
  • Compliance badge – can be used with email signature.

Have a question? Start the chat

FAQs

Questions ranked in order of frequency asked.

Yes, and we often do. This service is free of charge to existing Beebox Training clients. Please note that a fair use policy applies, and the advice given is not legal advice.

Subcontracting agents ordinarily fund their training as part of their cost of doing business.

 

As a person or entity funding the training, you hold the right to submit your annual training certificate to various Mercantile Agency clients (see Our Clients page) as part of your commitment to industry compliance.

 

Agent licensing, professional indemnity and public liability insurance and annual training are necessary business costs.

Your employer typically funds all training needed for your position as an agent manager or liaison officer.

Mercantile agencies have varying levels of compliance. As part of their annual audit or SLA obligations, some Credit Providers will require evidence of completed training, whereas others may not.

 

As part of your commitment to compliance, we recommend that you forward your training certificate to all your Mercantile Agency clients when you receive it.

In theory, yes, if your mercantile agency or credit provider clients accept the courses undertaken and certified as relevant to your job within the industry.

 

If you did not fund the training, you need to seek approval from the person or entity providing the training. Other third-party training modules/courses may be exclusive to the mercantile agency or client who requested you to complete such training.

 

With our training, the model is simple. Whoever funds the training owns the training certificate of compliance. Our certification is industry recognised and widely accepted.

Beebox Training, since its inception in 2009, is not a Registered Training Organisation. The simple reason behind this is that we do not deliver Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses as defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Beebox Training provides Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training under the recommendations set out in ASIC Regulatory Guide 206 Credit licensing: Competence and training, specifically Table 1:

 

To understand this better. If an entity wishes to deliver nationally recognised training for a course owned or created by another entity, it must (in most circumstances) be an RTO to provide that course. In cases where training funding, subsidies or offsets are claimed, then ordinarily, not only must the course itself be a VET course, but the training provider must be an RTO.

 

Beebox Training's material is proprietary except for the publicly available information, legislation, regulations, and appropriately referenced guidelines.

Unfortunately, ASIC RG 206 and legislation does not take into account work volumes. The objective behind this is ‘combined accountability;’ this is also the case for state and territory agent licensing.

Yes, we will apply a 15% discount on your group invoice.

No, unless the mercantile agency has nominated you as an approved agent on their training register. In this case, the mercantile agency will receive your first and last name, email address, grade history, and completion dates; these details prove to the credit provider that your training certificate is valid.

 

Unassigned agents are classed as independent agents and are only visible on our internal master training register.

Have a question? Start the chat

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Agent, Sub-agent & Agent Assistant Introduction Memo.

Adjust to suit - email to students & include their contact details in step 3.

 

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Quick Reference Guide

We recommend that sub-contracting agents fund their training as part of their commitment to self-compliance.

Regional agents contracting to multiple agencies benefit from completing one annual industry-recognised course.

Confirm with principal-agent if they have any sub-agents or operational office assistants also requiring training.

Consider audit, SLA and ASIC Regulatory Guide 206 risk exposure.

Regularly log in to your live training register and keep an eye on expiring or expired training certificates.​​

We send reminder notices to students on your behalf in the month leading up to certificate expiry.

For more on who should complete annual compliance training, take a look inside the Your Role page. Why do mercantile agents and their assistants need to be trained every year?