March 7, 2018

4 Reasons Why Your Customers Aren’t Using Electronic and Paperless Billing

Increasing electronic and paperless billing adoption has been at the forefront of utility billing and payment objectives for numerous years. Paper bills do not meet the needs of today’s consumers, and are viewed as environmentally wasteful and costly. Utilities stand to save $0.47 per bill per month just by moving customers to e-billing,¹ while the customer gets to experience a more convenient, fast, and secure way to make a payment with options to automate and create reminders to further simplify the payment process.

How then could 76% of customers still choose to receive paper bills when electronic and paperless billing is mutually beneficial for customers and their utility providers?¹ Why is the average e-bill rate among utilities in 2018 only 28%?¹ In this document we break down the reasons behind non-enrollment.

“Paper bills remind me to pay”

The number one reason consumers are reluctant to turn off paper bills is the reminder. Some consumers, primarily of older generations, have grown accustomed to using their paper bill as a reminder to make a payment each month. There is a prevalent concern that if they do not have the bill in front of them as a visual reminder, it will be easy to miss a payment. The best billing and payment solutions on the market offer customers the ability to set email or mobile payment reminders and include the ability to pay directly from these notifications. These channels provide a convenient way to reach most customers as 77% of American adults own a smartphone capable of receiving email and text message alerts.² Once you have a reminder feature, it’s important to make it known to all customers. Use marketing materials to share details about the reminders or consider automatically enrolling customers in e-billing with payment reminders as a trial to tackle this adoption barrier. This allows customers to experience the benefits of e-billing and digital payment reminders while receiving paper bills, prior to turning off paper bill delivery. This will help ease these customers into making the change.

“I can’t remember so many passwords”

The struggle is real. Password fatigue is a major pain point for consumers of all ages and a serious challenge among utilities. We’re tasked with remembering countless passwords for access to multiple online portals, and each account can have different requirements–all in the name of security. Overcome this common customer pain point with safeguards such as a simple password recovery process and a “Remember Me” feature for personal devices that will remember a customer’s details from their initial login and automatically populate their account information for future logins. In addition, leverage a Single Sign-On (SSO) approach to unify your self-service tools and ensure your customers only need one set of credentials to communicate with your organization across multiple platforms.

“It’s too complicated”

Enrollment can be viewed as a two-part process. Part one is getting the customer interested in e-billing and going paperless. Part two is getting the customer to follow through with their e-bill enrollment. It is a shame to accomplish part one only to lose the customer with a complex enrollment process. Test your enrollment process to determine what you can eliminate to simplify the flow, and don’t forget about your mobile channels. Once you know your enrollment process is user-friendly on desktop and mobile, let your customers know just how easy it is with a “How To” video or step-by-step enrollment infographic. These materials can be reused across social media, traditional mail, and your website to consistently drive e-bill and paperless adoption.

“Why should I change?”

Some people simply do not like change. They’ve been paying their bills a certain way for years, so why would they change what has always worked? Give your customers a reason to make the switch. Highlight the benefits of going paperless through CSR, marketing, and IVR communications. Depending on the interests of your customers, create a campaign focused on a specific theme such as going green, enhanced security, or overall convenience. A focus on how e-billing and paperless document delivery will directly impact the individual customer will usually hit home. An incentive for signing up is a strong approach as well. Gift cards, donations, and fun gifts can give consumers the push they need to follow through with e-bill enrollment.

Electronic and paperless adoption is a challenge for all utilities, but the reality is that among biller-direct payees, 53% of American households are interested or very interested in converting paper bills to e-bills.³ Once you understand the reasons why customer are not going paperless, you can begin to communicate in a way that customers will understand and that will ultimately drive action.

In support of our billing and payment solutions, KUBRA offers an Adoption Marketing Program to assist utilities with identifying ways to boost e-bill and paperless adoption, and build out effective marketing campaigns that will help them achieve their adoption goals. To learn more about our Adoption Marketing Program, visit



  1. Chartwell. “Billing Survey.” 2017, All Chartwell Billing Surveys over the last 10 years.
  2. Pew Research. 2017, Salesforce. “Mobile Behavior Report.” 2014.
  3. Fiserv. “Eighth Annual Billing Household Survey.” 2016.