April 1, 2021

Electronic Bill Presentment Is a Good Starting Point as Digital Becomes New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, quickly altering almost every aspect of our lives, including how we want to receive and pay our bills. This change in customer behavior and preferences triggered a rapid migration to digital technologies as customers and businesses scrambled to adapt to our new reality. Though we certainly don’t have a crystal ball, the expectation is that these changes will not be short-lived. According to McKinsey, 75% of people using digital channels for the first time indicated that they will continue to use them when things return to “normal.”

If you’re wondering where this leaves you and your business, below we outline how digital billing and payment options have grown in popularity and how you can prepare for the new normal.

Accelerated Adoption of Digital Billing and Payment Options

As shelter-in-place orders were put into effect around much of the world, businesses were forced to quickly ramp up their digital presence, and customers were forced to embrace solutions that allowed them to stay home and still pay their bills. Experts anticipate that this swift shift to digital will continue to rise. So far in 2021, 65% of customers have stated that they prefer to receive statements by email and 20% prefer to receive statements via online websites compared to 54% and 7% in 2019 respectively.1 This has caused experts to predict that the global market for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) will grow to 30.7 billion bills by 2027 from an estimated 18.2 billion bills in 2020.2 It wasn’t just e-billing that got a boost. Visa reported that more than 13 million customers in Latin America made their first-ever online transaction in the first quarter of 20203 and Mastercard experienced a more than 40% jump in contactless transactions globally during the pandemic.4 The surge in online shopping also led to an extremely successful year for PayPal as it reported record payment volumes.5

Preparing for the New Normal

Not so long ago, providing digital options was a way for billers to get a leg up on the competition. Today, it’s no longer an option, but a matter of survival. COVID-19 has rewarded billers that invested in digital over the past few years as they have been better prepared to navigate the recent shifts in consumer behavior and preferences. Those who didn’t have struggled to kick-start their digital transformation, but it’s not too late.

If you’re just starting your digital journey, you should focus on an adoption plan that delivers end-to-end digitization. Taking care of the front end first, like how you engage with your customers in the billing and payment process, helps smooth the path for automating the back-end processes. The more digital the process is from beginning to end, the easier it is to automate and make touch-free, which is how a growing number of your customers prefer to transact today.6 Since electronic bill presentment is the beginning of the customer journey, it is a good place to start. You also need to recognize that your customers want options. By providing a multichannel e-bill delivery that includes web, mobile, secure email delivery, and e-bill consolidation, you are better able to meet the needs of all your customers. The electronic bill presentment should also be powerful enough to securely accept payments of all types. This includes ACH, credit card, debit card, and digital wallets (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal).

The Many Benefits of E-Billing

For customers, there is a myriad of benefits that come with e-billing including:

  • Privacy and security – Enhanced technology allows billers to keep personal information safe.
  • Convenience – Customers can view their bill as soon as it is available, check their balances, and view their payment amount and due dates whenever or wherever they are. They can also initiate payment directly from their preferred payment channel and alleviate concerns around missing a payment by setting up payment reminders and alerts. 
  • Customer satisfaction – Faster processing and fewer payment issues can help boost customer satisfaction.

It isn’t just customers who benefit from e-bills. For billers, increasing e-bill adoption means:

  • More savings –  Research has shown that there is a per bill savings of 52 cents. That adds up to a savings of approximately $600,000 for every 100,000 customers with paperless adoption.7 
  • Faster payments and improved cash flow – Payments delivered in a customer’s digital channel of choice speed up payments and gives you a more predictable cash flow.
  • Better account reconciliation – Automating reconciliation makes it easier for you to track transactions and reduces human error.
  • Green alternative – Going paperless helps protect the environment.

Investing in E-Billing Helps Attract and Retain Customers

E-billing is quickly becoming a customer expectation rather than something that sets you apart from your competitors. By leveraging KUBRA iDoxs® Suite, you can increase your paperless adoption rates and reduce the costs associated with paper bills. KUBRA iDoxs is a complete cloud-based e-bill and self-serve solution designed to improve customer experience while increasing paperless adoption. Customers benefit from a convenient, secure, and simplified electronic bill platform that encourages paperless enrollment and you get access to insightful tools to help support your customers’ needs. 

Request a demo today and learn how KUBRA iDoxs can help your organization save money and the environment.

 

Sources:

  1. KUBRA 2021 Citizen Billing and Payment Survey.
  2. Global Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) Markets to 2027 and the Potential Impact of COVID-19, Research and Markets, 2020.
  3. Visa data shows digital acceleration in Latin American & Caribbean as consumers flock to e-commerce and contactless, VISA, 2020.
  4. Contactless payments jump 40% as shoppers fear germs on cash and credit cards, Mastercard says, CNBC, 2020.
  5. PayPal profit tops estimates as pandemic drives online spending to record level, 2021.
  6. Digital Is The New Normal In Payments, PYMNTS, 2020.
  7. Chartwell Billing and Payment Report, “Customer E-Bill Adoption Sees Strong Growth”, April 2020.