October 31, 2018
Why Are Customers Stuck On Paper?
We recently surveyed our customers and found some interesting results. To view the full report and to learn about changes in consumer billing and payment preferences, make sure to register for our 2018 Consumer Billing Trends webinar.
While the technology for electronic billing and payment processing has been around since the 1990s, a large number of customers are hesitant to switch to digital bills. Some like the visual reminder to pay their bills on time, while others prefer to have hard copies for their records.
Here were some of the common reasons why some consumers still prefer paper bills. Some of them may surprise you:
- Record Keeping
“I like a hard copy for my records.”
“I can monitor my billing amounts and services provided, maintain a payment history and am able to find previous invoices if necessary.”
“[I need to] turn in hard copies to [my] accountant.”
Many consumers prefer to receive and file paper copies of their bills for situations where they would need to provide a hard copy. For example, some insurance agencies, tax preparers, and loan officers require hard copies of documents like these. But you can still provide that to your customers with paperless billing.
You can help your customers keep a record of their bills by allowing them to access their account online and view PDF copies of every bill associated with that account. That way, it’s all right there and accessible by logging in on their desktop or mobile. From the secure online payment portal, they can view, send, and even print copies of any bill that they need. Customers who prefer to keep their own copies can also save those PDFs in a folder on their computer or device for easy access any time.
“Nobody will have access to any of my accounts.”
“Electronic records can be changed.”
“I want a paper trail.”
With a seemingly never-ending stream of news stories about data breaches, your customers are understandably concerned about security when it comes to making online payments. Companies that utilize online payments have to continually be aware of customers’ concerns and find solutions for them.
The good news is that you can ease your customers’ fears by talking to them and directly addressing their concerns. There are so many security procedures put into place to safeguard customers’ data, particularly within KUBRA products, that customers probably don’t know about. To help address the most prominent security concerns today, KUBRA wrote a white paper discussing the four biggest security myths that customers believe, and how utilities can share the truth with their customers.
“I like the reminder and it is quicker. I don’t have to search it out.”
“Having the bill visible (on the counter) is a reminder.”
“Unless it is taken out automatically, which some of my bills are, I find I forget to pay if I don’t get a hard copy in the mail.”
Sometimes life gets in the way and your customer almost forgets to pay their bill, except for the fact that it’s sitting on their kitchen counter as a visible reminder. Many people continue to receive their bill in the mail because it’s a physical reminder of something they have to take care of. Otherwise it’s out of sight, out of mind.
By pairing paperless billing with a notification and preference management system, your customers have the option to receive a notice before their bill is due. These alerts are automatic and the customer can choose when they receive them. These reminder notifications can help replace the physical reminder of a paper bill, and they’re harder to lose.
“I’m used to [receiving paper bills].”
“It’s easier to mail a check than it is to log into things.”
For those who have become accustomed to paying their bill through the mail, switching to a digital system can seem overwhelming and inconvenient. But without the hassle of relying on mail service, paying bills online is the most convenient choice. Customers can simply log into their account on or before their bill’s due date, and they can be sure the payment will be rece-
ived on time.
Setting up automatic payments makes this process even more convenient and gives your customers the added security of knowing their payment will always be processed on time. Keep in mind that your customers may not be aware that this option is available, so it’s important to educate them on how easy it can be.
Another option your clients have is KUBRA’s iDoxs Suite Secure Email. The Secure Email Delivery and Payment option allows you to send customers an email that includes an in-bill payment option along with a secure PDF copy of their bill. This option gives customers the payment reminder they need, access to a complete bill for filing and planning purposes, and a hassle-free way to pay their bills without requiring a web portal login or multi-step payment process.
Other Notable Reasons
And sometimes people have reasons we’ve never thought about before, whether it’s job security or because it’s what their pool guy wants. Here are some of the more unique answers we received:
“Mail is oddly satisfying. Seems old-fashioned.”
“I work for USPS. Receiving mail is good job security for me.”
“So that if I die, my wife will still get the bills and be able to pay them.”
“I’ll go back and check usage for the previous year. Using more or less now.”
“Haven’t gotten around to switching yet.”
“There is no discount offered [for switching].”
“Only our pool guy sends us a paper bill and wants a check. He’s old like us and he owns the company.”