Nov 22 2021
We live in a technology-driven world. With more people than ever before having instant access to endless information at their fingertips thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, customers expect that businesses will offer them convenient, accessible, and tech-forward solutions to every aspect of their daily lives.
One such technology is Electronic Bill Presentation and Payment, or EBPP. This is a system that allows businesses to collect payments through electronic means. If you have ever made a payment through online banking, you have utilized EBPP. Industries from banking and insurance to healthcare and telecommunications all make extensive use of EBPP.
Uptake of EBPP was slow in some industries, but there has been a sharp increase in recent years, with more customers than ever opting to receive and pay their bills online. And we believe that EBPP is here to stay. Here are a few of the ways that EBPP solutions benefit both customers and businesses.
Businesses with a properly implemented EBPP system can save a significant amount of money. EBPP saves your business money in both direct and indirect ways.
Direct savings include reducing or eliminating the costs of printing, postage, and the administrative expenses associated with sending out paper bills. You can also make less obvious savings and make your money work harder through improved cash flow (more on that in a minute), a reduction in customer calls to your service line, and a reduced churn rate thanks to greater customer satisfaction.
These cost savings also benefit customers, since companies can pass the savings along and give their customers a better deal.
A great EBPP system means that your customers can look up their account balance and make a payment online at any time. And if they have a question, they will no longer need to wait on hold for a customer service representative, as they can get many queries answered through their online account instead. This added convenience increases customer satisfaction and reduces the risk that you will lose customers. People are busy and, if you offer them convenience, they are far more likely to stay with your company for the long haul.
A more convenient and intuitive billing system reduces instances of late or forgotten payments due to paper bills being misplaced or getting lost in the mail before arriving with the customer. This is not only good news for your business; it also helps customers avoid the risk of being hit by unexpected interest or late payment fees.
Reduced Attrition Rates
As we mentioned in the last section, convenience is extremely important to customers due to the busy lives they lead. The convenience factor of EBPP can actually help you reduce your customer attrition rates, or the number of customers you lose (whether due to cancellations or choosing to switch to a competitor).
Once a customer has set up an account on your EBPP system, they have invested time in you as a company. This immediately reduces the likelihood that they will switch to a competitor, simply because it is time-consuming and inconvenient to do so.
Improved Cash Flow
Cash flow, or how much cash you have on hand, is a significant concern for many businesses. EBPP can help with cash flow by reducing your day’s sales outstanding (DSO), or the average number of days it takes to receive payment, and by allowing customers’ payments to get to you more quickly. And the more quickly their money lands in your account, the healthier your bottom line will be.
Premium Marketing Space
A bill is not just a document letting your customers know how much they owe. If you know how to use it, it can also be a prime piece of marketing real estate. This applies to online bills just as much as physical ones.
It is worth taking the time to make each invoice or bill bespoke for the customer who will receive it. The extra time this takes will pay dividends many times over in terms of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. You can use this space to offer new products, services, or upgrades the customer may be interested in, based on your relationship with them and their purchasing history. If the customer’s contract is about to expire, you can also use it to remind them to renew.
The other advantage of EBPP rather than paper billing when it comes to marketing is that you can track customers’ actions far more easily. Tracking click-throughs and what types of promotions appeal to which customers give you a rich well of data that you can use to improve future campaigns, create more targeted offerings, and improve your overall performance.
The Environmental Factor
Consumers are becoming ever more environmentally savvy, and they expect the companies they do business with to care about their impact on the planet. Eliminating paper bills is an easy way to reduce your environmental footprint and demonstrate to customers that you care.
According to research by IBM, 57% of consumers would be willing to change their purchasing habits in order to have a positive impact on the environment. That’s a lot of people you could lose if they perceive that you are still using environmentally unfriendly practices.
Companies can no longer afford to ignore the environmental impact of their actions. Caring for the planet as part of your business practices is now becoming the norm.
Need Support with Your EBPP?
It is clear that EBPP is here to stay. In today’s digital-first environment, your company risks being left behind if it does not switch to electronic methods of billing and receiving payments. EBPP is no longer a nice-to-have, but an essential service that offers ease and convenience to your customers and reduces late payments, all while keeping your cash flow healthy and offering opportunities for additional marketing.
Here at Hygrade, we are able to offer hands-on customer support to clients utilizing EBPP. No matter where you are in the process of implementing it, our experienced and knowledgeable team members will be happy to assist you.
Drop us a line if you would like to learn more.