How Consumers Benefit from Electronic Billing
Electronic billing is becoming more and more common. Most banks offer electronic bill payment allowing customers to pay a number of bills with a few clicks of the mouse. For many companies; utilities, credit cards, cable, etc, the payment is transferred electronically and happens almost immediately. For businesses (or individuals) who do not have that arrangement, the bank sends a check. This saves the customer a lot of time — writing a check, putting the envelope together and mailing it.
Many people receive their bills electronically. Rather that getting a paper bill, customers get an invoice or statement via email. This makes it easier to store and search the statements. Electronic invoices allow people to index their bills and store them as files rather than paper. Electronic billing is great for the environment. The country could save 151 million each year if 20 percent of households made the switch from traditional to electronic billing. It also makes it easier for people to track their expenses and saves them money.
Customers who use electronic billing are less likely to complain or have questions for the company. At least 25% of consumers say their relationship with their biller improved after they started using electronic billing.
Electronic Billing vs. Automatic Bill Pay
These are similar but not the same. With the former, customers receive an electronic statement. They can pay it online or with a check. When an automatic bill payment is set up, the money is automatically deducted from their account at an agreed upon schedule.
The Benefits for Businesses
Businesses who use electronic invoicing get paid faster. Because it is so much more convenient to pay bills online, they pay them quicker and collections time is cut. Moreover, consumers receive bills sooner when they are sent electronically — many report they pay the bill sooner than they would even have received it in the mail. Most pay the bill the same day.
The process also saves money. By avoiding paper, businesses save about 11.5 per bill.
Why Companies Outsource
Outsourcing billing can be the easiest way for many businesses to switch to an electronic billing system. Using an outside company can reduce operating costs, improve cash flow and result in better collection. All communication (invoices, notices, statements) between a company and customer is guaranteed to be delivered securely, efficiently and quickly. This gives consumers the ability to receive, view, archive and print everything sent to them. It gives the business an organized and convenient digital system for document archival.
Outsource billing services get companies paid one to three days sooner. It also eliminated costs associated with equipment — the maintenance, supplies, etc. Companies who use these services pay less in personnel costs and can redirect staff to activities that are more central to their business.
Outsource billing services do not only handle electronic bills. Some people still want to receive a paper bill in the mail. These companies can get postal discounts for bulk mailing and will take care of maintaining the mailing list. Anyone who has dealt with mass mailing understands how much time and effort it takes just to keep a mailing list accurate.