Posted by Bethany Frank on 22 Mar 2016
Technology is changing everything from how we prepare food to how we manage finances. Some businesses, however, still rely on billing methods that are outdated in a digitally driven world. Below are a few reasons businesses should ditch traditional bill statements and make the switch to electronic bill presentment.
Paper bill statements require businesses to print and mail sensitive account information to customers. That printed information makes its rounds through a number of postal service departments and employees before arriving in the hands of the right customer. Such lengthy procedures give rise to human error; paper statements can easily get lost, delivered to someone else, or otherwise end up in the wrong hands.
Electronic bill presentment cuts the middle man out and allows businesses to communicate personal information directly to the customer, reducing the risk of lost statements and mail fraud. Going paperless also makes it easier to maintain consistency - it enables a business to ensure statements are sent at the same time each month without relying on a third party. It's also easier and much more secure for customers to archive and retrieve electronic bill statements.
A Reduced Carbon Footprint
North Americans use the most paper per capita than anyone else. Companies in the United States use an average of four million tons of paper annually. Switching from paper to electronic statements can help businesses take a step towards greater environmental sustainability. And for customers, electronic statements help reduce unwanted clutter and paper waste.
Electronic bill statements can save businesses money, time, and other resources. It often takes a whole staff just to print, fold, and mail paper statements month after month. Workflows could span weeks, with little time for other tasks between billing cycles. For some businesses, especially large ones with heavy billing operations, paperless billing could help significantly reduce costs.
Aside from the paper itself, traditional statements require a constant supply of other printing materials, postage, and manual effort. Paper statements also require business arrangements and regular correspondence with a postal or shipping service. In contrast, e-billing can help businesses cut back on recurring expenses and improve bottom lines.
Accelerated Operations and Payments
Sending paper statements in the mail is a tedious administrative function that requires plenty of dedicated hours each month. Paper statements require employees to physically print, package, stamp, and address one to every single customer. Paperless billing, on the other hand, streamlines the whole process and gives employees more time to focus on tasks that are pertinent to a business’s core mission.
Much is left up to the customer when paper statements are sent via mail— weeks could go by before the customer ever opens the bill, leaving a lengthy period of time between a business’s request for payment and the actual receipt of funds. Because email is instant and such a regular part of most customers’ daily lives, an electronic statement is likely to be viewed sooner. Customers are also likely to make payments sooner, especially if they are given multiple payment options and empowered to submit payments online.
Sometimes businesses get stuck in their ways, but there are a number of benefits to breaking away from traditional paper statements. Going paperless not only reduces environmental impact, but can also help businesses reduce costs, reprioritize workloads, and even improve cash flow by accelerating payments. For customers, electronic statements offer convenience and added layers of security, which could lead to an overall improvement in customer satisfaction. Learn more about electronic bill presentment here.