Posted by Tiffany Taylor and Alison Arthur on 21 Jul 2021
Some customers might prefer paper bills for perceived benefits like record retention and physical reminders of upcoming payments due. However, the global pandemic has increased the demand for paperless everything. Providing a choice between the two options is important. But e-bills can provide benefits for billers and customers alike.
What are some ways your organization can encourage a permanent switch to e-bills? Here are six techniques to consider.
Paper bills are designed to help readers easily identify important account information on the first page. A digital bill must present an equally easy-to-read design customized for the screen it’s displayed on (desktop, tablet, or smartphone). It must also allow users to quickly identify the amount owed, due date, and any additional fees or charges without unnecessary clicking, scrolling, or searching. Delivering an easy-to-use electronic billing experience is the first step in convincing customers to move away from paper.
Paper bills require precious resources including, ink, paper, and fossil fuels, for delivery. Electronic distribution can help reduce the overall carbon footprint of the bill issuing process. As customers become increasingly aware of their consumption habits, reinforcing the message of e-bills as a friendlier option for the environment might encourage them to make the switch.
A key benefit of paper bills is that the physical copies can be easily retained for future reference. Many electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) solutions provide access to archived bills for easy reference and printing on-demand. In addition, accessing these bills with a user ID and password also helps protect the personal information they contain.
Many customers may depend on paper bills as physical reminders that their payments are due. EBPP providers can send email and text message reminders with bill information, delivered to the electronic channels that customers use most. This is a critical customer touchpoint that can help encourage on-time bill payments and create positive brand interactions.
Convincing customers to adopt e-bills might just come down to incentives like gift cards, promotional items, and or discounts. A small financial incentive might be the tipping point that encourages a customer to change their billing behavior. To determine which incentives are most appropriate, consider their cost in relationship to the long-term operational savings your organization can realize.
Demand for contactless everything has increased exponentially in the days since the pandemic began. Remind customers that paperless, digital options for paying bills exist and offer a safer way to settle their accounts while educating them on the features that can replace the benefits of paper bills, like digital record-keeping and automated reminders, to overcome objections.
More on bills in Bill Payments: Helping Small Businesses Think Big.
*This is an update on an original post published May 2019
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