Posted by Alison Arthur on 20 May 2019
While many customers have permanently switched to e-bills, some still receive stand-alone paper bills or hard copies in conjunction with electronic versions. We’ve observed in some of our customer segments that approximately one-third still receive paper bills in the mail.
There are many reasons why customers might prefer paper bills, from record retention to physical reminders of upcoming payments due. Providing 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 five 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 that’s 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 becoming 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.
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