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Survey: Adoption of e-Billing in the U.S.

NACHA CEBP and PayItGreen quantified the size of the U.S. e-Billing(electric billing) market, indicating that a total of 5.1 billion electric bills were delivered in 2010 alone. However, some consumers are moving to adopt electric bills more slowly than anticipated. NACHA and PayItGreen suggests that e-Billing is gaining momentum across business industries with more billers expected to come online in 2011 and 2012.

Study: survey
The study asked 200 people across multiple industries and business sizes about their eBilling programs and about customer adoption rates. The purpose of this research is to help billers compare their progress relative to peer organizations and assess opportunities for increasing paper to electronic billing migration.

Biller’s perspective
e-Billing is important to billers. Results showed that 88% of participants rate
e-Billing adoption to be a significant opportunity for their organization.

Billers view eBilling as a significant opportunity to reduce expenses, eBilling can save 40- 50 cents per bill instead of paper billing. A secondary motivation to convenience is that eBilling is a green messaging that will be used widely! 82% of participants report eBilling adoption is growing.

Source: https://admin.nacha.org/userfiles/File/eBilling%20Study%202_3_11.pdf

Consumer’s perspective
There are any obstacles besides the benefits of e-Billing:

“We have e-Billing, but our billing system is not completely integrated and we cannot turn off paper statements so it costs us more.”
But also the habit of the customer to need a paper bill to remind them. Some customers are computer illiterate or do not read English.  Or they have concerns about the security and privacy. But electronic bills can be more secure than bills in mail.

Message
So the next question is: which message do we have to communicate?

Billers report that convenience is the most compelling consideration followed by the simplicity of payments.
Customers can view and click to pay in one step, pay at the last minute and can pay bills directly through their own bank. Besides, e-Billing will saves postage and printing and no more stacks of paper and clutter. But the most important benefit of e-Billing is, electronic bills are more secure than bills in snail mail!

Source: https://admin.nacha.org/userfiles/File/eBilling%20Study%202_3_11.pdf

The study also looked at the marketing of e-Billing, and where survey participants had the most success:

  • The most compelling argument for e-Billing adoption is convenience, including viewing and paying a bill in one step and paying at the last minute.
  • The least compelling argument for e-Billing is that it is more secure than paper billing.
  • The largest obstacle to customer acceptance of e-Billing is unwillingness to give-up the paper statement.
  • Most study participants use an opt-in approach to e-Billing, but are considering an opt-out approach to increase adoption.
  • Customers are often apprehensive about e-Billing.  Email and printed messages with a self-enrollment process are often not enough.  Having a live operator walk the customer through the process to explain why information is being collected and how it will be used can significantly improve adoption.

So, when will e-Billing overtake paper billing?  According to the study, most U.S. participants (52%) believe that it’s more than 5 years out 2016.  With the right technology in place, and a great marketing and education campaign aimed at the customers, chances are one could get way ahead of the curve!

More information:
https://admin.nacha.org/userfiles/File/eBilling%20Study%202_3_11.pdf

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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