In the USA today, almost all electronic payments begin with a paper bill.
By their actions, US consumers are telling us quite clearly:
- Electronic payments are MORE convenient than posting a check.
- Paperless billing at websites is LESS convenient than receiving a paper bill.
As long as fetching their bill from your website is the only paperless option, the majority of consumers will stick to receiving their bill through the USPS.
Why 70% of your customers will never go paperless at your website
Here’s what consumers are telling us:
- Everybody hates usernames & passwords. They don't want website registrations (they don't even want the ones they already have).
- They don't want to navigate mobile websites (which require usernames & passwords too).
- They don't want another app (and yet another username and password) just to go paperless.
- They want to view and pay their bill on any device, at any time.
- They want to be able to view and pay their bill just as quickly and easily as opening a paper bill.
The last eight years were about electronic payment. The next four years are going to be about paperless adoption.
Unfortunately the solutions that exist today are failing to meet the consumer’s needs.
What are your choices for driving paperless adoption?
- You can try spending more on marketing your website. It may help marginally, but at what point does the cost of acquiring a paperless customer exceed the savings? (Unfortunately incentives hardly move the needle at all.)
- You can try integrating with one or more of the new consolidator players. Sadly they are all failing to gain any significant traction and are unlikely to meaningfully impact your paper suppression goals. In addition, there are now three of them,
so do you do all three integrations or just choose one? (We’d suggest you wait and see on that front.) Most importantly, do you really want to let go of this important customer touch point?
- Do you build a mobile app? A far lower percentage of consumers will download your app than those already registered on your portal. You aren’t going to achieve higher paper suppression this way either.
- Another good notification channel is Text messaging / SMS, but again, not one that will help you drive paper turn off.
- Do you add another electronic delivery channel? Offering eBill delivery via email is an extremely successful paper suppression option. It’s device agnostic, does not require any marketing dollars and immediately saves you 80% of your paper bill costs
for each customer that chooses this option.
Here’s how you solve the paperless adoption challenge:
Step 1: Obtain your customer's email address.
Step 2: Get one click paperless consent in the email channel:
- Do not require registration at a website
- Do not require a username and password choice
Step 3: Auto register them at your portal
Step 4: Deliver an electronic replica of the bill as an encrypted PDF email attachment with no software download or app required
Step 5: Enable payment directly from this attachment (on any device)
Step 6: Drive website self service from the email and attachment
Another 10% to 15% (per year) of your customers will turn off their paper bill if you follow these 6 steps.
* How do we get to that number?
- Less than 20% of US consumers are enrolled for paperless billing.
- More than 30% of US billers still do not offer a paperless option.
- 60% to 80% of all US bill payments are now electronic. (For example: According to a December 2012
Western Union® Payments Money Mindset Index survey, only 28% of bills are now paid through non-electronic methods.)