Brits find cash more compelling argument for online billing than fraud - survey

Brits find cash more compelling argument for online billing than fraud - survey

Firms looking to convert customers to online billing should eschew security and environmental arguments in favour of offering cash incentives, according to a survey for electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) outfit OneVu.

The poll, conducted by Research Now, of over 1000 online bankers in the UK who are responsible for paying household and individual bills, shows 31% of respondents rate receiving an incentive or discount as the most likely reason for using an online billing service.

In contrast, just 17% say they would be influenced by a reduction in the risk of identity fraud and only six per cent cite environmental considerations.

However, the most popular reason given for using online billing is the convenience of having everything in one place, selected by 46% of those questioned.

Miles Quitmann, CEO, OneVu, says: "What is interesting is that consumers are increasingly savvy and they understand that organisations can make considerable savings by eliminating paper bills. The research suggests that they feel some of these savings should be passed on to them rather than just the shareholders."

In response to these results, OneVu is running a pilot programme in Spring 2009 offering consumers a chance to win a significant cash prize if they register for the service, which is branded as Bill Manager through Lloyds TSB and Bill Management through RBS and NatWest. This promotion is being run in conjunction with a number of leading water companies who are signed up to the service and cover millions of households across the UK.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 January, 2009, 16:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What's really required here is a holistic accounting of all costs, from reduction in paper or fraud expenses to loyalty impact, and of course with a focus on the financial value of each customer added. When marketing messages focus on environmental benefits or fraud reduction there will be associated cost reductions in each area due to education on turning paper off or avoiding unsafe behaviors. However, if customers are simply provided cash incentives to come on board expenses go up rather than down, and there's also a self-selection issue whereby the types of customers that respond tend to be more cash-starved (rather than affluent), resulting in the kind of problem WaMU had in the U.S. (continually focus on free checking, get customers that continually expect freebies). The research data may indeed indicate that cash incentives are consumers' most preferred option here, but I wonder how the research data can be factored into a holistic ROI model, to determine the most effective bottom line strategy for banks and billing organizations?