Electronic Billing: Past, Present, Future Part II
Last week we relived the early days of electronic billing and talked about the customer experience. This week we take a look at corporate adoption and the future of EBPP.
Back when electronic billing first came on the scene, it worked well for companies, like phone companies and utilities, that presented a simple invoice and expected full payment each billing cycle. But the technology didn’t support more complex bills such as those aimed at the B2B market. Healthcare is another industry that is complex, rapidly changing, and where electronic bills are becoming more prominent. But as demands have increased there have been vast improvements in the flexibility and functionality of electronic billing which has opened the door to an expanded market.
Even markets that were once simple are now more sophisticated. Just look at the communications industry. Many companies have expanded their service offerings moving from simple land-line or cellular service, to mobile, to broadband to TV and internet. More services drive a greater need for a more complex and interactive billing and payment experience and this is helping to drive the ongoing development and adoption of electronic products across a greater span of markets. According to a 2013 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, insurance companies are now feeling the pressure to adopt EBPP. Their customers are paying so many other bills this way, they want the same flexibility with their insurance bills. Insurance companies, like so many others, fear that they’ll be viewed as “behind the times” if they don’t offer an EBPP option.3
One thing is for sure–the way we view and pay our bills is changing before our eyes. What’s most important is staying on top of your customers’ demands and working with providers who can anticipate and meet the ever-changing needs of your customers.
1 Federal Reserve Payment Studies; 2 The Future of Multi-channel Transactional Communications in the U.S., InfoTrends, 2013; 3 Top Issues: An Annual Report, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2013