Today is October 21, 2015. And our past has finally caught up with our future. Of course we’re referring to the 30th anniversary of the 1985 blockbuster “Back to the Future.” Remember those neat gadgets featured in the sequel when they visited 2015? Laceless shoes? Flying cars? Hoverboards? TV phones? Today we do have some of those inventions but could Marty McFly have predicted that the monthly ritual of paying bills at your kitchen table using a paper check and envelope would be replaced with a real-time online digital experience that could be done anytime, anywhere by simply hitting a few buttons on a mobile phone (not to mention tablet or computer)?
Just how much has the billing landscape changed? Today 49 percent of all bills paid in the U.S. are electronic.1 And the 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-49 who own smartphones2 pay an average of two bills a month on that phone. And the way we present bills to consumers is also changing. A quarter3 of all U.S. bills are now sent electronically in place of a paper bill and a recent survey1 found that 46 percent of consumers said receiving paperless e-bills increases customer satisfaction.
So for today’s customer, billing is anytime, anywhere. Customers want and expect to be able to read their emails, view their bills and statements and pay their bills on their terms—when and how they want. Are you offering that? Mobile bill pay is clearly a must-have option for billers. This presents you with the opportunity to offer your customers electronic bills, invoices and statements. But first, have you taken a look at how many of your customers receive both a print bill and an electronic bill? Do you know how many are paying bills at their financial institution’s online payment site?
The billing landscape is continuing to evolve. As billers, it’s our job to keep up and anticipate ways to improve the presentment and payment process. You don’t need to be a time traveler to figure that out.
Sources: 1) Seventh Annual Fiserv Household Billing Survey from Fiserv; 2) http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/chapter-one-a-portrait-of-smartphone-ownership; 3) PaymentsSource.com, Paythink, March 2015