Utilities Feeling the Pressure to Provide Customers with the Latest in Electronic Bill Presentment Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, quickly altering almost every aspect of our lives, including how we want to receive and pay our bills. This change in customer behaviour and preferences has triggered a rapid migration to digital technologies as customers and businesses scrambled to adapt to our new reality. Though we certainly can’t predict the future, the expectation is that these changes will not be short-lived.

Whether you’re just starting your digital rollout, considering an upgrade of your current solutions, or trying to find a replacement now that Canada Post is eliminating its e-post services, here are some tips for preparing for our new normal.

Accelerated Adoption of Digital Billing and Payment Options

As shelter-in-place orders were put into effect around much of the world, businesses were forced to quickly ramp up their digital presence, and customers were forced to embrace solutions that allowed them to stay home and still pay their bills. Experts anticipate that this swift shift to digital will continue to rise. So far in 2021, 65% of customers have stated that they prefer to receive statements by email and 20% prefer to receive statements via online websites compared to 54% and 7% in 2019 respectively.[1] This has caused experts to predict that the global market for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) will grow to 30.7 billion bills by 2027 from an estimated 18.2 billion bills in 2020.[2] It wasn’t just e-billing that got a boost. In fact, Mastercard reported that it experienced a more than 40% jump in contactless transactions globally during the pandemic.[3] The surge in online shopping also led to an extremely successful year for PayPal as it reported record payment volumes.[4]

Preparing for the New Normal

Not so long ago, providing the latest in digital options was a way for billers to get a leg up on the competition. Today, it’s no longer an option, but a matter of survival. COVID-19 has rewarded billers that invested in digital over the past few years as they have been better prepared to navigate the recent shifts in consumer behaviour and preferences. Those who didn’t, or haven’t kept pace with advances in technology, have struggled to satisfy changing customer preferences.

If you’re just starting your digital journey, you should focus on an adoption plan that delivers end-to-end digitization. The more digital the process is from beginning to end, the easier it is to automate and make touch-free, which is how a growing number of your customers prefer to transact today.[5] Since electronic bill presentment is the beginning of the customer journey, it is a good place to start.

If you are already providing an e-billing presentment solution to your customers or seeking a replacement for Canada Post’s e-post, it’s critical to evaluate new solutions from a customer experience perspective, ensuring you’re getting the most up-to-date technology that will meet customer expectations. When assessing new billing and payment providers, make sure they are capable of:

  • Multichannel e-bill delivery that includes web, mobile, secure email delivery, and e-bill consolidation.
  • Supporting one-time and recurring payments, payment scheduling tools, and a payment wallet and payment history.
  • Securely accepting payments of all types, including ACH, credit card, debit card, and digital wallets (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal).
  • Producing consumption and usage information and graphs.
  • Providing preference management options for e-bill alerts.

Find Your Replacement Solution Today

KUBRA iDoxs offers e-billing solutions, including delivery, online payments, inbound e-payment consolidation, and a comprehensive document indexing, archival, and retrieval system.

It is a complete cloud-based e-bill and self-serve solution designed to improve customer experience while increasing paperless adoption. Request a demo today and learn how KUBRA can help your organization!

[1] KUBRA 2021 Citizen Billing and Payment Survey.

[2] Global Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) Markets to 2027 and the Potential Impact of COVID-19, Research and Markets, 2020.

[3] Contactless Payments Jump 40% as Shoppers Fear Germs on Cash and Credit Cards, Mastercard Says, CNBC, 2020.

[4] PayPal Profit tops estimates as pandemic drives online spending to record level, 2021.

[5] Digital Is The New Normal In Payments, PYMNTS, 2020.