Financials First

Improve the Customer Experience with an Electronic Bill Pay Service

Author: Managing Director of Corporate Treasury Services Chris Tonniges, in collaboration with Alacriti

The convenience and flexibility of the right electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) platform makes it easy for businesses to deliver a great customer experience, but there are plenty of benefits that extend beyond the customer. An electronic bill presentment and payment platform can also help accelerate payments receivables, reduce operational costs and strengthen customer relationships.person-on-computer

The payments process has a direct impact on a business’s overall cash flow. Consumers expect to be able to pay their bills quickly, anytime and anywhere. Complicated payment procedures often result in missed payments from customers and increase the risk of bad debt. With so many options out there, even miniscule inconveniences could lead customers to take their business to a competitor.

Multi-channel access and flexible payment options help improve cash flow by making it easier for customers to submit payments in full and on time. Offering mobile payment options can also go a long way to accelerate payments for businesses that cater to younger or more tech-savvy demographics. Electronic billing and digital payment options are likely to encourage customers across all demographics to send payments sooner.

Reducing friction in the payments process can also help businesses retain customers over time. A study published by the Harvard Business Review concluded that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25-95 percent, regardless of industry. Clients and customers are more likely to be satisfied with a business if they are met with a positive billing and payments experience. On the other hand, frustrating payments procedures can drive clients to competitors who provide a better user experience and/or better customer service. Simplifying the billing process can be especially effective in improving satisfaction and retention rates among corporate clients.

For most businesses, manual billing procedures are both time consuming and expensive. One fairly immediate impact of implementing an EBPP solution is the trimming of administrative excess. By automating the billing and payments process, businesses can scale back on the printing, postage and staffing costs involved in paper-based billing. Businesses also get the benefit of automation in the cash application process of accounts receivable, allowing your employees to focus on more value-added processes, such as debt collection and customer engagement.

While consumer benefits are central, enhancing the payments process with an EBPP platform also brings a host of internal financial and administrative benefits. An update in payments infrastructure enables businesses to improve customer satisfaction while saving on administrative costs, improving retention and accelerating cash flow. The double-edged benefits make EBPP cost-effective, providing business with both quick and long-term returns on investment.

Interested in learning more about EBPP and how it can help your business? Contact me at ctonniges@fnni.com.