Finding the Balance Between Ease-Of-Use and Security in Utility Billing and Payment

by | Jul 26, 2021

How To Achieve High Digital Billing Adoption Without Compromising Payment Security

As utilities begin to offer more digital channels for billing and payment, they also need to create a balance between making digital processes as easy as possible and ensuring that both the utility and the customer are protected from online fraud.

On the one hand, the way to convince customers to switch to digital utility billing and payment is to make the digital process as easy and customer-friendly as possible. But not to the extent that the process, or the behavior it promotes, puts the customer’s data at risk.

This is why the requirements for a frictionless, customer-centric process (with minimal clicks to complete payment) must be tempered with best practices regarding authentication and validation. This will reduce the risk of fraud.

Utility billing and payment: customers want choice, ease-of-use, and convenience

Today’s customers expect the ability to choose their billing method (whether print/mail or various digital options), and even to switch between methods when circumstances dictate. Getting customers to adopt digital billing requires a simple, intuitive e-adoption process, followed by a great digital customer experience.

Once a customer has moved to digital billing, the next step is to promote the utility’s online payment options, with specific focus on ease-of-use and security. Complex digital payment processes will simply drive frustrated customers back to physical payment channels.

When the online payment process is easy, however, it is more likely that customers will continue to pay via digital methods. In addition, creating processes that are easy to follow, increases the likelihood that payments will be made on time.

The challenge for utilities is to meet the expectations of an increasingly digital customer base, many of whom are exposed to fast, convenient payment processes from the likes of Amazon, Apple Pay and Google Pay. If the utility succeeds in providing a great customer payment experience, it benefits from lower transaction costs, richer reporting, and more efficient reconciliation.

Customers expect their information to be secured

Cybercrime is increasing in volume and sophistication, and it is no secret that billing and payment applications are an attractive target due to stored financial information and consequent opportunities for fraud.

The utility’s reputation and goodwill are at risk if customer data is breached or one of its payment processes is used to commit fraud. To counter this risk, utilities must select a billing and payment application that has the security of customer data at the core of its design.

How to achieve high e-adoption without compromising payment security

To achieve high e-adoption in its customer base, a utility must look for a platform that:

  • Is built with security at its core
  • Addresses customers’ needs
  • Simplifies the payment process

Customers expect their utility to have adequate protection in place to secure personally identifiable information (PII), especially when it comes to payment data.

One way to keep PII secure is to encourage consumers to sign up for tried and tested payment options, such as AutoPay and thereby remove the risks associated with human error, as the process is fully automated.

Furthermore, e-adoption will be higher with a platform that can accommodate evolving payment requirements and customer communication expectations.

The utility benefits from a flexible platform through which to dictate and modify their customer engagement and is able to drive customer activity in the manner required to reach its goals.

Doxim’s secure utility billing and payment platform

With Doxim as the end-to-end billing and payment vendor, utilities can provide a great customer experience, within a flexible, easy-to-use, and fully secure application.

Our platform offers an omnichannel solution that enables customers to choose how they want to receive and pay their bill. They can sign up for AutoPay, set recurring payments and even set up payment due date notifications so that they do not miss a payment.

Give your customers the optimal billing and payment experience through our secure, intuitive, and omnichannel billing and payments solution.

3. Expansion of digital products

As banking customer behavior shifts, banks must move with the times, or risk getting left behind. Many banks today are exploring the power and potential of open banking, which can allow them to offer more innovative products and services to their customers, as well as to better compete with fintech companies and other non-traditional financial service providers.

As you shift your banking business model to reach new segments or provide an enhanced array of services, communication becomes even more pivotal to your success. After all, if your customers don’t know which new services they qualify for, or how those services will help them meet their goals, then they are unlikely to explore them further. CCM technology can be leveraged here to provide personalized on-statement messaging that directs customers to the right products and services, as well as 1:1 personalized “explainer” videos to help them get started.

Adjusting your bank’s priorities to thrive in 2023

In an era of constant change, the key to successfully transforming your bank’s business model will be to stay attuned to the changing needs and preferences of customers, and to be open to exploring new opportunities and technologies that can help your FI stay competitive and relevant. But these new opportunities are doomed to fail if you do not clearly communicate their benefits and make it simple for customers to access them.

That is why transforming your customer communication strategy is the best first step to broader digital transformation. By updating your approach to communications to meet omnichannel customer needs, you also position your bank to communicate the benefits of changes in your broader organization, like new or enhanced products and services. The pace of change in banking has never been brisker – but with the right strategic approach to these changes, the future is bright.

Investing in a modern customer communication management and engagement platform is an essential part modernizing your banking strategy, as it can provide the personalized digital experiences that will keep your bank or credit union ahead of the competition. It helps provide a great customer experience, and builds rich relationships, which in turn results in customers for life and a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving financial marketplace.

How Doxim can address the banking customer communications trends identified and help future-proof your digital banking strategy

banking customer communications trends

Doxim’s experienced consultants and omnichannel platform can help transform your customer experience in many ways, including:

  • Gathering and utilizing customer data to continually improve the personalization of communications.
  • Building trust with customers via communication (via print, PDF, HTML, email, text, and online interactive experiences).
  • Leveraging interactive video to drive personalized digital customer experiences, such as interactive statements, bills, or reports, that offer visual engagement and real-time interactivity
  • Putting customer data, including customer statements, at the fingertips of your service representatives for immediate and personal service.
  • Making a meaningful connection with value-added content, like information about philanthropic activities, on customer statements.

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