What Utilities Should Expect From Today’s Billing And Payments Solutions
Many utilities implemented EBPP solutions years ago when it first became apparent that a segment of their base wanted to receive and pay their utility bill digitally, rather than getting it in the mail, and doing a walk-in payment or sending in a check. At this time, EBPP in utilities referred to an online billing and payment portal, where the customer logs in to view their bill or statement and can affect a payment directly on the portal, via a selection of payment channels. The benefit of this capability was that customers could manage their utility accounts conveniently, from their computer or mobile, via self-service platforms.
Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP), refers to the provision of a bill to a customer via an electronic channel along with the ability to make a payment online.
Today, the scope of EBPP in utilities has evolved, resulting in a billing and payments landscape that has changed significantly. Driven by customer expectations and innovative digital technologies, EBPP is now only one part of the comprehensive billing and payment solutions available to utilities of today.
Today’s digital billing and payment solutions offer more channels, additional engagement options, more formats, faster processing, and most importantly, give the customer a choice of how they want to receive and settle their utility bill.
What utilities should expect from today’s billing and payments solutions:
Modern utilities can leverage a range of billing and payment solutions offering the following:
1. Expanded digital billing channels and formats
The saying ‘different strokes for different folks definitely applies to billing channels and formats. Fortunately, modern utility billing platforms provide the level of choice and flexibility that customers expect. Expanding on the EBPP of old, digital billing solutions now offer a choice of billing methods (portal, email, SMS/text, mobile app) and formats (PDF, interactive HTML).
Meeting customer’s expectations means having all these options available and enabling them to select and switch methods and formats as their needs change.
2. An omnichannel payment experience
Customers want to choose how and when they pay their utility bills, requiring a range of payment methods that leverage available technologies and channels. Customers also want the ability to move seamlessly between payment channels and methods as their preferences change.
Providing an omnichannel payment experience means offering a variety of self-service and biller-assisted payment methods, enabling customers to personalize their experience.
3. Highly efficient payment processing and faster collections
Modern digital billing and payments platforms are customer-centric and intuitive, making e-adoption easier and driving cost efficiencies. Customers are motivated to go digital based on user-friendly interfaces, real-time posting, and the ability to set personal payment reminders/alerts.
Utilities benefit from the detailed and conclusive reporting on the full payment lifecycle, from authorization through funding, and reconciliation. In addition, a more efficient process (for both biller and customer) promotes faster payments, easier reconciliations and reduces the cost of collections.
4. Assured security and compliance
Only platforms that prioritize the security of data and compliance with regulatory requirements can compete in today’s billing and payments landscape. Customer data must be protected all the way through the billing workflow, and PCI and SOC 2 compliance is necessary to demonstrate the security and reliability of the payment process.
The evolution of EBPP in utilities into today’s modern utility billing and payments landscape brings significant benefits for the utility, its employees and customers.
Doxim’s Billing and Payment Solution is purpose-built for Utilities
Doxim’s suite of secure, multi-channel billing and payments solutions supports the entire bill-to-payment process, from composition, bill design and presentment to payment collections, account management and communications.