The Evolution of EBPP in Utilities into a Comprehensive Digital Billing and Payments Landscape

by | Jul 12, 2021

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.

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.

Our Bloggers

Erin Romo headshot
Erin Romo

CCM in Utilities

James Hall headshot
James Hall

CCM in Europe

Jason Pothen headshot
Jason Pothen

CCM in Utilities and Healthcare

Josh Noble headshot
Josh Noble

CCM for Banks and Credit Unions

Olga Zakharenkava headshot
Olga Zakharenkava

CCM Strategy

Scott Biel headshot
Scott Biel

CCM in Wealth & Insurance

Sean Kennelly headshot
Sean Kennelly

CEM and Payments

Guest Bloggers

Keypoint Intelligence logo
Keypoint Intelligence

CCM Industry Experts

Matt Chester headshot
Matt Chester

Utility Technology

Schedule My Demo