Learn the critical importance for businesses to adapt to evolving customer communication preferences in the digital age.
How To Balance Security And Ease-of-use In Digital Utility Billing And Payment
Provide A Great Customer Payment Experience, Within A Flexible, Easy-to-use, And Fully Secure Application
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.
Discover how your utility organization can provide a great customer payment experience, within a flexible, easy-to-use, and fully secure application. Schedule a personalized consultation and demo today
Avoid customer friction in the utility billing and payment process
Friction is most easily defined as any part of the customer experience that causes the customers to slow down as they move through a process. At its worst, friction can cause the customer to abandon an activity you would really like them to complete – like paying their bill online.
Utility customers have a low tolerance for friction. They 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 utility billing and payment requires a simple, intuitive e-adoption process, followed by a great digital customer experience.
Manage online payments securely
Once a customer has moved to digital billing, the next step is to promote your 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 your utility succeeds in providing a great customer payment experience, it benefits from lower transaction costs, richer reporting, and more efficient reconciliation.
Utility customer data is a target
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.
Your utility has a responsibility to safeguard customer data as it is processed, transmitted, and stored during payment transactions. Your 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.
Keep customer data secure while achieving high e-adoption
To achieve high e-adoption in your customer base, look for a platform that:
- Is built with security at its core
- Addresses customer needs for multi-channel access
- 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.
Your utility benefits from a flexible platform through which it can dictate and modify customer engagement and drive customer activity in the manner required to reach its goals.
Provide a great customer experience with Doxim’s secure utility billing and payment platform
Customers want options to receive, view, and pay their utility bills. More importantly, they want the ability to move seamlessly between payment channels and methods as their needs and preferences change. But they also demand the highest levels of security around their sensitive data, regardless of payment channel.
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.
With over 15 years of experience in providing information technology and services to the utility sector, Erin’s expertise extends across project and operations management, as well as sales and account management. Erin was Director of Customer Solutions at Utilitec, (acquired by Doxim in 2019) having been with the company for 15 years. Prior to that, she worked as a Project Manager at MSX International.
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