How Utilities Can Optimize their Customers’ Bill Payment Experience, While Increasing Billing Efficiency
For utilities, creating the ideal utility billing and payment experience is about connecting with and servicing customers where they are. This means providing the appropriate options, channels, and methods to meet the customer’s billing and payment needs.
Gartner’s article entitled: Payment Acceptance Will Never Be the Same After the COVID-19 Pandemic (Oct 2020), called making a bill payment prior to the pandemic a ‘matter of conditioning and habit’. The absence of motivation to change familiar and working methods, such as credit cards and cash, meant that the adoption of more innovative payment processes was slow. This is especially true in mature payments markets, such as the U.S. and Western Europe.
The pandemic changed customer behavior, however, and Gartner goes on to say that “COVID-19 has provided the impetus to overcome consumer inertia and has created an unprecedented global appetite for changes to how we pay.”
As a result, payment providers must adapt to ride this wave of openness to new and innovative payment processes. Organizations that issue bills, including utilities, must assess emerging payment channels and make those that are both secure and convenient available to customers.
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How to optimize the utility billing and payment experience
Today, customers want to choose when and how they pay and be guided through an experience that is both personalized and simple.
COVID-19 lockdowns motivated consumers to consider contactless payment options, driving 60% of Europeans and North Americans to try a new payment method over 12 months from May 2020 to May 2021.
To meet modern payment requirements, utilities must consider:
- a mobile first experience that is personalized for each customer
- a variety of payment methods (omnichannel) that are available on demand 24/7
- consistency and seamless switching between methods as needs and preferences change
- the ability to set notifications that help the consumer to manage their payments
Research shows that most consumers prefer to make bill payments via their mobile device. In fact, The Worldpay Global Payments Report (2020) predicts that digital and mobile wallet usage will increase significantly (11%) in 2023, while credit and debit cards will experience an equivalent decline.
Increasing billing efficiency in utilities
Utilities need to provide a great customer payment experience, but they also need to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and prepare for the digital future. To this end, they need to select a payment platform that not only reduces the burden on staff through a streamlined collections and reporting process but also does so at a reasonable cost.
The benefits utilities can achieve from the right payment platform are:
- Greater operational efficiency due to advanced reporting and streamlined reconciliation process
- Reduced cost to serve based on lower call volumes and less lobby traffic
- Accelerated time to revenue through faster payments
- Increased loyalty from a superior customer payment experience
- A payment solution that meets all the needs of utilities and their customers
Doxim offers a modern, end-to-end payment solution that ticks all the boxes for utilities and their customers
Designed as a mobile-first experience, Doxim Payments provides consumers with control over their payment experience and the ability to personalize various aspects according to their preferences. Consumers have access to a range of payment options (omnichannel) and the ability to seamlessly switch between methods as their preferences evolve. And consumers can set up notifications and reminders that improves the management of their bills, increasing convenience and reducing the likelihood of missing a payment.
For utilities, the Doxim Payment solution brings many benefits, including a consistent branded, yet personalized user experience across all payment channels. The Doxim platform provides configurable options to simplify implementation, maintenance, messaging, and ongoing support. In addition, Doxim’s pricing for payments is flexible and configurable, allowing for customized fee models that suit the biller and the consumer.
In addition to a world-class payment platform, Doxim’s experienced team provides advice and best practices regarding the ideal selection of billing and payment channels to satisfy utility customer requirements.
Want to learn more about the evolving world of utility billing and payments?
Industry experts from J.P Morgan recently joined Doxim to present an informative webinar on the topic, “The State of Payments for Utilities.”