Going GreenEnvironmental initiatives, sustainability and going green are high on corporate agendas. Generally seen as a social benefit cost negatively impacting profits, however, there are certain "Green" projects that are not just the right thing to do, but that also have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. Email Billing is one of them.
With email billing, you can help your business reduce paper output and billing costs, while complying with green regulations. One of the easiest ways to enhance your brand reputation is by proactively addressing your company's impact on the environment with tangible and measurable results.
Solid consumer support for eBilling
94% of Americans have indicated that they are willing to make lifestyle changes to help reduce environmental impact*. Consumers are thus proving to be highly responsive to environmental initiatives.
With nearly 80% internet penetration in the U.S. alone, the market is poised to accept eBilling as the standard way to receive bills.
Notwithstanding the appetite above, a great number of billers and financial institutions have invested in electronic billing without succeeding in turning off paper billing. Many customers who pay electronically or via automatic debit still receive paper bills and statements. Surprisingly, this includes a large percentage of online bill pay customers.
Although it is becoming more common to pay bills, either through a bank's Bill Pay service, or at the biller's own website, the primary driver of electronic billing, being paper suppression, is not being realized. According to a recent survey by Trends, over 60%of consumers in North America still receive almost all of their bills in paper form.
In the US, the Electronic Payments Association and Javelin Strategy & Research have been promoting eBilling as a way for consumers to reduce carbon emissions, waste in landfills and to save trees. Their research revealed that if every American household viewed and paid its bills online, it would reduce solid waste in U.S. landfills by more than 800,000 tons a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.1 million tons.
Strong financial incentives for eBilling
Email Billing (converting high-volume paper documents to secure, encrypted emails) falls into the category of environmental impacts that are also financially advantageous for your company.
If your business model involves regular communication with customers, one of the most cost effective and convenient ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to aggressively turn off paper from billing, invoices and monthly statements. Banks, utilities, telecommunications, and insurance companies are amongst the most prominent industries leading this trend. Paperless billing is the ultimate win-win environmental policy.
By moving to an Email Billing platform, you will experience almost immediate ROI. The upfront costs are negligible, while immediate savings are achieved by eliminating paper, printing and postage costs. An Email Billing channel is the digital equivalent of sending bills to either an internal or external printing facility. The cost savings are per document, so the more you send, the more you save.
Striata's clients are realizing the paperless reality
Making this reality happen is a process that depends on both consumers and you, the biller.
Consumers have demonstrated a high comfort level with email and a rising willingness to make online payments within branded, trusted online environments. What consumers have not demonstrated is a willingness to chase after their bills. Yet, this is exactly what billers seem to expect when they build an online payment site, without a sound, proven strategy on how to get customers to visit and pay their bills.
Not surprising then that we have found paper turn off rates for customers signing up to view and pay their bills at biller websites, rarely rise above 5%per year. This is by all standards a failure. Many of our clients are billers who attempted this strategy first. However, with government, consumers and investors now scrutinizing your carbon footprint, there's no need to settle for such low adoption rates.
eBilling is just one example of how environmentally correct strategies can be profitable. It all comes down to picking an eBilling strategy that drives user adoption.
- Pay TV leader encourages subscribers to 'go green' by converting to electronic statements - watch 30-second TV advertisement
- Discuss the environmental and financial benefits of going green with an eBilling expert
- Striata supports green hosting.
*Statistics as per Javelin Research