Utilities slash expenses with electronic billingA number of North American utilities are finding ways to optimize their billing platforms to dramatically lower costs and avoid having to pass the ever-increasing paper and postage expenses onto their customers.
Getting a significant number of customers to sign-up for electronic bill presentment and payment has proven to be a challenge for most utilities. Adoption of electronic bill presentment and payment by utility customers across the U.S. has averaged less than 6% over the first three years, with more than half of these customers still receiving their bills in the mail.
Because of this low enrollment and almost non-existent paper turn off, utilities that are not realizing expected savings have been pressured to pass rising billing costs onto their customers.
In comparison, utilities that have implemented email billing as part of their paperless strategies are seeing a surge in electronic payments and paper turn off: one large North American utility recently achieved in excess of 20% adoption within the first 120 days with Striata eBilling.
Striata breaks the industry adoption ceiling
Advantages of email billing for the utilities industry
- Proven user adoption methodologies ensure dramatic paper turn-off savings.
- Encourages faster one-click payment from within the bill itself.
- Significant, immediate ROI.
- Provides billers with cost effective cross / up sell and effective transpromo marketing opportunities.
- Does not require any upfront consumer action, nor requires customers to change their behavior in any way.
- Does not require the consumer to visit a website, choose or remember login information.
- More secure than paper or web based billing.
- Paper turn off.
Email billing helps utilities control costsStriata eBilling replaces paper bills and statements with rich, interactive electronic documents that are delivered securely and directly to customer inboxes. This enables utilities to reduce their billing costs by up to 85%, while enhancing customer service and efficiency. With most clients achieving full return on investment within the first year, eBilling is an immediate cost saving solution with benefits that reach far beyond reduced billing costs.
eBilling business drivers
- Reduce billing costs
- Maximize customer adoption
- Mitigate credit and collections costs
- Drive qualified self service web portal activity
- Encourage electronic payments
- Protection from phishing
Faster payments and improved cash flow helps protect utilitiesIn addition to its ability to help utilities control billing expenses, eBilling has proven to be one of the most significant drivers of faster payments.
Unique to Striata eBilling is an integrated electronic payment capability allowing customers to make payments with a single click from within the electronic bill itself. Saving more than 90% of the cost of each bill, this novel integration of payment with presentation is helping to protect utilities from the current economic environment.
Striata BillPay has proven to increase the amount of payments received electronically and to reduce Days Sale Outstanding (DSO - the time that it takes for the biller to be paid). In contrast to a recent survey that points to an increase in delinquent payments, most customers pay within a day or two of receiving their Striata eBill.
By helping utilities mitigate billing expenses, and simultaneously improving their cash flow, Striata eBilling protects utilities from unnecessary credit and collections costs and other recession related expenses.
Striata utility eBilling case studiesStriata provides services and strategies to many well known utility brands. These clients are successfully using Striata solutions to replace paper intensive processes with electronic bill presentment and payment.
- While most utilities are barely achieving 1% paper turn off adoption per year, Colorado's Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA), achieved 11% adoption in the first month of launching their electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) initiative. Of the IREA members enrolled in eBilling, more than 50% pay within a day or two of receiving the bill in their inbox. IREA achieved these impressive results by embarking on an aggressive opt-out strategy that automatically enrolled every customer with email into the eBilling program.
- Whitby Hydro went live with Striata's eBilling solution within 16 weeks from project sign-off, achieving 8% paper turn-off in the first 12 months. More than 90% of Whitby Hydro's customers open their email bills in less than a day and process their payments electronically - reducing Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) by 18% overall.
By following Striata's proven methodology for collecting customer email address and proven adoption techniques, Whitby Hydro is achieving an outstanding paper turn off rate of 95% (for their email based customers) and a massive cost saving in excess of 60% per adopted customer.
- CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned energy utility in the United States, uses Striata eBilling for its business customers, consolidating many hundreds of accounts into easy to receive, secure electronic statements with payment capability and imbedded data files for convenient upload.
If you are interested in Striata's Application Platform for Utilities, please contact us for further information. !-- Electronic billing ha been a hot topic in the utility sector for the past few years. Unfortunately, adoption rates have been anemic at best. Over 80% of all Americans are accessing the Internet / their email on a regular basis, yet fewer than 7% of the average utilities customers have adopted this service, out of these - less than half have agreed to paper turn-off.
Because of these low adoption rates, a number of promised benefits have not been realized: lowered billing costs, improved marketing capabilities, reduction in contact center calls to mention just a few. Utilities need to radically rethink their eBilling strategies if significant adoption and paper turn off are ever going to be a reality.
Email billing can significantly change the customer adoption to a utility's paperless strategies. Achieving paperless ebilling in excess of 30% of a utilities total customer base is achievable within 24 months is a reasonable goal for utilities who are willing to cater to customer billing preferences; one large utility recently went live with 14% paper turn off.
With Striata's Email Bill Presentment and Payment Solution, utilities replace paper bills and statements with rich electronic documents that are delivered directly into the consumers email inbox, and include the ability for customers to make a one click electronic payment from within the email bill.
The Striata email billing solution for utilities:
- Does not require expensive marketing activities.
- Does not require any upfront consumer action.
- Does not require the consumer to change his behavior.
- Does not require the consumer to choose nor remember a username & password.
- Does not require the consumer to visit a website.
- Is more secure than paper or website billing.
- Looks identical to the paper bill.
- Offers the biller equal or better bill-stuffer marketing opportunity.
- Offers one-click convenient electronic payment.