[Johannesburg, 29 November 2006] South African developed ebilling technology in the field of electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is spearheading significant global growth for Striata, the international electronic messaging specialist.
“The key to this growth has been our PUSH e-billing model, which not only ensures customers receive their invoices and statements every month by securely via email but also offers secure electronic payment directly out of the email documents,” said Striata CEO Mike Wright, who hosted Striata’s global conference this month. “There are huge advantages to “Secure PUSH” over the traditional PULL model in which customers must visit a website to view and pay their bills,” added Wright. “These advantages are now being recognised by major organisations internationally, which is opening up a strong global growth path for Striata.” Presentations at the global conference demonstrated that sending invoices and statements by securely via email is fast becoming the norm in the United States and has huge potential for Striata’s operations in United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere. Striata North America, told the conference that the demand for PUSH e-billing by major billing organisations has increased exponentially over the past year, with 6 industry leaders having signed in the past six months alone. Users range from large utilities CPS Energy of Texas, Whitby Hydro and Quillig Energy of Canada, to Allianz Group, Selective Insurance and Sierra Health Services, as well as a global deal with Westcon Group, a multi-national networking and communications equipment distributor. “Customers object to having to go to their creditor’s website, remember a username and password, login and navigate in order to pay their bill.They’re used to being sent their invoices and statements every month, which is what the Striata ‘push’ eBilling model now does securely via email and a facility to make an electronic payment directly out of the secure electronic documents. The direct electronic payment option is a huge advantage. “These successes in North America have demonstrated that large billing organisations continue to believe in EBPP but have been frustrated by the lack of customer adoption of the website PULL model. The adoption rates for Striata’s PUSH e-billing model are climbing steeply and are on track to outperform the original PULL model within 12 months.” “With the PUSH technology, we can allow customers the choice and convenience of paying directly out of the email. It’s a simple process of sending an encrypted electronic payment directly to the billing company, and the credit goes through on the same day, which improves cash flow. The emailed bills can look identical to their paper equivalents, and can be printed out and saved by those who want to pay them later or keep them as receipts. “The process of paying a bill from within the email is significantly more secure than a paper bill or website payment. It takes just two clicks, rather than five or more clicks and several page refreshes at a bill consolidation site or the billing company’s website.Payments can be made with credit or debit cards or through the automated clearing house from a deposit account, and can be completed in about 30 seconds. “Of significant interest to companies considering implementing PUSH e-billing is the North American experience that 20% of customers pay their email bills the same day they receive them and the convenience of the PUSH technology should positively influence this.” “Wright added that while the secure delivery and built-in secure payment are critical, the capability to also combine this with sophisticated sorting, graphics, analytical tools and customer interaction creates a “very powerful” tool.” The experience of the Canadian public utilities company, Whitby Hydro Energy Services Corporation, after implementing the secure eBill presentment solution from Striata North America was that the system enables cost-effective, personalized and secure electronic delivery of invoices while reducing costs, and improving customer service levels. Paper turn-off rates have increased by 6% in just 6 months. At Whitby, the Striata solution includes the ability to make quick and easy payments through an embedded secure link to internet banking. “The link facilitates electronic payments through all of the eight banks in Canada, simply, quickly and securely,” said Arnold. “Savings have been generated on printing and postage costs and Whitby is reaping benefits from more effective tracking and reporting on bill delivery and payments as well as reductions in days sales outstanding figures.” “In addition to bills and statements, companies like Allianz and Selective Insurance are using Striata’s PUSH technology to deliver other types of communication securely via email, such as insurance policy documents, agent commission statements and renewal notices.Delivering confidential documents via encrypted email is not only far more secure, cost effective and environmentally friendly, but is also dramatically more convenient for customers.”