Recently, Striata, a global customer communications specialist in secure document delivery, electronic communications and e-marketing solutions, reported on the impact of e-billing on recurring payments and cash flow. They found that one of their utility customers saw a 36% growth in recurring payments overall from August 2014 through April 2015, after enabling enrollment for recurring payments directly from the attached e-bill. This also resulted in nearly 10% of their clients turning on recurring payments through the e-bill directly.

Why is this so important? Because the lowest cost-to-service customer is one that uses e-billing, pays automatically and uses self-service options when available, but that’s only half of the story. Why? These three areas for real savings do not take into account the cash flow benefits of e-billing and recurring payments.

Most of us are focused on reducing print and postage costs. The boss sets a budget, and then, it’s up to the operational manager to find a way to meet that budget. Often, there is less money to service more customers—a real challenge. E-billing and e-delivery of documents is one way to help meet the required budget decrease. Saving four dollars or more per customer per year (just in the monthly billing costs) by converting a customer from a paper bill to an e-bill can add up fast to big dollars.

Now, let’s also take it a step further and look at the benefits from your treasury department’s viewpoint, where everything is about cash and cash flow. Companies run on cash. Cash pays your vendors, your salaries and the shareholders/owners. If companies can speed up cash by reducing receivables and days sales outstanding, the result is a healthier, more prosperous company.

A $100 million company with 50 days of receivables on the books is looking at a $270,000 reduction in account receivables for each day saved. Since a three- to five-day improvement is not atypical when switching from paper to e-billing, a one-million-dollar reduction in receivables is not out of the question. That’s cash that can be used to reduce debt, take advantage of vendor discounts and pay salaries on time.

The benefits of e-billing to a company are clear: reduced cost, improved customer service and better cash flow. Now, all we need are ways to get more customers to make the switch.

Richard Rosen is the chief executive officer of The RH Rosen Group, a firm that provides solutions to help businesses improve processes and customer communications with the intent to create real, recurring benefits in: cost reduction, electronic payment, shipment tracking and printing/mailing. Contact him at RichR@RHRosenGroup.com or visit www.rhrosengroup.com.

 

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