A Decades-Old Practice is Ready to Explode
The global market for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) is estimated at 19.8 billion bills sent in 2022. Analysts project it will reach 35 billion by 2026. That is an incredible opportunity for document service providers to offer EBPP for their clients. Providers that traditionally focused on print and mail should not ignore the continuing upward trend of electronic bill presentment, as more consumers opt for electronic bills instead of paper.
What Is Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment?
EBPP collects payments electronically through the internet, direct-dial, and automated teller machines. It is a core component of online banking for most financial institutions. Other industries using EBPP include insurance, telecommunications, and utilities.
EBPP and Document Service Providers
At first glance, how does EBPP make sense for transactional printers and mailers? After all, they usually work with paper and the United States Postal Service. The operative word here is “transactional.” Document service providers have fiduciary relationships going back decades with many clients. Service providers build mutual trust and understanding over time. The benefits of EBPP are easily understood by billers. Soon, most if not all of a transactional printer’s customers will ask for EBPP.
Several companies offer digital delivery of invoices. But document service providers have a competitive advantage. If you are a transactional printer, think for a moment about your customer’s customer. Many of them want a paper bill. They trust the Postal Service. The envelope carrying their invoice cannot get hacked, lost in an email in-box, or mistaken for spam. Mail fraud penalties are severe, leading mail recipients to have more faith in documents they receive in the mail.
Document service providers offering EBPP give their customer’s customers a billing choice. Electronic, paper, or both.
Accelerated Adoption of Digital Billing and Payment Options
As COVID concerns escalated in 2020 and the world changed, the pandemic forced companies to ramp up their digital presence. Interacting with outside vendors and the Post Office was momentarily out of the question, and worker shortages delayed mail deliveries during the pandemic. Customers had no choice but to adopt electronic options. Experts expect the rapid shift to digital will continue to rise. The global market for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment will grow to 30.7 billion bills by 2027 from an estimated 18.2 billion in 2020.1
The key factor driving growth in the EBPP market is convenience. Mobility is more than a buzzword among the technologically savvy. It is a lifestyle. This growing consumer segment operates on “any-time” convenience, transparency in transactions, simplicity in use, and security. This group is fueling the accelerated adoption of e-billing. EBPP enables customers to exercise better control over the billing process and ensures faster and more secure bill payments.
Opportunities for Document Services in EBPP
Transactional print/mail services contemplating offering EBPP are in an excellent position. They already have an active and profitable customer base to which they can sell the new service. And the opportunity is not limited to bill presentment. The second “P” in EBPP is payment. Reliable payment processing is indispensable for most companies to manage cash flow. Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report found that credit and debit cards account for half of eCommerce and three-quarters of in-store consumer payments. Accepting online payments is a vital daily operation and a service that transactional printers can offer. Services such as Alchem-e™ Pay system make it easy for print/mail service providers to add payment processing.
Supply Chain and Paper Costs
Stepping aside from the convenience aspect of EBPP for a moment, consider how paper cost and availability fit into this equation. Paper production for printing has been declining for years. Paper mills have been adjusting their production capacity to match that decline. In 2021, paper mills underestimated the demand for paper. But ramping up production is not as simple as it might sound. The demand for source materials, along with shipping bottlenecks, complicates matters. This adds costs to the supply chain. Shortages and costs of paper are forcing production houses to recommend alternatives.
Adding Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment processing to your workflow software dashboard is simple. If the application you use does not have the option for EBPP, visit www.racami.com to learn about Alchem-e™. Alchem-e™ is a comprehensive print-mail workflow application that manages labor, equipment, throughput, and more from a single dashboard. Administrating EBPP is just another step in the print/mail production workflow.
The Alchem-e™ Pay option adds more billable services by driving paperless invoicing and payment. You already print and mail a client’s bills. Offer them the options of electronic bill presentment and payment. Brand a Alchem-e™ Pay website for your print/mail service bureau. Alchem-e™ Pay is an intuitive platform that customers will use. Your clients will increase customer satisfaction, boost revenue, and optimize the customer experience.
- Global Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) Markets to 2027 and the Potential Impact of COVID-19, Research and Markets, 2020.