Information Technology Intelligently

Paperless Billing in the Philippines

Executive Summary

With the cost of operations rising and competitors becoming more aggressive organizations are constantly looking for ways to cut costs while maintaining customer satisfaction. Companies that provide a large customer base with a recurring bill or statement understand the significant expenses bill delivery incurs. Adopting a Paperless Billing or eBill presentment initiative allows a way to generate savings, maintain customer satisfaction and retention, allow better flexibility for customer facing systems and helps minimize the impact to the environment.

An eBill initiative consists primarily of generating an electronic image of the customer’s statement and then emailing it to the customer or allowing the customer to view the image online. Most organizations already have the facility to email documents and the cost to scale up is very minimal. With this in mind this primer covers the key benefits an organization can have from an eBilling initiative

Savings Generation

Currently, financial services organizations in the Philippines and some telecommunications companies that have engaged in an eBill initiative target maintaining a 20% adoption rate of their total customer base. Traditionally, bill delivery is composed of printing the bill and delivering it to the customer, most often by courier service. While printing the bill has some cost on a per page basis the average cost to deliver the bill itself is PHP10.00. Paperless Billing or eBilling, on the other hand, creates an electronic version of the bill image which can be viewed online or delivered as a PDF file to the customer’s email address. Given a base of 5 million customers with 20% adopting an eBill initiative the monthly savings comes to PHP10M per month or PHP120M per year. Locally, adoption of eBilling by wired and wireless customers still average 20% of the total for each group.

Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Most customers who adopt eBilling tend to make use of the convenience of having the eBill delivered to their email address. Additionally, this group also tends to make ePayments via a payment aggregator such as an online bank website or via an auto debit charge on their credit card. As the fastest growing demographic these individuals primarily state that ease of access and management of their information is the primary reason they tend to retain a particular service if there are other competing services available.

Better Flexibility for Customer Facing Systems

With the infrastructure available that an eBill initiative provides an organization can easily outsource the initial level of support for bills to BPOs. The platform can also be leveraged to extend flexibility to other systems and initiatives that are customer facing.

Minimize Impact to the Environment

Assuming a conservative estimated weight of 50 grams for an envelope with a paper bill or statement a monthly bill run for 5 million customers will consume 250,000 kilos of paper. Over a period of a year that amounts to 3,000,000 kilos of paper. Additionally, a courier vehicle or conveyance delivering a bill also generates some form of carbon emissions. Adopting an eBill initiative directly impacts environmental concerns.

Conclusion

As customers become more sophisticated and environmentally conscious a paperless billing initiative is a PR boost to any organization along with the tangible benefits of cost savings and customer retention.