What’s The New Imperative for Electronic Bill Payment?
A big shift is emerging in my personal interviews with over 40 leaders responsible for electronic bill payment. Integration is the new imperative! Over the last year leaders began citing integration as a key reason why they selected their new system. Yet, in years prior integration was absent from our conversations.
The Integration Imperative
Leaders cite integration as essential to deliver a great customer experience, quick implementations, avoiding additional software development and delivering real-time financial data. When I asked them why they selected their electronic bill payment system, they said
- “Clean and easy member experience”, stated one SVP
- “Quick and efficient implementation”, said a CFO
- “No additional programming by our staff”, reported the Director of Information Technology
- “Real-time financial data into our ERP”, replied one CTO
Integration is not easy. Our experience has shown successful leaders focus on integrating three key areas.
Three Key Areas to Integrate
1. Omni-Channel Customer Experience
Most consumers now use multiple payment options each month and expect their preferences to be remembered across all channels. When disparate systems don’t communicate, consumers are forced to provide information multiple times, which leads to a lengthy, unsatisfying experience. Ensure your system integrates each of these areas across all channels:
- Card & ACH information
- Billing accounts
- eBilling preferences
- Notification preferences
- Customer contact information
- Future and past payment records
Siloed Electronic Bill Payment Systems Must be Integrated
2. Employee Touchpoints
Lack of electronic bill payment integration costs American companies $380 million per year due to lack of productivity and efficiency. When your staff has to manage and update redundant systems that waste their time and your money, it is enough to get them pulling their hair out. Ensure you integrate these employee touchpoints
- Consumer marketing adoption strategy
- Implementation project plan
- Customer service representative interface
- Administrative interface for real-time reporting of billing & payment activity
- Deposit into bank account
- Posting file into ERP system
- eBill storage location
- Merchant acquirer relationships
- Business rules and configurations
- Compliance & regulatory reports
3. ERP System
Real-time integration into your ERP system ensures that you and your customers have the most up to date information to enable powerful dynamic targeted marketing, prevent unnecessary service disconnections and reduce consumer complaints. Imagine a consumer coming in to view their car insurance bill for $100 seeing a targeted promotion offering them a $10 discount if they add a life insurance policy with you. Seamless integration would enable that consumer to immediately add the life insurance policy and then see the $10 discount updated on their bill.
What do you see as emerging imperatives for electronic bill payment?
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