There are many advantages to getting paid online, most of which we’ve covered on this very blog. Convenience, cost reduction, and environmental concerns are just a few of the reasons businesses are making the move to online billing. So the future of online bill payments is bright eyed and bushy tailed, right?
Well, business adoption is just one part of the equation. NACHA’s Council for Electronic Bill payment and PayItGreen released a study earlier this year (a brief synopsis can be found here) that indicates while online billing is certainly gaining ground and will continue to do so, consumers have not been catching on to the online bill payment system as quickly as businesses have been able to offer the service. Forrest Research, meanwhile, estimates that by 2014, the adoption rate for online bill pay will increase to 68% of U.S. online households, so the needle is moving in the right direction.
Now that your business has started or is considering offering online payments, what can you do to speed up that adoption rate for your customers?
- Implement Electronic Invoicing: This automatically puts your customer one step closer to your online payment solution, just a few clicks away from making the payment.
- Utilize Opt-Out rather than Opt-In: Green.org found that only 10% of online consumers opt-out of online bill payments once they are already enrolled, so by setting it up for them, you’re urging the adoption.
- Offer automation: The ease of paying bills online is even easier if you can set it up and forget it with features such as recurring billing.
- Make it free: According to a study by Online Resources, the adoption rate of online bill payments jumps to 80% when other methods of payments, like telephone payments, are charged under $5 for the service.
While your customers adjust to the new system, be certain to help them by explaining the safety of online payments as well as offering aid in the set-up process. The time spent doing these tasks will ease the transition and be paid back tenfold when your new, online billing system becomes commonplace for your customers.