By Rieva Lesonsky
Does your business use e-billing? If not, it may be time to consider it. E-billing, or electronic billing, has many benefits. First, it saves paper and helps the environment, of course. In addition, it also saves your business the time needed to put together paper billing statements, and saves your customers the time of creating and mailing physical checks. Last, but not least, some sources estimate it can save you up to 70 percent of the cost of paper billing.
In the past, e-billing may have been an intimidating concept for consumers and small business owners. But today, more and more consumers are using online banking and bill payment to handle things such as utility bills and credit card payments. If your business sells to consumers, the concept of e-billing will be familiar to many of your customers already—in fact, they’re likely to welcome it.
If your company sells to other businesses, using e-billing is even more of a no-brainer. Most business clients (especially larger companies) prefer or even require e-bills these days, because it enables them to deal with invoices 24/7 and share them among personnel and departments easily.
What do you need to do to get started with e-billing? Contact your bank to find out what services they offer in this area, or go online to find third-party providers that help you handle your e-billing setup and make sure you’re on the right side of all the rules and regulations, such as privacy laws.
The Pay It Green Alliance is a good place to start: This organization helps educate businesses about the benefits of e-billing and includes 20 financial and billing companies. There may be some initial setup costs to get started with e-billing, but they’ll be more than covered by the eventual savings.
To get everyone on board, you’ll need to market the service to customers to get them excited about using it. Typically, e-billing is done by e-mail; this way, you’re not asking customers to visit a new site, register or remember any more passwords. This helps make it more palatable since e-mail billing simplifies the customer or client’s life instead of complicating it. Done properly, e-billing will simplify your business life, too.
Image by Flickr user Check Records (Creative Commons)Google+