Here are a few interesting statistics that we tracked down recently regarding electronic document distribution…
According to electronicpayments.org, the PayItGreen Alliance found that if 20 percent of American households switched to using electronic rather than traditional paper billing, the annual savings would include 151 million pounds of paper, 1.8 million trees, 1.9 million tons of greenhouse gases, 1.4 million gallons of wastewater and more than 6,000 garbage trucks full of waste. It would also conserve 103 million gallons of gas.
A corollary to the resource conservation benefit is a reduction in expenses. Electronicpayments.org estimates that organizations can save an average of 11.5 cents per billing statement by avoiding paper. According to an article by Cary Griffith, there is another hidden advantage to e-billing as well. Because it allows for easier expense tracking, it can save money. Surveys of corporate law departments employing e-billing found cost reductions of 5 to 15 percent due to the implementation of more efficient procedures
Better Satisfaction Rates
Electronic billing can present an easier quicker way for consumers to interact with billers. Payers may not only save an average of $130 a year on stamps and checks, according to electronicpayments.org, but also may find e-payments more convenient. Meanwhile, billers must deal with fewer calls related to billing matters. A Harris Interactive study found that a quarter of customers felt their relation with their biller was better after switching to electronic billing.
Ease of payment can lead to more responsive customers and help cut collections time. Businesses can not only enjoy reduced costs through electronic billing but also reduced wait time after a bill or invoice goes out. Striata said that one of its projects found that half of customers paid the electronic bill before the paper bill would have even arrived in the mail and nearly a fifth paid the same day. The company said that its studies show that an organization’s “days sales outstanding” can be reduced by 70 percent through a switch away from paper.
The biggest advantage of electronic billing for bill payers is a general reduction in dealing with billing issues. Some electronic payment systems can be even set up to automatically deduct from a client’s checking account for regular bills such as utilities. This can reduce the amount of time payers must spend on billing matters and eliminate the possibility of late fees.