It’s 2020 – if you’re still dealing with the hassles of paper bills and check payments, then you’re not embracing the convenience of digital payment. By switching to electronic billing – or eBilling – you will get paid quicker and in a more secure manner.
This option for payment is excellent since it allows bill delivery and payment to take place online. So not only are you cutting the costs, but you’re also improving overall efficiency. If this sounds like something that your business can benefit from, that’s because it is and you’re about to know why. In this article, you will learn more about eBilling and why it may be a good fit for any business with recurring billing.
What is eBilling?
Before we delve deep, let’s first discuss what electronic billing is all about. eBilling is the manner of sending bills and collecting payments electronically. Bills are sent and paid over the internet. Customers can also pay electronically, making this entire process fast and efficient. However, for it to work smoothly, it will need multiple online integrations, including the following:
- Billing System
- Banking System
- Customer’s bank bill payment system
- An online interface for the eBilling system take place
While it’s a useful option for any business, ebilling is particularly handy for businesses that send recurring bills to customers.
For instance, a subscription-based company charges customers for their services every month. That means each month, that company can send an electronic bill (eBill) to a customer breaking down the month’s charges and offering the ability to pay online.
The eBilling System
Electronic billing systems are computer system that helps in generating and delivering invoices, as well as accepting customer payments. The process of invoicing via eBilling typically follows this path.
- Customer billing data is added to a billing system.
- Customer bill is generated by the billing system.
- Bills are totaled and delivered to customers online.
- Customers received a new bill via email.
There are two main types of eBilling systems:
- Biller-direct systems, and
- Bank-aggregator systems.
Going back to the previous example, subscription-based companies allow customers to log in to the utility website to view and pay bills. This method is an example of biller-direct electronic billing.
Some bills are integrated into a bank’s bill payment system. In this case, users can log in to the bank website and pay bills for several billers via the same interface. This method is an example of bank-aggregator systems. Both biller-direct and bank-aggregator are the two known eBilling formats.
Types of eBilling Systems
Currently, there are four types of eBilling systems that you should know about:
- Direct with the Business
This type of eBilling System is the most common format where a business has its system and sends it to the customer for payment.
- Aggregator or credit card dashboard
This type of eBilling system is used when a customer pays the business in person using a card. However, they will then settle that balance later online via a dashboard.
- Self-billing or open invoice
This type of ebilling system is used when the business offers an option to be paid directly either through charity or for a business agreement where the customer determines the amount to be paid proactively.
- Confirm electronic receipt online, pays in cash
Finally, this type of eBilling System is when business partners with banks or other online gateway providers to give a receipt or electronic reservation number to a customer. They will then have a specific window to go to the bank they partnered with, look up the reference number, and pay the bank in cash. The bank will then deliver the cash to the original partner.
Benefits of eBilling System
eBilling offers a plethora of advantages to any business that takes advantage of it. Here are some of the notable benefits that you can get from utilizing an electronic billing system:
- It’s Cheaper – Packing paper invoices and manually inputting data into the computer system is both resource- and labor-intensive. With eBilling, you can eliminate all of that and streamline your invoicing instead.
- Environmentally Friendly – As you might have already realized by now, eBilling dramatically eliminates the need for paper use in companies. This reason is why it’s such an environment-friendly option.
- Faster Payment and Collection – eBilling options make sure that you don’t have to wait for payments to go through the mail. It can land into customers’ inbox in minutes, which means you can expect faster payment with lesser chances of delays.
- Better Client Experience – Your customers will appreciate the convenience of paying from the comfort of their own home. Not only will it ensure faster payments, but will also improve overall client experience.
- Global Area of Service – With eBilling, you can now cater to a global market. The internet will open the entire world to your business. As long as your customers have an internet connection, you can sell to them, and they can transfer their payments to you in a flash.
- Reduce the Chances of Committing Errors – When you have a solid payment system in place, the margin for error will reduce dramatically. Having a proven system like eBilling handle the bulk of the accounting and transaction process will reduce the chances of human errors. In addition, it will also make your business more efficient.
- Personalized Customer Data – When you combine CRMs with eBilling systems or other business dashboard s that track and record lifetime customer value and buying preferences, your business will begin to utilize the immensely powerful marketing tactic known as segmentation.
The Difference Between eBilling and eInvoicing
While eBilling utilizes built-in payment options, eInvoicing is a simplified version of this process. In most cases, eInvoicing means creating an electronic file, such as .PDF, and attaching it to an email. The payers will then print the invoice and send it along with a check. In some cases, an electronic funds transfer may be arranged to pay the bill.
While it’s still a useful method for some small businesses, eInvoicing lacks control and tracking – two features that electronic billing systems offer. An electronic invoice may sit in the recipient’s inbox for days or even weeks before it gets opened, assessed, and paid. In addition, the data from an electronic invoice must be manually transcribed into accounting systems, which raises the possibility of errors.
eInvoicing is also prone to the following errors:
- Lost invoices
- Slow mail
- Accounting snafus
- Insufficient funds
eBilling keeps all of these issues at bay and makes sure you get paid on time.
How B2B Companies Use Electronic Billing?
While many businesses make use of eBilling for customer payments, it can also be used as effectively for business-to-business transactions. In fact, if a business has recurring bills and payment, like on a monthly or quarterly bases, an electronic billing system can make it easier for billing and payments to be transacted automatically. That way, the business can streamline the process even more.
How ReliaBills Relates to eBilling?
If you’ve ever used an invoicing system like ReliaBills, you will immediately feel like it’s the same with electronic billing. ReliaBills offers a comprehensive invoicing system that offers you everything you need to get paid. From invoice customization to scheduling, to even automated emails, you will have a complete system that will streamline any bill that needs to be paid. You will also get notifications whenever an invoice has been sent, received, opened, and paid.