Electronic billing (e-billing) is the process by which businesses send customer invoices using the internet.
E-billing is fast becoming a primary way for many companies to send out invoices, statements or dunning letters to their clients. This is due to electronic billing’s faster, cheaper credentials when compared with postal methods.
Comparing electronic billing to the postal service
Electronic billing works as part of a document management program which a company will have devised themselves or outsourced to another company, for example, Corcentric. E-billing is used by companies as it uses live data to send customers invoices for services received, a regular (or requested) balance statement, and dunning letters to pursue overdue invoice payments. This task is therefore automated by the electronic billing system.
By comparison, when the task of sending statements, dunning letters and invoices is carried out by post, more time and effort is required. E-billing can be carried out by one person, whereas a sizable batch of postal mail needs several people folding and enveloping letters. The use of a folder inserter machine is an option, but an expensive one when compared with the cost of electronic billing.
Will e-Billing take over from the postal service?
There is a possibility that electronic billing may come to dominate business document distribution. Certainly, e-billing offers extensive benefits to customer and client, which the postal service is unable to. The ability to access an electronic billing e-mail from any web connection in the world compliments the modern love of travel and convenience.
Businesses are likely to encourage their customers to adopt e-billing as their chosen way of receiving dunning letters and invoices. An electronic billing system notifies a company when the invoice or statement they sent out via e-billing has been viewed by the customer. This feature of e-billing lets them be sure that the invoice they sent has been received, and necessary dunning letters too are being accessed and acknowledged.
Limitations to electronic billing
It should be noted that e-billing, no matter how secure, still has disadvantages to the postal service. These include the personal touch of receiving paper post; along with the fact that e-billing could not be used to send documents required on paper (such as a driving license or court order) because a company cannot rely on all their clients having a printer. Finally, at present there is a significant portion of the population who do not possess a computer, let alone the internet or electronic billing. Therefore the postal service still plays an important role in the delivery of invoices, statements and dunning letters.