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March 25, 2009

Paperless Billing: The Greenest, Smartest Decision for Your Business

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor


Today, the number of businesses going ‘green’ continues to climb at an alarming rate. Not only does the move to greener practices help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint and take better care of their environmental responsibilities, but it is also a cost saving move that is especially important in today’s deteriorating economy.
 
Paperless eBilling brings benefit to both consumers and businesses from reducing the costs associated with printing and mailing paper bills to removing any confusion with statements or the need to call customer service – and ultimately, getting payments fulfilled sooner.
 
I took some time recently to chat with Steve Greiwe, Business Development Manager at CTI Group (News - Alert) about paperless billing, the benefits, and what CTI Group has to offer.
 
CTI Group is a provider of eBilling software solutions that help businesses to save money and offer better services to their customers. Their electronic billing suite of products includes Dynamic Reports, an electronic billing and invoice solution and Analysis, an online reporting tool that analyzes eBilling information to provide the most helpful and customized reports possible.
 
Available in both the U.S. and the U.K., CTI Group’s eBilling is an email format of a bill that is sent to a residential consumer or an SMB customer from a service provider or utility. Within the eBill, Greiwe notes, CTI Group includes a number of reports that provide intuitive information for the recipient about their expenses- conveniently laid out for them via email.
 
The email format is also beneficial because it can be delivered in a matter of seconds rather than needing to wait days or weeks for the information to reach a customer. And,  “The quicker a bill or invoice is received, the quicker a payment is received,” Greiwe said.
 
For IT and accounting teams, eBilling saves time and resources because billing formats can be put on automatic pilot so bills are sent out without the need for these teams to dedicate time to sending them out each time.
 
Grewie noted that industries outside of just telecom are finding benefits from the use of eBilling including utilities and credit card and banking companies who can offer itemized bills based on usage which makes it easier to get through information contained in the bill.
 
A future push, Grewie said, which they are now seeing with some mobile providers in the U.K., is pushing the eBill all the way down to the handset and delivering billing information to customers from the convenience of their mobile devices.
 
For the service provider providing this format, Grewie said, it means quicker pay and quicker approval.
 
This increased push to have bills right on their handheld devices makes it far more convenient to read, pay bills and to archive and keep them in a format that doesn’t include stacks of paper collecting dust.
 
This, Grewie noted, can be attributed to greater trust in the Internet and more and more people being online than even just five years ago.
 
When it comes to CTI Group’s offerings, Grewie explained that they offer more than just a PDF report and information. The eBill can also serve as key to marketing and sales for the service provider. This is made possible through hyperlinks built inside the eBill that drive the consumer back to a company’s Web site for a chance to upsell and remind them they are due for a new handset perhaps, or that the company is running a new special offer; or the space can be sold off to others.
 
Most importantly, the company works with service providers to design a specific eBilling offering that meets their needs while providing quick ROI and supporting a company’s bid to become ‘greener.’
 
 
For more, be sure to check out the Billing channel on TMCnet.
 
 
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Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi



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