Invoicing and billing software is essential to expedite payments and improve cash flow. The secret to growing your business is choosing an e-billing model that best suits your needs and makes things easier for your customers. Fundamentally, leveraging e-billing solutions enhances visibility, saves time, increases accuracy, streamlines operations, generates data-driven insights and improves customer relations.
In this e-billing platform guide, you will learn the essentials to help you select an appropriate model for your business. But before we start, let’s look at the differences in terminologies, the background of e-billing and how a standard e-billing system works.
What Is E-Billing?
E-billing facilitates online bill pay, streamlining the process for customers and businesses. It is more convenient and environmentally friendly than sending paper bills.
E-bills may contain relevant information such as the amount due, purchase order number, payment terms and a link to a secure payment gateway that allows customers to pay with their credit or debit cards, ACH transfer, PayPal or other accepted methods.
Through electronic billing, businesses can digitally send invoices to customers and receive payments, offering clear insight for each part. The process is fast and efficient for customers and vendors, making it a better fit for the modern financial environment.
What Is an E-Bill?
An e-bill is an electronically generated and delivered invoice requesting payment for goods delivered or services rendered. Online billing replaces manual paper invoices with fast and reliable digital solutions.
The essence of going digital is to eliminate the need to print the invoice and mail it to customers. Users can safely view and save their bills within their online accounts. Unlike paper, there's no need to worry about losing e-bills. The e-bill may provide information regarding how and where the recipient can view and make payments or provide a link to a payment portal.
What Is an E-Billing Platform?
An e-billing platform integrates with accounting and payment software or an enterprise resource planning system to provide invoicing and account receivable functionality. It requires an online interface to communicate between banks. E-billing systems offer a straightforward, end-to-end approach to sending digital invoices to customers and receiving payments, distinguishing them from simple invoicing software. E-billing platforms are the complete package.
Background of E-Billing
E-billing results from years of technological advancement in accounting and payment structures. Previously, businesses manually calculated the price of goods and services rendered with all ancillary expenses, such as taxes, and presented customers with paper invoices. Computers enabled companies to generate electronic invoices. However, clients still needed to print them and pay them by mail until the internet changed everything.
The growth of online systems, electronic mail and smart devices allowed businesses to send digital invoices through emails and text messages. The next step was to design an infrastructure that enabled online payments with credit and debit cards.
The Council for Electronic Billing and Payment of the National Automated Clearing House Association played an integral role in today’s e-billing and payment systems, creating a secure vault that allowed funds transfer through online and mobile payments. NACHA promoted the adoption of electronic payments in e-commerce and continues to govern the ACH Network, which allows electronic payments and deposits.
How Does E-Billing Work?
The e-billing process consists of five steps:
- The system gathers the customer’s billing data from the accounting software with all relevant information, such as the price of the goods or services, date of purchase payment terms and purchase order number.
- The system uses the information received to generate the bill based on a pre-installed template. The system may integrate all the required reviews and approvals for customers to complete automatically.
- Customers receive bills through their preferred online platform, like email or a secure web portal. The system alerts the customer when their bill is due.
- The e-billing platform may remind customers of overdue payments when they miss a deadline.
- The e-bill may contain instructions on how and where to make payments or provide a link to an online portal where the customer can select a payment method, such as a credit or debit card. The e-billing system or payment app will ask the customer to authorize payment and issue an electronic receipt.
Benefits of Leveraging E-Billing Solutions
E-billing solutions offer customers and businesses many advantages.
1. Enhances Visibility
E-billing provides a straightforward way to access and review payment information. For example, the e-billing platform may automatically remind customers to check their billing status, including past and upcoming payment obligations. The platform also allows you to review reports, track bills and identify customer payment trends.
E-billing solutions can combine functions like marketing and sales and provide operational data with the history of all transactions. This information helps determine the products and services that generate the most revenue and enables you to evaluate customer behavioral patterns to adjust how you interact with them. You know which customers will likely default or delay payments and which payment terms they find favorable.
2. Saves Time
E-billing solutions can perform multiple transactions simultaneously and are more productive than manual efforts. They reduce human error, which requires additional time to correct before proceeding with a transaction. Businesses that adopt e-billing can use the time saved on fixing mistakes to focus on mission-critical work.
E-billing systems handle mundane tasks like manual data entry and automate associated functions. Instead of printing out invoices and mailing them to customers, businesses can generate and send bills electronically and receive instant payments. Eliminating the frictions that cause delays reduces payment turnaround times, which improves how your business leverages key performance indicators and cash flow metrics.
3. Increases Accuracy
Manual billing processes have their limitations, and the reason is simple — performing repetitive tasks can lead to errors. Making manual data entries sometimes leads to miscalculations, which may require you to reissue invoices with the corrected entries. Another challenge with manual billing is that it may result in duplicate billing and open opportunities for theft and fraud.
E-billing solutions are accurate. They enhance accountability and improve transparency, which are integral for maintaining a healthy business reputation.
4. Streamlines Operations
The current market economy urges managers and business owners to ensure their businesses run smoothly with minimal downtime, which is crucial considering how competitive most industries have become. Digital transformation allows small and large companies to build resilient structures that deliver results.
Within the billing and payment space, automation provides an efficient, simple system for companies and customers to transact. For example, cloud systems create the avenue for storing, accessing and retrieving data in a secure environment, improving disaster recovery and data redundancy structures.
E-billing systems provide end-to-end solutions that shrink the challenges and time gaps associated with manual billing and payment processes. The solutions they provide make operations simple, convenient, efficient and effective. Given the unpredictability of modern social and economic structures, leveraging e-billing solutions is one of the best ways to build an agile entity.
5. Generates Data-Driven Insights
Digital technology grants you access to large volumes of data which can guide you in making strategic financial judgments. E-billing platforms offer real-time spending data stored at a centralized location, with granular analytics and custom reporting options, allowing C-suite executives and business owners to make informed decisions that strengthen the organization.
Instead of creating reports from spreadsheets of manually entered data, e-billing platforms can automatically generate the required outcome with information drilled down into categories. Additionally, you can track frequent defaults and reduce your credit risks. Besides enhancing visibility, this guides you in identifying financial trends and issues, increasing cash flow. After all, navigating with a working compass is better than sailing visionless.
6. Improves Customer Relations
Gaining customer trust is essential in business operations today. But how do you do that? With e-billing solutions, you can provide customers with a display of charges and payment history, creating a transparent atmosphere. E-billing also lets customers receive invoices through their preferred channels and make payments remotely.
What to Look for in an E-Billing Solution
There are four things to consider when deciding which e-billing platform to choose.
1. Personalization Options
Since no two businesses are alike, you need an e-billing platform with customization options that suit your operations. The system should be capable of adapting to your ever-changing needs, as influenced by market demands. There's no need to implement new ideas and processes for every unique market opportunity. Ultimately, you avoid burdening your customers with frustrating billing experiences.
The customized e-billing platform should handle your fundamental needs, including package tracking, taxes, discounts and offers and preparing invoices that integrate all relevant information. Select a model that adds credibility and professionalism to your service and makes it easy for customers to sift through a pile of invoices. For example, you may opt for a model that allows you to add your logo or select a unique color scheme.
2. Software Integration
Most businesses already have software that performs functions such as invoicing, billing, accounting and payroll. In addition to the pre-built integrations, the system should integrate and communicate with your other applications and software to present the information you need. Then, your team can save the time and headache of duplicating entries and avoid costly errors.
3. Automated Payment Processing and Metric Tracking
An essential function of e-billing systems is their capability to send invoices and receive payments. Select software that facilitates hassle-free payment collection across multiple payment platforms.
Ensure the payment link is prominent in the email invoices you send to your customers, making it easy for them to pay immediately. The system should allow you to make the necessary entries when you receive offline invoice payments, and enable you to track metrics on a central dashboard.
4. Data Protection
The e-commerce industry has unique challenges regarding cybersecurity breaches and data privacy concerns. The invoicing, billing and payment processes involve volumes of sensitive data about customers, suppliers and your business, making it crucial to ensure optimum security.
Partner with a provider with robust built-in security measures. Look for critical security features such as two or three-factor authentication, and ask about their data privacy and security policies. Check if the provider has the appropriate certifications and complies with added standards. For example, verify that the platform complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules for transactions within the health care industry.
KUBRA's Advanced E-Billing System
The KUBRA iDoxs Suite is a comprehensive billing and payment tool that maximizes your e-billing adoption with advanced features, including the following.
- Multiple-channel e-bill delivery: The platform lets customers enroll in e-billing, view bills and check account balances on multiple smart devices. You can integrate these tools independently or with your customers’ existing web portal or mobile app. It supports various delivery channels, including web, email, SMS and interactive voice response.
- Personalized messaging: The iDoxs Suite lets you update customers on their payment status with automated SMS text, voice or email. The software also has web-based tools that manage message templates and track message delivery across the supported channels.
- Targeted marketing: The iDoxs Suite creates a platform for you to promote other programs and services you provide. For example, you can use web banners, pop-ups and electronic inserts to attract customers. The tracking tools help you identify your customers’ most used messaging platforms and which audience segments respond to your calls to action.
- Flexible payment options: Your customers can make one-time payments or enroll in recurring payments online from different mobile devices through credit or debit cards and ACH. Customers can also choose an automatic payment option for quick and simple payments.
- Bill consolidator integration: Even with third-party billing services such as digital bill mailboxes and bill consolidators, the iDoxs Suite ensures your e-bills reach your customers. They can quickly view bill information and make prompt payments on their preferred channel.
Choose KUBRA for Your E-Billing Solutions
It is easier to convince your customers to switch to e-bills if you have a simple solution. The good news is that the best e-billing platforms benefit everyone using them. The system you choose should have customization options, allow software integration and automate payment processing and metric tracking. It's also crucial to partner with a service provider with the expertise to ensure maximum data protection and offer multiple-channel e-bill delivery, targeted marking and flexible payment options. KUBRA has it all.
By design, KUBRA makes businesses resilient and agile, which you need to stay competitive in the current market economy. Multiple industries use our advanced tool to improve efficiency and convenience. Request a demo now to experience better!