This is the third and final post in a series examining the results unveiled in recently released studies on electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP).

Early predictors for growth in EBPP adoption were less than lackluster. But fast-forward to 2011 – where a convergence of technological advancements, cross-channel access, environmental sensitivity, strategic marketing efforts, and consumer comfort with electronic devices are forging continued growth of customers “turning off” paper.

Today’s research indicates that slow and steady may win the EBPP adoption race within the next few years. While the first two posts of this three-part series noted consumer viewpoint on EBPP  and billers’ influence, we’ll now review research and predictions for the future of EBPP.

Tipping the Scales in favor of EBPP

  • A study released in 2011 by NACHA–The Electronic Payments Association’s Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (conducted with PayItGreen and Blueflame Consulting) quantified the size of the bill market, citing that 5.1 billion ebills were delivered in 2010.
  • With more billers expected to come online in 2011 and 2012, NACHA’s research suggests that 2016 will be the “tipping point” year – when ebill usage will be more prevalent than traditional paper bills.

With early adopters already onboard, billers are strategizing how to reach less eager consumers. Nine out of 10 companies surveyed in the NACHA study said ebill adoption represents “a significant opportunity for their organization,” with cost savings noted as between 40 cents and 50 cents per bill. In addition to cost-savings as a driver for ebilling, survey respondents indicated that ebill customers are “more satisfied and are easier to retain.”

Opting for Opt-out

Instead of offering “opt-in” for electronic billing, NACHA suggests an “opt-out” program that mandates electronic presentment and payment yet offers a customer opt-out option. The study shows that only 10 percent of customers with Internet access would choose to opt-out after experiencing ebilling. This approach removes the barrier of the sign-up process being too time-consuming or difficult for consumers.

This research is fascinating, and representative of this exciting time in which we live. What we envisioned 10 to 15 years ago is so different than the marketplace we see today. Just look at Digital Postal MailSM – it’s an emerging standard for how mail will be delivered in the future.  At DST Output, we’re extremely optimistic about the electronic presentment  and payment  capabilities now offered – and what we’re developing for the future.

What do you think about EBPP adoption rates over the next few years and why?  Please share your predictions and EBPP insight below.