Electronic payment services (EBPP) and electronic invoicing
Electronic payments and invoicing are among the trends. According to the research of “Gartner” company, 65 million adults in the United States will receive invoices electronically already by 2007. This will give the opportunity to overcome the obstacles that have existed earlier and have stood in the way of quick acquiring new customers. Allowing to significantly rebuild and change the whole system of payment and billing, ЕВРР (Electronic Billing Presentment and Payment) has many advantages. Currently, the company is considering the possibility to use the services of providers that already have ЕВРР resources, to avoid the reorganization of processes and to obtain certain benefits. The main advantages of ЕВРР are:
- the acceleration of the processes for payments handling — automatic assignment of payments to customers’ accounts, the guarantees of payments that are provided online, the ability to process payments denominated in different currencies;
- reducing the cost of invoicing — reduced costs of production account by reducing labor, paper and equipment. Less costly dispute resolution process, which is carried out electronically;
- channels of communication with shipping and logistics systems – the connection of the EBPP with inventory and logistics management allows you to start the payment process while receiving the ordered goods by the customer automatically;
- improving the quality of financial services – in the financing of sales the usage of the open account method allows you to use an established relationship with a partner having a mutual benefit;
- the exchange of documentation and its reconciliation — it allows you to share the documents and facilitates the monitoring process. Analysis and reconciliation are also accelerated. This reduces the possibility of disputes, as sellers get their money quite fast.
The fully integrated and automated supply chain allows maximizing the profit. However, the ЕВРР has been implementing slowly. Not all the financial directors are eager to invest in the construction, testing and implementation of their own ЕВРР resources and to risk with their services disruption during the transition period. The advantage of turning to the provider is the fact that the provider has the ЕВРР-power already established. The initial investments have already been made, and, thus, the provider is responsible for the development and streamlining of systems and processes.
Many companies with a large number of customers, such as public utility companies, telecommunication or financial organizations want to improve their relationships with customers, providing them with such opportunities, as access to electronic versions of accounts — and more over the external provider will be able to implement this and other processes much faster. Among the ЕВРР providers, there are both companies that provide comprehensive services in the field of BPO and companies of the narrow focus, which are called “consolidators” that can be used to combine all invoices coming from different suppliers to one customer.