Understanding and Driving Consumer Adoption of E-Bills

This is an excerpt. To read this paper in it’s entirety: Understanding and Driving Consumer Adoption of E-Bills


Online bill payment is an American mainstream practice. Three out of four U.S. online households have paid at least one monthly bill online, according to a 2007 survey titled, Consumer Billing and Payment Trends 2002-2007; The Volume of Electronic Bill Payments Exceeds Check Bill Payments for the First Time, conducted by CheckFree Research Services. The same study indicated that the percentage of electronic bill payments has surpassed the percentage of check bill payments among online households. But as paperless bill payment has briskly moved through the stages of consumer adoption, its counterpart, paperless bill presentment, has been slower to gain mainstream momentum.

An electronic bill (e-bill) is defined as an electronic version of a company’s bill that is delivered to a consumer through the website of the company that issued the bill (a “biller”), a financial institution Internet site or a web portal. An e-bill contains the same information as a paper bill and has the same due date. Paperless billing occurs when consumers replace a paper bill with an e-bill. Today, many firms require customers to “shut off” their paper bill, either immediately, or after some period of time, in order to receive an e-bill.

Trends, leading indicators and precursors to e-bill adoption indicate that the potential exists for stronger growth. Laying the groundwork for mainstream adoption are: broadband penetration, generational usage, recent press coverage (regarding “going green”), and growth in online banking, bill payment and online bill viewing (without the paper shutoff).

To date, the adoption rate for e-bills lies squarely in the middle of the critical early adopter stage. To “cross the chasm” into the mainstream, electronic billing will require focused investment in terms of product and promotion to overcome ingrained human habit, lack of education and, at times, a perceived lack of comparative advantage to paper methods.

This document provides a comprehensive analysis of paperless billing utilizing several research inputs and models to help biller organizations understand the challenges and opportunities associated with consumer adoption of e-bills. Its purpose is also to assist organizations in implementing marketing strategies and tactics that will drive paperless bill conversion rates to optimal levels.

This is an excerpt. To read this paper in it’s entirety: Understanding and Driving Consumer Adoption of E-Bills