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10 eBill Presentment & eStatement predictions for 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Launchpad-New Products & Services | No Comments


 Written by Garin Toren   on Wednesday, 05 January 2011  

Despite all the activity and market hype surrounding eBilling and eStatements for the past 7 years and in particular in 2010; we believe that 2011 will not herald anything really significant. Unfortunately we expect it to be a “more of the same” year.

Here’s how we see it playing out:

1. Billers will yet again fail to suppress any meaningful percentage of paper bills: Over the past 3 years, billers in North America have managed to turn off an average of 2% to 3% of their total paper bills per year. This year will be exactly the same with the exception of those billers that have been driving paper suppression for 5 years or more, and are now approaching 15% paper suppressed, they will see a diminishing increase as they move beyond the innovator and early- adopter segments of their customer bases.

2. Banks will fail to turn off more than a few percent of paper statements:
Unless banks come up with a way to electronically deliver statements; paper turn off rates will disappoint yet again in 2011. Read this previous blog I wrote on why 82.639% of internet bankers will not turn off paper statements.

3. Biller electronic payment will continue to migrate to internet banking:
The trend of electronic bill pay migrating away from Biller Direct websites to internet banking bill pay will continue. The migration will not only continue here in the USA but will gather momentum somewhat in 2011 in other first world countries.

4. Banks will fail in their attempts to gain critical mass in ‘presenting’ bills within internet banking: The math doesn’t add up and billers don’t want it. For the same reasons why other consolidators of bill presentment will always fail, so too will banks that try to do the same thing. Which leads me to my next prediction…

5. eBilling Consolidators will fail to gain significant traction: I recently wrote a blog on why eBill consolidators will always fail. This coming year will be no exception.

6. We will see the first negative paper suppression incentives and a subsequent consumer push-back:
As has been tried many times internationally, charging people for a paper statement / bill not only has immediate, vocal, churn inducing and dramatic customer push-back, it also has only minimal paper suppression success. Nonetheless we’ll see some major billers go down this ill-advised path over the next 12 months.

7. Positive incentives for paper suppression will continue to have disappointing results:
It has been proven time and time again that if your only paper statement / bill alternative is to view and download an electronic version from a website, then incentives will have little to no appeal to the mass consumer market.

8. New ‘push’ players will emerge in the US market: Being the only game in town is no fun. After hearing about it for ages, we really do expect one or even two new “push” players to launch in the US market. We are also hoping that the handful of billers who have told us repeatedly that they are developing push eBilling themselves will actually go ahead and go live this year.

9. Billers and financial institutions that rolled out email document delivery and email billing programs will enjoy another 12% paper suppression increase: Both the US and Canada will see the public launch of top tier consumer brands deploying a ‘push’ strategy.

10. Email will continue to clean up its act: Email has seen dramatic improvements these past 24 months with regards to inbox functionality, auto-organizing, spam control and deliverability. We expect this trend to continue and strengthen in 2011.

In conclusion

Perhaps the only noticeable occurrence in 2011 will be the lack of traction of the two new biller consolidators in the US market. We can therefore expect 2011 to be a foundation, building year for 2012 with consolidation amongst vendors, mobile strategies gaining some penetration and yet another 10% of ‘me-too’ billers building and launching self serve portals in the vain hopes of suppressing paper and postage.

And finally, Striata US grew by 40% in 2010 and we aim to exceed this considerably in 2011 with at least 40 new bank and biller clients.

Do we have it covered? What are your predictions for eBilling in 2011? 

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