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Study: Electronic Billing Will Save Companies Billions
Companies that adopt electronic billing systems can expect to save up to $8 billion by 2001, according to a report released today by research and consulting company Killen & Associates. The report says electronic billing will cut costs on postage, paper, processing, and customer service.
The report contradicts previous forecasts that predicted companies wouldn't see savings on their electronic billing systems for at least five years, according to Karl Duffy, VP at Killen. The shortened time to visible savings is a result of businesses pushing to more rapidly deploy electronic billing, as the service has become a competitive weapon. "Right now, a lot of companies are doing electronic presentment in addition to paper-based for customer care [reasons]," Duffy says. "But the pressure to be 100% electronic is on from both customers and competitors, and that's when we'll see savings in things like printing and postage."
The Killen report predicts that the amount of bills being presented electronically by U.S. businesses will reach 8% in 2000 and increase to 34% by 2005. The fastest movement toward providing the service is being seen in the utilities industry, where larger players are looking to distinguish themselves before new competition enters their markets under deregulation.
The report is based on research done on the billing practices of 50 major companies, including American Express, AT&T, and BellSouth.
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