Fun fact: I’ve been researching billing for Forrester since 2012. But 2018 was a year unlike any other in my billing research. For the first time, the majority of my client inquiries on the topic came from financial services companies. And while these conversations often started about billing, they ended up in EBPP. Here’s what I learned:

  • Billing, payments, presentment, oh my! Some firms want a new billing system to power new lines of business. But as it turns out, many financial services firms aren’t ready for a new billing system. In fact, they have too many billing systems. They’re looking to consolidate the billing and payments experience for their customers across their multiple lines of business. They want to present billing data intuitively and want to use electronic or alternative payment methods for payments and disbursements.
  • EBPP IS BACK, BABY! In the early 2000s, firms looked to the first wave of EBPP to help them move customers to paperless billing and facilitate electronic payments. Today, EBPP solutions have a renewed role in helping firms deliver the omnichannel billing and payments experiences that their empowered customers now expect. This includes flexible delivery of digital bills and billing data, facilitating digital payments and disbursements, and enhancing customer communications and marketing around billing.
  • It’s a confusing landscape . . . so we wrote a report to break it down. You’ve got bill consolidators who generally sell their EBPP solutions to banks and facilitate online bill payment for end users — and biller-direct solutions that incorporate EBPP experiences into merchants’ owned sites. Some EBPP vendors do both! And still others offer point solutions that solve important pain points in the EBPP process and integrate into bill consolidator solutions or biller-direct solutions. (Head spinning yet?)

Forrester clients can check out our overview of the vendors in the B2C EBPP space here. I’m curious: Have you noticed marked improvements in your EBPP experiences lately?