Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment
Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) is the term used to describe the capability to present bills to customers and to facilitate their payment by electronic means.EBPP offers the opportunity to eliminate the costs associated with printing paper bills, reduce delivery delays and provide a channel for two way communication between suppliers and their customers on a one-to-one basis.From the customers’ perspective, EBPP can provide a simple way to manage and automate the payment of bills.
There are five main types of EBPP service provided:
1.The Biller Direct Model in which billers provide their bills on their respective personalized web sites.
2.The Consolidator Model in which service providers allow customers to access and process bills from multiple billers. Within the consolidator model there are several sub-models these include:
a)The Consolidator – Thin Client Model provides a site to which billers send their invoices for the customer to view at their leisure. Information at this site is summarized and the customer must visit the billers personal site to examine their bills in detail.
b)The Consolidator – Thick Client Model provides billers with a site that host all the billers information. In this model paper bill scanning is not supported.
c)The Customer Consolidator Model follows the same blueprint as the thick consolidator model but accepts both electronic and paper scanned bills offering the capability of viewing any bill online. The theory behind this model is that it will attract as many customers as possible in the short term and then streamline to purely electronic methods in the long term.
d)The Consolidator Portal Model is a thin client consolidator model but hosted through a popular portal site, such as Yahoo.
e)The Financial Institution Model like the portal model acts as a hosting site for consolidated bills. As the bills are placed on the customers bank site payment processing is speeded up while customer affinity with bill payment and banks strengthens consumer acquiescence.
3.The Consumer Centric Aggregator Model. Similar to the consolidator models yet different enough to be considered a separate EBPP approach. The CCA model shares many affinities with the banking consolidator model where billers send their invoices to the CCA site, rather than the consumer, and are paid directly from the site. The approach is equivalent in principle to Direct Debit payments in the UK.
4.The Email Based Model. In this model detailed invoices containing rich text graphics are sent to the customer then linked back to sites for online payment or detailed bill viewing. The medium may include intrusive direct marketing messages.
5.The Service Bureau Model. This model type is a new development in the world of EBPP and facilitates connection to large-scale consolidators for SME companies. In essence the Service Bureau manages its customers needs and offers an ASP model of EBPP.