Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) platforms have been around for upwards of 20 years, but adoption is still relatively low. You can probably see this in your own invoicing experience. Sit down and think about the number of paper invoices you receive in the mail versus invoices sent to you electronically. The paper invoices still make up a good portion, right?
We’ve talked here before about why you should invoice online, including faster payments, time savings, and greater visibility. And you can save money for your business too – up to $7.25 per invoice, according to a recent Gartner report.
So what’s stopping many businesses from converting to an EIPP platform? In many cases, legacy systems are so entrenched in the business that it’s difficult to see any way to extract them, without spending an incredibly large sum and using countless man-hours.
If that’s the case, consider integrating an EIPP into your existing invoicing processes, rather than trying to replace them. Think of it this way: you have your internal invoicing system (whatever it is) and your customers. Your current invoicing system prints out invoices to mail to your customers, who then mail back payments that get processed by your bank.
Instead of ripping out the invoicing system you have in place, you can just plug in an EIPP. So instead of creating and mailing invoices to customers, your internal invoicing system will send a specific set of invoice data to the EIPP. The EIPP can then interact directly with your customers – send electronic invoices, process payments, and provide a historical billing record.
So how does this help you, other than providing an online interface for customer interactions? First, it significantly reduces your costs (as mentioned above), by eliminating the need to mail paper invoices. And that’s not counting the environmental impact of printing and delivering invoices.
EIPP also gets your business paid faster – between 5-10 days on average, just from using online invoicing. Additional features like AutoPay and credit card payments help Invoiced customers get paid 11 to 16 days faster, respectively. Having those payments faster helps your business maintain positive cash flow.
By plugging into all the infrastructure offered by an EIPP, your staff will save time as well. Manual tasks get automated, and in addition to saving time, that automation also helps reduce the number of errors. Dispute resolution is documented directly in the EIPP for easy visibility to customers and accounting staff. With customer service reps spending up to 40% of their time on dispute resolution (!), implementing an EIPP will be welcome change.
An EIPP helps your business’s bottom line and your staff, and one more important group: your customers. Modern customers have come to expect a superior online experience with every aspect of your business. If you present a united digital front on everything except billing, you’re selling yourself (and your customer) short. Offering customers a seamless experience with an EIPP will show that you value them in every step of the process.
Implementing an EIPP may seem like a herculean task, but consider this: rather than starting from scratch (which IS a lot of work), you can reap the benefits by plugging an EIPP into your already-existing structure. Your bank account, employees, and customers will thank you for it.