While there has been a long-standing trend towards digitizing workflows and business processes across all businesses, the utilities and consumer finance sectors have been particularly aggressive in digitizing their processes.
This has been the case in part because of the high volume of payments they handle, according to The Digital Payments Edge, a PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide collaboration that surveyed 207 billing and collection professionals in utilities and utility companies. Consumer credit.
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Interest in digital billing is higher among utility companies than among consumer finance companies. The survey found that 58% of executives at utility companies say digitalization is “very” or “extremely” important, while 43% of those at consumer finance companies say the same.
There’s a slightly smaller difference in payments digitization, with 53% of utility executives and 47% of consumer finance executives saying it’s very important to help their businesses achieve their goals.
These executives also cite the digitalization of the business environment as a factor that will have a significant impact on the growth of the industry over the next five years. Of the billing and collections managers surveyed, 55% of those in utilities and 40% of those in consumer finance companies highlighted the importance of digitized systems.
The ability of businesses to accept digital payments has outpaced the use of digital payments by their customers.
The survey found that while 53% of billers say they can accept all digital payment methods, only 12% say all their payments are accepted digitally.
Twenty-three percent of billers said they could accept and process more than 80% of digital payment methods digitally, while 45% said they actually received and processed more than 80% of their payments digitally.
Overall, the average share of monthly payments received and processed on digital platforms is 75%. Among consumer finance companies, that figure is 80%, while among utilities, it’s 68%.