The 2013 Money Mindset Index, released by money transfer specialist The Western Union Company, found that consumers are continuing to make more payments online and that sending a check in the mail is becoming consistently more outdated. According to the study, nearly 40% of respondents said that they planned on using the internet for more payments last year and 12% actually said that they planned to use their mobile device more often to pay bills. As a result, companies who want to offer the best customer experience will need to provide reliable online billing services. Without them, businesses might lose customers to competitors who offer more convenient billing systems.

Online bill payment has become the preference for today’s consumers, as speed and simplicity have become priorities. This has caused the billing industry to shift from mailing in a check to companies needing to install online billing services and, soon, being sure to cater to mobile payers. “Consumers are increasingly looking for new ways to manage their bills, which points to the need for continued innovation by service providers across the payments industry,” said David Shapiro, Senior Vice President of payments at Western Union. So keeping up with changes and staying innovative with accepting bill payments is important for businesses who want to set themselves apart and build more loyal customer bases.

The data of the study showed just how much today’s consumers prefer to make their payments online. Findings say that 46.5% of bills are paid on biller, bank, or credit union websites and just under 20% of bills are paid with automatic or recurring payments. On the flip side, consumers pay just three percent of their bills via a landline phone. In the past, call centers might have become vital for businesses who hoped to give the best customer service, but accepting online payments has to be the priority in today’s marketplace.

Switching to or upgrading electronic billing services can be a hassle for business owners, especially those who don’t have any training or experience in that area. If that is the case, partnering with utility billing service providers can be a smart choice. We are comprised of talented and experienced professionals who are able to take an individual business’ needs and help develop a proper billing program. Making that investment will help owners set themselves up for long-term success.