Consumers attitude towards e-billing adoption pressure. Same data, different results.

Consumers attitude towards e-billing adoption pressure. Same data, different results.

August 7, 2013  |  Adoption, Featured Articles, Research

In an international survey from Two Sides carried out by research company Toluna, 2,500 US consumers were asked their opinion on a variety of billing and statement related issues with a focus on the present supplier pressure to switch to electronic bills and statements.

At first glance, the key findings show a bleak image when it comes to the attitude of consumers towards e-billing adoption pressure and the ‘going green argument’. However, with a little bit of spit and polish, we are able come up with slightly different findings. Statistics galore! Same data, different results….

Key Findings at first glance:

Some of the key findings of the research are:

  • 93% of consumers say they are unwilling to pay for paper bills.
  • 89% of consumers want to be able to switch between paper and e-bills without difficulty and cost
  • 69% of consumers say that postal bills offer better record keeping and 65% say they are easier to check. 48% state that postal bills offer more security and 46% say bills and statements printed on paper are easier to read than off a screen.
  • 60% of consumers state they would not choose a company which did not offer a paper bill.
  • 57% of consumers overall, 66% of 18 – 25 year olds, and 60% of 25 -34 year olds, believe a paper bill option is still quite or very important when choosing a new supplier.12% of consumers and 20% of 25 – 34 year olds, say they have switched to a new provider when a charge for paper based bills was imposed.
  • 42% prefer to receive financial services bills by post only and 37% prefer to receive utility bills by post only. For financial services, post is the preferred option overall.
  • 38% of consumers are clearly ‘home printers’ with 26% printing up to 20% of their bills and 7% printing out between 80% and 100% of their bills.
  • 21% of consumers would refuse to switch to electronic bills and statements when asked to do so.
  • 8% of consumers and 16% of 25 – 34 year olds, say they have switched providers because paper bills were withdrawn.

The environmental claim

Based on the survey results, consumers are suspicious of environmental claims and appear confused by the environmental arguments used in the promotion of e-billing, such as, “Go Green, Go Digital”, “Save Trees, Go Paperless”:

  • 15% do not believe claims such as “Go Green, Go Digital”, “Save Trees, Go Paperless”. 14% feel mislead and 29% question the validity of these sort of claims.
  • 49% of consumers believe that companies are switching to e-billing in order to reduce environmental impact but the majority, 87%, agree that cost savings are the main driver.
  • 67% have seen statements saying that e-billing is better for the environment and 63% believe e-billing has a lower environmental impact. However 71% understand that print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate.

The other story. One in favour of e-billing adoption

The problem with statistics is that you can present the results in such a way that it supports what you stand for. So, even though I myself believe that we are not careful towards those that provides us with revenue and continuity (read: the customers) enough when applying e-billing adoption pressure, the results can paint a different picture al together. Here goes, same data, different results:

  • 92% of consumers and 84% of 25 – 34 year olds, say they haven’t switched providers because paper bills were withdrawn.
  • 88% of consumers and 80% of 25 – 34 year olds, say they haven’t switched to a new provider when a charge for paper based bills was imposed.
  • 79% of consumers do not refuse to switch to electronic bills and statements when asked to do so.
  • 62% of consumers do not print out their e-bill. With 26% of the other group printing up to 20% of their bills and only 7% printing out between 80% and 100% of their bills.
  • 58% prefer to receive financial services e-bills only and 63% prefer to receive utility e-bills only.
  • 43% of consumers overall, 34% of 18 – 25 year olds, and 40% of 25 -34 year olds, believe an e-bill option is a very viable option when choosing a new supplier.
  • 40% of consumers state they are indifferent to a company that does not offer a paper bill.
  • 31% of consumers say that postal bills offer no better record keeping and 65% say they are no easier to check than e-bills. 52% state that postal bills are no more secure than e-bills. And 54% say e-bills and statements are easier.
  • 11% of consumers do not want to be able to switch between paper and e-bills without difficulty and cost
  • 7% of consumers say they are willing to pay for paper bills.

And, you can do the same for the environmental claim survey results. DIY.

 


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