Electronic Bill Payment in Canada

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1-Introduction:
In today’s evolutionary world, where technology keeps on revolutionizing our everyday tasks, electronic bill presentment and payment offer a whole new billing process by offering online and real time presentment of bills and payment choices. It offers great advantages and significantly improves customer care and customer relationship management. We will cover the information found in an electronic bill, followed by the process of a bill presentment. We will briefly compare traditional paper-based bills and electronic bills. And then, we will expose the different parties involved in an electronic bill presentment and payment, followed by the different evolution phases. The advantages and the risks associated with the adopting the EBPP or not. Finally we will see the different users of EBPP in Canada. Electronic transactions will gradually become the principal method for both consumers and companies to pay their bills. The main business driver is the important cost reduction for billers from reducing manual work and paper, but it must also present an advantage to customers in order to be successful. For now, customers who have become accustomed to internet banking are the prime candidates for EBPP. On July 8, 2004, EPO Inc (Canada Post’s epost) acquired Webdox, the only other bill delivery service in Canada. Together they will provide Canadians with a single EBPP service that will be one of the most advanced of its kind in the world.

Figure: Billing Process Stages

2-Definitions:
Instead of the hassle of having to make physical payments, electronic payments are payments made online. They are made through the financial institution’s website. Electronic Billing is the electronic delivery and presentation of bills, invoices, and related information sent by a company to its customers. Instead of receiving paper bills through the mail, and then writing out and sending a check, bills can be received by e-mail, or accessed through the biller’s website. It is also known as Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, or EBPP, which is a model based on business-to-consumer. Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment, or EIPP, is the equivalent for a business-to-business payment, however, we won’t be covering it in this paper. The Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) model enables customers of banks and billing companies to use the internet or the phone to conveniently remit payments as well as access their billing information. It was created in the United-States by the Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (CEBP) of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) The biggest and most obvious difference between EBPP systems and the traditional method of bill payment, is that of technology. Rather than receiving a bill through the mail, writing out and sending a check, consumers receive their bills in an email, or are prompted to visit a website to view and pay their bills 3-Content Creation and Bill Design:

There are several types of information in an electronic bill, most of which are the same you would find in a traditional paper bill. First, it identifies the customer, or their authorized agent, in order to link this particular bill to the biller’s account receivable processes. It includes the name and address, the account number with the Biller (or any other information that the biller has determined to identify its customers like an ID number, username, or phone number), and the time period for the bill ( a week, or a month, or a year). Second, it states the amount due from the customer, as well as any details explaining new charges over the billing period if there are any; for example, long distance phone bills contain details of each call and other specific charges included in the amount due. Third, it specifies the date when the total amount is due. Fourth, it includes a period-to-period reconciliation of activity since the last bill or statement...
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