Canada Explores EBPP

By Noah Elkin, Senior Analyst with eMarketer

7 November 2001, Implementation of electronic billing
solutions is firmly underway with Canada’s leading billers, according to a June 2000 survey fielded by the Optus
Corporation and Ipsos-Reid that polled 45 senior decision-makers at Canada’s largest billers. The study indicated
that 87% of the country’s top billers are actively considering an electronic bill presentment and payment
(EBPP) initiative.

However, most companies surveyed (31%) listed implementation of EBPP services as sixth or
lower on a list of corporate priorities. Only a total of 20% ranked it first (10%) or second (10%), indicating
the perceived benefits of EBPP have yet to penetrate many of Canada’s boardrooms.

The majority of programs are still in the planning phase, although the companies surveyed
clearly have high hopes for the impact that electronic billing will have. For example, they expect that the
percentage of customers receiving bills online will more than triple between 2000 and 2002, and fully 85%
plan to stop emitting paper bills altogether once customers move to their EBPP programs.

Most companies surveyed (82%) have already turned or intend to turn to an external vendor
to implement their EBPP programs, primarily because they offer expertise not available in-house. They are
divided, however, on which EBPP model to adopt, with 36% opting to present bills on their own websites,
23% planning to use a consolidator and 28% choosing both. Factors here include implementation costs,
customer convenience and control over the bill presentment and payment processes.

In terms of factors that they believe will accelerate consumer adoption of EBPP, one-third of
the firms surveyed pointed to financial incentives and ease of use as the leading motivations for consumers.
A nearly equal percentage (31%) indicated the need to address consumer’s security concerns and increased
consumer awareness.

To learn more about electronic bill presentment and payment initiatives in Canada and
worldwide, read eMarketer’s Electronic Payments Report.

The eMarketer eStat Database contains 161 records on electronic payments and 548 records on Canada.

Noah Elkin, Ph.D., is a Senior Analyst with eMarketer. He is the author of the Electronic
Payments Report, the eLatin America Report and the eBrazil Report. eMail him at
[email protected] with comments, suggestions and questions.