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 ePower Systems – The Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) Industry

EBPP is the process of presenting an exact or enhanced replication of a bill electronically, for direct delivery to customers’ desktops over either the Internet or a private network. Consumers can examine bills, capture information, and pay bills with a few mouse clicks.2

Entities in the EBPP cycle
In addition to the EBPP provider, there are three distinct parties involved in the bill presentment and payment process.

EBPP technology can be used by any business that sends bills to the end user. There are over 15,000 potential household utility billers that can benefit from EBPP solutions including telecommunication carriers, electric and gas utility companies, credit card companies, cable television companies, cellular phone companies, and Internet service providers. Some of these industries (and companies within these industries) will adopt Internet billing more rapidly than other segments because of the role technology plays in their current business model.

End-users / Consumers
Any household or business that receives recurring bills is defined as an end-user of this technology. At the level of the household, consumers are now paying 6-17 bills per month. There are more than 58 million adults using the Internet in the United States and Canada.3 As online usage increases, online presentment and payment becomes an increasingly easier alternative to paper bills. In a recent online survey, 98% of respondents said they would like to receive electronic versions of their monthly bills for payment on the Internet. As broadband technologies (DSL and cable modems) become more prevalent, Internet usage will increase substantially. New applications and higher capacity systems will enable the Internet to become a more essential tool for personal time and financial management.

Banks / Financial Institutions
The banks, the third party in the EBPP process, are involved In actual funds transfer. Although, banks will lose significant wholesale banking fees from the elimination of check processing services, they will still be vital for electronic funds transfers. Many banks are looking for EBPP providers to facilitate online banking initiatives to boost revenues and increase their own Internet exposure. Throughout the evolution of the EBPP industry, banks will be a critical financial partner to all EBPP solution providers by continuing to execute secure electronic payments via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

Methods for Electronic Bill Presentment
There are three methods for electronic bill presentment. One of the first methods implemented by billers has been the ‘single biller web-site.’ A second approach is to ‘aggregate’ the bills at a specific web-site that consumers visit to obtain their bills. Finally, the industry offers a third approach with the consolidation of bills at the consumers’ computer desktops.

Single biller web site
The approach some billers have used to enter the electronic billing market is to make the bill available at the biller’s web-site. Consumers go to the biller’s web-site and review their bills. This “pull” approach presumes that consumers will take the initiative to look at each of their bills, If consumers want to pay several bills electronically, they must regularly log on to the Internet and access their bills from each biller’s web-site.

Consolidator or aggregator method
Some EBPP vendors in the market have proposed consolidating bills at a distinct web-site managed by the vendor. In essence, the bill or bill summary is sent to the intermediary, or consolidator, and consumers go to the web-site of the consolidator to receive many of their bills. It simplifies the process for consumers as they have fewer web sites to visit to view their bills. The biller risks losing direct communication with their consumers as they send the summary bills to the consolidator.

Biller driven presentment
The third solution allows the biller to send bills directly to each of their consumers. Consumers then open their bills, and pay them at their desktops. This solution requires a direct delivery mechanism, but keeps the biller in direct connection and communication with their consumers.

3 A.T. Kearney and institute for the Future, “The Role of Brands in the Digital Economy,” Spring 1998

ePower Systems
Table of Contents Appendices
1. Executive Summary
2. The Industry
3. Company Description
4. ePower’s Services
5. Market Research
6. Marketing Strategies
7. Management
8. Financial Plan
Monthly Financials
Quarterly Financials
Annual Financials
All information herein is confidential and belongs to ePower Systems

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