The sustainability story – electronic adoption

Blog | April 22, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Developing and promoting sustainable business practices is a major challenge for many of the world’s best businesses.

In some ways, addressing climate change is a collective action problem and extrinsic solutions like government regulations and other policy initiatives will have a big role to play.

But there are also intrinsic solutions that align sustainability and the profit motive within companies. These solutions all revolve around investments in more efficient business practices – practices that save time and money and reduce carbon emissions.

Nature scene depicting a world map made out of trees and water

The role of fintech in sustainability

The digitization of business practices is a win-win scenario for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint while realizing financial benefits. 

Paper billing is the logical starting point. 

Paper-based invoicing systems are resource intensive. Their full carbon impact can be difficult to calculate, but we must consider the following inputs: 

  • Tree harvesting, paper milling and fuel for transportation of paper products
  • Printing and mailing of invoices, bank slips, receipts and statements
  • Follow-up mail for collections activities and errors
  • Manufacture and maintenance of printers and replacements of ink cartridges

Paper invoicing and payment is on the decline, to be sure, and electronic invoicing is becoming the standard. But it isn’t happening fast enough. Research from Gartner indicates that U.S. businesses are spending as much as 3% of their revenue on printing, filing and maintaining paper instruments every year – with the average office worker using 10,000 sheets of paper every year. 

Sheets of paper transforming into a tablet showing a digital invoice

How difficult is digitizing?

Companies understand the benefits of moving their customers off of paper billing and payments. They’re eager to do so, but the process is labor intensive and slow.

Many mid-sized companies do not have the resources to devote to running campaigns that encourage their customers to create accounts and begin using their online portals. Besides, with customers in the hundreds or thousands, it's hard to know where to start. 

Many businesses find themselves in the awkward position of having invested in an online billing and payments system while a significant subset of their customer base is still receiving paper invoices and using up valuable resources and contributing to carbon emissions.   

Billtrust helps accelerate digital adoption

Billtrust helps our customers work towards their sustainability goals through our eSolutions team. 

Once our customers have their online billing and payments portal up and running, the Billtrust eSolutions team provides best practice training and expert resources that help drive electronic adoption up and cut down on the percentage of paper invoices and check payments that need to be processed. 

Billtrust Managed Campaigns

The eSolutions team is equipped to run every facet of a full email and calling campaign. 

Billtrust does all of the heavy lifting. Our experts analyze internal data and create target lists of companies. We then create tailored messages and execute email campaigns on behalf of our customers.

Billtrust eSolutions success

Cooper Electric: Grew digital payments by 671% in one year

Billtrust’s online billing and payment portals have helped our customers save an estimated 1,125 tons of paper and their associated carbon emissions over a four-year period. 

man and woman having a discussion and looking at sticky notes on a wall

Aligning incentives

Corporate sustainability goals are more likely to succeed when they can align with efficiency and cost-saving goals. 

According to Manik Suri, climate advocate and tech startup founder, “fintech sits at the intersection of economic incentive, human behavior, and institutional incentives. One can shift and shape behavior by realigning or misaligning incentives.”

Would you like to learn more about how Billtrust can help you meet your business’ sustainability goals while improving your productivity and your bottom line? Please fill out the contact form and an electronic adoption expert will be in touch soon.