E-billing adoption on the rise

JOHANNESBURG (01/13/2004) - E-billing is a technology that is catching on fast in this country. Instead of sending and receiving bills by post, which is time-consuming, inconvenient and expensive, more companies and individuals are electing to go the electronic route.

E-billing is becoming popular because it is quick, up-to-date and accurate, and offers users powerful analytical tools.

Says Doug Mattheus, marketing director of independent cellular service provider, Nashua Mobile: "We are seeing rapid adoption of e-billing among our clients. We have more than 15,000 registered users covering close to 82,000 accounts. And the number is growing."

Nashua Mobile and many of its clients have been using e-billing for more than a year.

"E-billing is particularly compelling for larger organizations, because the alternative, paper-billing systems, is an administrative nightmare," says Mattheus.

Mattheus says there are powerful management features built in to e-billing systems.

"These can be customized to suit the needs of individuals or organizations. For example, authorized people at a firm can go online and get an instant snapshot of cell phone usage and related billing information. They can quickly determine who is making calls, how often and to whom. And they can carefully monitor costs," he says.

Suretha Stroh, personal assistant to the MD of Hytec, says e-billing is a huge time-saver for the company. "It is a quick and effective way to keep tabs on and administer costs, and it links all 15 of our branches."

Peter Walsh, director of Mobile Outsourced Solutions (Pty) Ltd., says the company has been using e-billing for more than a year, and it works well.

"If you want to carefully manage expenditure on calls, this is the way to go. If you want to understand spending patterns, it is a lot quicker than picking up the phone -- you just go to the Web site. It is cost-effective, convenient and you do not have to store bulky paper bills."

Says Mattheus: "Users of our e-billing system are able to help themselves to other services. For instance, they can activate international roaming online or request other services.

"Online billing is all about convenience, ease of use and cost savings. It is little wonder that we are seeing more customers go this route," says Mattheus.

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