Utility Billing Software Enhancements: Autopay, Email, and Paperless Billing

English: email envelopeAny more, few of us remember the days of typewriters, carbon paper, and hand-written bills. As we continue to embrace technology, even those who grew up in the days of massive paper files can find ways to execute their very own Paper Reduction Act.

Monthly billings don’t come without mixed feelings at the offices of most Black Mountain Software Utility Billing clients. It’s what they do, and it makes their world turn, but it can be so much work with most municipal utility billing systems: print the bills, sort the bills, and stuff them in envelopes. Then there’s the postage and the post office, and their job doesn’t stop there! Just when everything is out the door, the payments start coming in for processing–on another piece of paper! Then it’s time to go to the bank, reconcile the account, and the process starts all over again next month.

Some of this may never change, but technology can help. As Black Mountain Software clients get more familiar with the way of commerce in the 21st century, they are asking for electronic options such as automated bill pay, web pay, and email notifications and correspondence. Many of their customers prefer electronic transfers and exchanges over stamps and envelopes. The email inbox is replacing the counter and lock box.

If this demand for automation is something you are familiar with, then Black Mountain municipal software is ready to help you with the transition. Our Utility Billing modules are tailored to help you transition to automation with options that include: Email Bills, ACH (automated bank drafting), and Web Payment.

About Emailing Bills

Email Bills for BMS Utility Billing requires little setup and zero third-party processing. Once you have determined a sufficient number of customers who would prefer a paperless bill, setting them up to receive an emailed bill and designing the bill itself is all done in the Utility Billing system. Email bills can then be created as simply as regular bill printing.

About ACH (Automated Bank Drafting)

ACH is an exchange between the customer and their bank, and you and your bank. Once that arrangement has been made, the customer can automatically have their payment drafted, and in return, you will receive a file that includes the customer information to process bills, and you can even automate the ACH to deposit directly into your bank account. The individual customer information is set up in your BMS Utility Billing software to populate the bank file at billing time. The file is created, uploaded, and sent to the bank, and on the effective date of your choosing, ACH payments are applied to the customers’ accounts, all in Utility Billing.

About Web Payment

Web Payment is another add-on module available to Black Mountain Software utility billing customers. This allows users the convenience of paying their bill online.

Currently in Utility Billing, each account has a unique Web ID number that can enable the web payment function. Black Mountain Software has partnered with Billing Document Specialists (BDS) for web payment processing. Each month, after calculating bills, your billing clerk can create a Web Payment file in Utility Billing to be sent to BDS. Customers then have the option to make payments online (via the website that is created and hosted by BDS).

Every 24 hours BDS will send a payment file to the billing clerk with information on any payment made online. The billing clerk then uploads the payment file into the Utility Billing system, and those payments are automatically receipted into the proper accounts.

With our government accounting and utility billing software ACH and Web Payment options, you can save trees, time, and expense, and delight your tech-savvy customers with just a few keystrokes!

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