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April 12, 2017

Closing the Paperless Billing Gap

By Special Guest
Sam Elsharif, VP of Software Development, Echoworx

In today’s real-time, always-on culture, users want to receive important documents faster than ever. Whether bank statements, healthcare records, or even legal documents, consumers want information at their fingertips. As a result, electronic, or paperless, billing has emerged as a viable solution to the need for speed in information delivery.

When introduced more than a decade ago, paperless billing was touted as not only a way to “go green,” cut mailing costs, and get instant access to billing and account information, it was also positioned as a way to keep your information more secure. Paper bills were known for presenting opportunities for confidential information to fall into the wrong hands, whether by human error like incorrect mail delivery or even a user misplacing the document. Paperless billing emerged as a way to minimize security risks and give greater control to the consumer.  

But in today’s cybersecurity landscape, paperless billing comes with a new set of security challenges for businesses and consumers alike. For consumers, there may be security concerns of leaving confidential information vulnerable when checking billing online at work or on public Wi-Fi networks. As today’s cybercriminals continue to become more advanced, tactics such as phishing emails are also a risk. Phishing emails are fraudulent messages disguised as official business correspondence that aim to steal personal information such as bank account passwords or credit card numbers. For businesses, there are certain compliance standards needed for paperless billing, but addressing these needs may cause access to documents to be cumbersome for users, inhibiting paperless adoption growth.

Not only do these security concerns create a barrier to a simple paperless experience, it also impacts a business’ bottom line. Closing the paperless billing gap could mean a savings of $2.2 billion industry-wide over the next five years, according to a JAVELIN report. In order to close this gap, organizations need the ability to deliver confidential statements, invoices, and bills directly to customers’ inboxes with full security and confidence – and encryption is one way to do so.

Encryption solutions like secure electronic document delivery can help businesses transmit confidential documents across networks with a seamless, secure user experience. Whether accessing paperless billing statements on a public or private network, secure electronic document delivery enables customers to receive sensitive documents encrypted from a company directly to their inbox. The documents can then be viewed securely on any device without leaving an email system. For businesses, secure electronic document delivery helps organizations deliver bulk statements via email, eliminating the need for the costs associated with paper-based billing while increasing security. Encryption solutions can also integrate with existing business infrastructure to match the look and feel of a company’s correspondence and continue a seamless user experience. And, for consumers, encryption delivers their information securely without adding on cumbersome extra steps to access documents.

Consumer demand for information on demand is not going away. In order to cut the paper trail and close the paperless billing gap, businesses need to provide more options to deliver a better, more secure paperless experience across all the communications they send to customers. By utilizing encryption technology, businesses can reach consumers securely, help reduce time and costs, and maintain regulatory compliance for information security.

About the Author

Sam Elsharif is Vice President of Software Development at Echoworx (News - Alert). He has over 16 years of security industry experience, including extensive knowledge of the role encryption plays in software security solutions. At Echoworx, Sam is the team lead on encryption and is responsible for keeping the company on the leading edge – which includes staying abreast of post-quantum encryption and standards. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from McGill University.




Edited by Alicia Young
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