Kingpolis: From Paper to Online Payment Requests
- Lowered DSO from 26 days to 14 days
- Saved over 100,000 euros in 9 months
- Saved over 60% on paper and print costs by going digital
- Company: Kingpolis
- Insurance company (Property & Casualty)
- Headquarters: The Netherlands
Digitization needs beyond invoicing
Kingpolis is a young insurance company. Having started with a focus on the Netherlands’ booming market for e-bikes, it has been growing rapidly. For the past seven years, the Dutch Consumer Association has named Kingpolis the best bike insurer.
In its early years, Kingpolis’ credit and collection processes were not optimized. In fact, bill pay and dunning were not even digitized. Customers who did not pay automatically via Direct Debit, or whose Direct Debit had failed, would receive paper bills and reminders asking them to pay their premiums with the right amount and reference into the right bank account. Doing so requires people to start a bank transfer from scratch and type in all of those details.
This was neither efficient nor effective, nor a good customer experience. Many customers would pay late or not at all, payments could arrive with the wrong amount or reference, and the finance team could only wait for money to arrive in its bank account. In addition, printing and sending paper is inherently slow, expensive, and bad for the environment.
So, after implementing a credit management system to gain more control and streamline its finance operations, Kingpolis decided to improve how people could receive and pay their bills.
In Serrala, the bike insurer found a reliable vendor with a proven solution: sending payment requests via email.
Payment requests do not just ask for payment – they enable payment as well. By making it very easy to pay, they lower the barrier for people to do so quickly (and thus not postpone and forget). Payment requests are unique payment links delivered via personalized messages – email, SMS, or even paper. A payment button (or QR code, on paper) takes recipients to a secure webpage where they can immediately authorize an online payment for their specific bill, just like they would in a web shop. By eliminating the need for customers to set up a bank transfer from scratch, payment requests lower the barriers to timely payment. Moreover, they ensure that customers cannot make any mistakes in the amount or the reference number as the information is prefilled along with the beneficiary bank account number. This assures seamless reconciliation of the resulting bank transfers arriving in the biller’s bank account. In addition, the biller can track the payment requests to see – and react, if needed - whether they were received, opened, and paid. For example, to automatically follow up bounced emails via SMS or paper.
Once a payment is successfully authorized, the payment page turns into a proof of payment, which makes the payment status clear to customers. In case the payment request is not paid by its due date, it expires, bringing clarity between biller and customer.
The solution was rolled out in phases. The initial deployment focused on sending out reminders for unpaid billed and failed or reversed Direct Debits. Instead of sending out paper letters, Kingpolis was now reaching out via branded emails armed with payment buttons. These gave customers the possibility to pay directly from their bank app through iDEAL, the dominant cross-bank online payment method in the Netherlands.
After a smooth and successful implementation. Kingpolis expanded its use of the solution to the initial bills. The overall project allowed Kingpolis to reach 90% of its customers by email instead of paper. The remaining 10% of customers do not use email.
“Reaching them via email” is an integral part of the solution. Serrala takes care of the required email templates; in terms of branding, design, language, security, renderability, and deliverability, to ensure conversion and trust. The key to a high conversion rate is that the emails are trusted both by email providers like Gmail and Hotmail (to avoid Junk folders) and by the people seeing them in their inboxes. The emails look good on any size device and clearly communicate the action the recipient is expected to take.
- DSO decreased from 26 to 19 days, improving cash flow and working capital.
- Sending digital bills and reminders allowed them to save 60% on paper and print, as well as 50% on postage.
- Better and earlier insight into the status of all bills and reminders.
- Team members who can focus on other credit and collections tasks.
Through regular interactions with Serrala, Kingpolis keeps looking for different ways to improve and expand its use of the solution. “Implementing payment requests from Serrala was a big step forward for us. It was a smooth project that quickly paid for itself, and it has proven to be a reliable service.” Says Jelle de Haan, Business Controller at Kingpolis.