Online electronic bill payments and online invoicing both arrived on the scene nearly a decade ago. Consumers quickly adapted to paying their bills online, but the concept of being invoiced electronically has significantly lagged behind.

According to the 2011 Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey, among online bill payers not already receiving e-bills, 38% said they were interested or very interested in the service. The low adoption rate may be tied to a simple lack of awareness of the service. The study revealed 30% of consumers who pay their bills online weren’t even aware that such a service existed.

The number of consumers receiving e-bills is increasing however. Between 2006 and 2011 the number of U.S. online households receiving e-bills more than doubled. Approximately one-third of financial institution online bill payers now receive e-bills.

The online payment component of an integrated property management software package such as AppFolio makes implementing an online invoicing process simple. Your residents can quickly pay their rent online and the online rent payments are automatically entered into AppFolio and completely integrated with your accounting records. Your residents appreciate the ease of paying online, funds are transferred to your account faster, and you significantly reduce your check processing costs.

AppFolio also eliminates the need to pay property owners manually. Instead of writing checks each month and sending them along with Owner Statements, you can pay owners using ACH functionality to deposit the funds directly into their bank accounts. Owners are paid faster and more securely.

Your tenants will appreciate the service as well. According to the Fiserv study, consumers who received e-bills were highly satisfied. More than two-thirds of e-bill users cited the ability to view and pay in one step as a reason they enrolled in an on-line invoicing service. Customers also named reminders and more efficient management of their bills as reasons for signing up for online invoicing.

Because of the significant advantages for both you and your tenants, it’s a good time for you to get on board with online invoicing.