Conditioned by the convenience of social networking, online shopping, and instant access to information of every conceivable kind, the "wired" generation expects the business world to keep up, in the form of tools individuals can use to manage interactions with the businesses they patronize. That individual expectation crosses over into business-to-business interactions, putting pressure on IT departments to provide instant resolution of billing or other customer issues so that their clients can keep up with end customer demands.
Just as ATMs and online banking have overtaken face-to-face interaction with a teller, self-service portals and web-based technologies such as Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) have become increasingly important tools leveraged by companies looking to retain ever-more sophisticated customers and lower the overall cost of accounting operations. But even with increased acceptance of online services, companies should not take a "build it and they will come" approach to EIPP implementation. Active encouragement of widespread customer adoption of such tools remains a critical factor in deriving maximum benefit from these cost-saving technologies.