Austereo goes to air with e-billing and payment solution

Stage two to be completed in September

Australian national broadcaster, the Austereo Group, is rolling out an integrated e-billing and payment management solution.

With radio stations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, Austereo is currently piloting a project designed to take the back room function of accounts receivables and put it into the hands of customers, unlocking new efficiencies and cost savings along the way.

Austereo has purchased an integrated solution comprising CommSecure's BillSecure e-billing and payment management solution, the PaySecure secure payments gateway and DDRSecure direct debit management and payment solution.

Kym Rawnsley, Austereo's group manager , said the radio group is very advanced when it comes to implementing new technology and has a clear vision of where it wants to go.

"At Austereo, we always want to be at the forefront of technology. We want to use it both to improve efficiency and to ensure that it's easy for advertisers and their creative agencies to do business with us," he said.

Austereo first set out to deliver invoices electronically back in 2001 but couldn't find anyone capable of doing it.

One of its partners introduced Austereo to CommSecure 18 months ago.

"Since then we've been workshopping not only how to deliver invoices online, but a whole web-based management system with extensive self-service capabilities for customers," Rawnsley said.

Stage one of the project was completed in early July, 2007, giving Austereo the ability to present its bills electronically, either by PDF or data feed, and offer limited payment facilities.

Stage two, which will provide customers with the ability to manage their account online, will be completed in September.

"Not only will our customers be able to view and pay their accounts online 24 hours a day using a range of payment options, but they'll be able to manage their account details, lodge and track payment queries and view their entire payment history with Austereo," Rawnsley said.

"From our point of view, we'll be able to automate a number of time-consuming processes, driving down costs and improving cash-flow by making payments easier.

"At the same time, we'll enhance our ability to track the status of our customer receivables at any given time and gain valuable insights into our customers' buying habits."

Rawnsley said the new solution will also give Austereo enormous flexibility in handling future acquisitions and integrating new systems into the e-billing solution.

"We've requested a lot of customisation of the solution to meet our needs and will continue to work with CommSecure to develop it and incorporate new functionality over time," he said.

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