iBill 2.0: The New Way Forward

Stephen Yagielowicz
Among the most controversial brand names in the adult space is that of online billing company iBill — but despite the challenges involved in overcoming the brand's storied past, the current company operating by that name has its sights set squarely on the future — a future which it has demonstrated with the release of its updated processing platform, iBill 2.0.

"Merchants are very visually oriented, and very few things excite them as much as interactive and useful analysis that they can use to build their business and change marketing tactics based on real time feedback," iBill President and CEO Jonas Brown told XBIZ, highlighting the similarities between the company's evolution and that of its flagship product.

Brown says that over the past few months, the company has listened to the feedback it has received from its merchants, and used this information to develop iBill 2.0.

"We've found that our merchants have a lot of good ideas, ones that make great business sense," Brown said. "We've implemented a number of these requested changes to make iBill the most user friendly Internet Payment Service Provider available on the web today."

Brown gave XBIZ an advance look at the new iBill 2.0, which among its offerings allows clients to expand their business by adding new websites on the fly; with the whole process now reportedly taking less than five minutes to complete — from registering the URL to setting up payment buttons, to activating the password management system.

Easy setup means little, however, without a robust feature set and flexible reporting. The company has addressed this by providing downloadable account activity in easy to read and understand reports that reveal up-to-date and thorough views of targeted accounts as a whole, or by each individual site linked to the account. Setting account activity alerts is also just a click away.

"iBill 2.0 now allows you to set text alerts for most aspects of your account, ranging from new sales, to daily summaries and chargebacks, allowing you to keep up with your account when you are on the go, as most of us are these days," Brown said. "While iBill's coming iPhone app will allow for push alerts for all information that you might wish to receive, from statistics to transactions, directly to your iPhone."

The ability to set custom cut-off times was another merchant-requested feature.

"Most merchants find it very frustrating to process with a company that works in only one time zone," Brown explained. "iBill 2.0 now allows you to set your own cut-off time. This allows you to set a time to stop transactions for the day corresponding with the end of your business day. After that time, transactions are posted to the following day."

To be competitive in today's complex billing arena, iBill needed to be aggressive with its payout and data policies, in order to satisfy the often-significant demands and other concerns of current and potential merchants.

"Unlike many processors, iBill has not set a limit for payouts. From $10 to $10,000, iBill allows you to move funds seven days a week via ACH, wire, or mail payment," Brown said. "With iBill's User Export feature, you can export information on your users. If you want to send an email blast to your customers, you can export email addresses of all of your customers and even filter them, showing active and inactive users."

For merchants seeking an all-in-one processing solution, iBill's affiliate program is an added service available to all current clients at no additional charge.

"The iBill referral and affiliate programs incorporate features such as powerful tracking tools (which collect, among other things, IP addresses, traffic information, click throughs and referring URL) which allow for direct marketing based on previous transactions, geographic location, and dollar amount spent," Brown said. "The iBill affiliate program also offers analysis tools, which are built around affiliate statistics."

"iBill tracks successful and unsuccessful referrals (from sites, advertisements, geographic locations and campaigns) in order to provide our clients with the most up-to-date and accurate information for their marketing needs," he added. "These are shown in interactive and complete reports, which our clients can then use to adjust their marketing plans and advertising dollars in a way that is a direct result of recent feedback."

Tracking is not just limited to affiliates, however, with iBill 2.0 allowing multiple administrative users to access a single account.

"Just authorize or restrict access for anyone that you wish. For example, programmers may be set up for programming purposes only, and can be blocked from accessing financial information," Brown offered. "Likewise, bookkeepers can be blocked from accessing programming info."

In addition, iBill 2.0 offers regional pricing, which allows merchants to price their products to reflect their consumer's geographic location, with automatic currency conversion to and from U.S., Canadian and Australian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds and Japanese Yen.

iBill 2.0 also offers custom pricing that meets the needs of small, large, or growing businesses, along with what the company calls "Trifecta Billing."

"With a series of back ups in place, iBill is able to move from credit card, to ACH to iBill900 should any of the accounts be declined," Brown said. "This allows for backup billing where necessary and prevents holds on goods and services sold."

Finally, iBill Stores lets clients establish a presence on the website that will give customers the impression that they remain on your site at all times, allowing you to customize and design the customers' online experience with the simple click of a mouse.

With these wide-ranging features and flexible options, iBill hopes to revitalize the online billing scene through the launch of its iBill 2.0 platform. Combined with some of the company's other recent initiatives, listening to its merchants may well pay off and point the way forward.