More U.S. Consumers Pay Bills Online; Plan to Use Mobile (March 25, 2013)
More U.S. consumers are paying bills online and more are considering using their mobile phones to pay bills as well, according to the Western Union Payments Money Mindset Index, released today. The online survey of more than 3,000 respondents conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, found that consumer preference for online and mobile bill payments continues to grow, with 39 percent of U.S. consumers saying they will pay more bills online in 2013, and 12 percent intending to pay more bills by mobile phone. Mobile adoption for urgent, same-day payments also is on the rise: 14 percent of consumers report that they will make an urgent payment via their mobile device in the next six months. Furthermore, 25 percent of consumers report that they will send fewer checks in the mail to pay their bills.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for new ways to manage their bills, which points to the need for continued innovation by service providers across the payments industry,” said David Shapiro, senior vice president, payments, Western Union. “Less than one-third of payments occur via non-electronic channels, and consumers continue to use a mix of payment methods that provide enhanced choice, flexibility, control and convenience around their lifestyles and cash flow.”
The Money Mindset Index also reveals the mix of channels consumers are using to pay their bills including:
- 46.5 percent of bills are paid via a biller, bank or credit union Website;
- 20.2 percent of bills are paid via mail;
- 19.6 percent of bills are paid via an automatic deduction or recurring payment;
- 8.7 percent of bills are paid in-person at a walk-in location;
- 3 percent of bills are paid via a landline phone; and
- 2 percent of bills are paid via mobile phone.
Bill pay is one way prepaid providers are seeking to increase cardholder retention. Earlier this month at Prepaid Expo USA, Robert Collier, general counsel for prepaid card and bill payment provider PreCash, told attendees that bill pay services are a key driver of customer loyalty.