Mobile bill payment use becomes more popular in the US - report

Monday 29 December 2014 10:25 CET | News

Mobile bill payment use is growing rapidly among US consumers, a recent report unveils.

According to “The Seventh Annual Billing Household Survey” from Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology solutions, there are 27 million US online households that are now paying at least one bill from their phone, up nearly 70% over 2013. While the popularity of mobile payments continues to accelerate, billers would be wise not to neglect other channels and methods, as the survey also shows that consumers not only prize choice, they use an average of three different payment methods each month.

Overall survey results indicate that a strong relationship exists between customer satisfaction and the billing and payment experience. Based on the survey findings, billers should consider the following billing and payment strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty: make mobile bill pay a priority, give consumers choice with multiple billing and payment methods, enable emergency and non-registered ”guest checkout” payment options, and help consumers by providing bill pay due alerts.

Mobile bill pay continues to experience robust growth, becoming an increasingly popular channel for US online households to pay bills. According to the survey, 65 million US online households now have a smartphone, and 40% of smartphone owners pay at least one bill from their phone. Smartphone bill payers paid an average of two bills a month from their phone. Among Millennials (Gen Y), 62% pay a bill using their smartphone, and Gen Y smartphone bill payers paid an average of three bills a month from their phone.

The research points out that most popular bills paid via phone include mobile (15 million), cable (14 million) and electricity (8 million). The Fiserv survey also finds that among smartphone owners, 60% have reported that a mobile payment option would improve their satisfaction with the biller.

Tablet is also a growing channel, the report indicates. In 2014, 19 million US online households paid a bill using their tablet device each month, up from 13 million in 2013. The number of tablet owners interested in receiving and paying bills via their device increased to 23 million, up from 18 million in 2013.

The survey also highlights that consumers use an average of three bill payment methods each month, and many switch methods from month to month. Forty-three percent (43%) of consumers say having multiple billing and payment options improves satisfaction with their biller, regardless of the bill type or the size of biller. Offering multiple billing and payment options, such as enabling e-bill delivery at financial institution sites, can also directly address consumer concerns of keeping monthly bills organized.

Furthermore, the study adds that consumers demand expedited and emergency payment options, with 74% saying they expect their billers to offer them. Consumers prefer to make urgent, same-day payments via biller websites (46%), over the phone (41%), via financial institution websites (30%), or through a walk-in payment location (29%). Fifty-seven percent (57%) of respondents revealed they would be more satisfied with the biller if or when emergency payment options are made available.

The 2014 survey also reveals a surge in non-registered bill payments with 28% of the respondents who paid a bill at a biller site using the guest check out option, compared to 7% in 2013. The top reasons for using a non-registered guest checkout option include the desire to only pay once (46%), registering takes too much time (40%), and not wanting to establish another username and password (34%). All reflect consumer’s desire for speed, ease and overcoming password fatigue.

The report concludes that consumers are interested in technology that helps them easily manage their lives and reduce hassles, such as digital bill pay reminders. Bill pay alerts become a digital “parent” providing useful nudges before consumers miss a payment. Thus, the survey finds that 66 million online households are interested in setting up bill pay due alerts, which can streamline and simplify their finance routines and prevent late payments. This practice can help break down the barriers to e-bill adoption and help billers increase the likelihood of customers activating the service, as due date alerts are tied to the receipt of an e-bill. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of respondents interested in receiving alerts say the functionality would enhance customer satisfaction.

The Billing Household Survey was conducted in May 2014 by The Marketing Workshop on behalf of Fiserv. It was completed by 3,021 respondents at least 21 years of age and responsible for paying bills. The results are representative of the US population of online households, which is approximately 99 million out of 122 million total US households.

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Keywords: mobile, bill, payment, US, report, Fiserv, pay, smartphone, tablets, billing, mobile payments, loyalty, phone, biller, e-bill
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce