Study Identifies Six Types of Bill Payers

Thursday 18 November 2004 14:52 CET | News

CheckFree has reported the results of a 2004 survey conducted by Lieberman Research. The survey found that Americans fit into six categories when it comes to attitudes about paying their bills, and that these segments are likely to approach bill paying in very different ways - ranging from seeing their bill payment behavior as a way to get ahead to a task they are desperately trying to avoid.

The Lieberman survey of 1,200 Internet users, sponsored by CheckFree, which powers the bill payment services of more than 1,400 banks and Web sites, is representative of the approximately 74 million online consumer households in the United States. As of June 2004, an estimated 52.7 percent of online households have paid at least one bill online according to CheckFree Analytic Research Services, a group that studies consumer financial behavior year-round to enhance products and share trends with the companys clients. The participants in the CheckFree-Lieberman study either have primary responsibility for paying their households bills or share that responsibility. The attitude segmentation found that most Americans fit into one of the following six bill payment categories: - e-Savvy Planner - e-Savvy planners are excited by the idea of trying the latest technology products and services and are willing to spend money on tools that make managing their finances easier. They tend to be organized and successful financial planners, are technology optimists who may be among the first to use the latest gadgets, and are often asked for technology advice by friends and family. They typically sign up for electronic billing and payment at their bank, credit union or brokerage site, because of the flexibility and centralized features that such a service provides. - Convenience Seeker - Convenience seekers do not want to spend a long time paying bills. They are interested in quick and easy services and are likely to pay their bills online at a single Web site such as their bank. Convenience Seekers are more likely than the other segments to believe that paying bills online is safer than paying bills via the paper mail, and value the ability to track and control their spending from one site. - Self-Improver - Self-Improvers find financial management to be stressful and time consuming, but they are actively seeking help to gain control of their finances. They often struggle to manage their budgets, may overlook bills and frequently carry a balance on their credit cards. They are in search of an organizational system that gives them increased control and makes managing finances easier. Paying bills online at one place appeals to them because they acknowledge that they need help. - Maximizer - Maximizers manage their money strategically and actively seek rewards such as frequent flyer points. They tend to be financially secure, and schedule bills to be paid online in order to optimize cash flow and to qualify for low interest rates. They particularly like the time savings and not having to deal with the hassle of making a trip to buy stamps, or writing checks to the same companies each month. - Desperate Avoider - Desperate Avoiders are stressed about their finances in general and can be overwhelmed by their debts. They typically find monthly bill payment to be a chore and financial management in general to be very stressful. They have trouble keeping track of finances, and may avoid opening bills and delay paying them altogether. By paying and receiving bills online at a single Web site, and using self-scheduled reminders, these Desperate Avoiders could gain control of the bill payment process. - Paranoid Paper Pusher - Paranoid Paper Pushers are distrustful of Internet security and believe they are safer receiving paper bills and sending paper checks by mail. They are very careful and organized about their finances and may have developed a comprehensive paper-based financial management system that theyve been using for many years. Consumers who want to learn more about the benefits of paying bills online and use a search tool to identify banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, portals and billers who offer these services, can visit, a consumer education site.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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