Contraction Does Not Equal Recession

Most Americans are now payment “omnivores,” using multiple channels to pay various bills, according to new research from Fiserv.

These options include online payments at financial institutions and company (biller) sites, paper checks sent via mail, walk-in payments, phone payments, and mobile payments made via apps or mobile Web browsers.

“Different consumers expect and value different billing and payment offerings from their service providers,” says Jardon Bouska, division president, biller solutions, for Fiserv. “By understanding these preferences, billers, service providers and financial institutions can offer a billing and payment experience that meets a wide range of consumers’ needs and demands, from traditional methods to new and growing areas such as mobile payments.”

Three of four consumers use at least two bill payment methods each month, and more than 20% of consumers change how they pay their bills from month to month for reasons including funds availability, payment due dates, and amounts owed, Fiserv’s fifth annual Billing Household Survey reports.

Additional findings include:

• Mobile: Payments initiated via a mobile device, such as through an app, still make up a relatively small percentage of bill payments overall, but they gained momentum year to year.

• Online: Eight percent of online households paid at least one monthly bill online, up from 6% in 2011. In comparison, only 3% percent of infrequent and non-Internet users (720,000 households) use mobile bill payment.

• Smartphones: Mobile bill payments among smartphone owners jumped 41% over the previous year. In addition, one of five consumers who own a tablet paid a bill through a bank or biller site using a tablet.

• Reasons: Key drivers for mobile bill payment include time savings (50%), anytime access (44%), and convenience (43%).

• Demand: When asked what mobile billing and payment capability they’re most interested in, nearly one of three respondents indicated they were very interested in viewing and paying bills from their smartphones.

(Via Credit Union Magazine)

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