‘Gen Y’ effect drives mobile bill payment

The number of bill payment users doubled from 2012 to 2013, survey shows.

Generation Y consumers are increasingly responsible for paying bills and they prefer to use the mobile channel to manage their finances, according to Fiserv’s 2013 Billing Household Survey.

As a result, this growing demographic is influencing how billers are innovating based on their demands regarding specific bill payment preferences.

Mobile bill payment use doubled from eight million U.S. online households in 2012 to 16 million in 2013, the survey reports. This growth was driven primarily by smartphone owners, among whom mobile bill payment surged 150%.

Consumers who pay bills using their mobile device do so primarily for its convenience (70%), anytime access (55%) and time savings (49%).

It is important for billers to have mobile-optimized websites for bill payment as mobile-optimized financial institution and biller websites are the most popular choice when paying bills with a smartphone. However, apps for billers and financial institutions were also popular and grew rapidly.

The survey found that 83% of consumers use two or more channels to pay their bills each month. The average number of bill payment methods consumers use ticked up 10% from 2012 to 2013, rising to an average of 3.2 channels each month.

While the number of U.S. online households that pay a bill by check declined from 61% in 2012 to 53% in 2013, the number of households using mobile and tablet for bill payment gained ground, resulting in the higher number of channels used overall.

Many consumers continue to use established methods of paying bills, such as checks, phone, or in-person payments, and two-thirds believe billers should offer multiple ways to pay bills.

The Gen Y effect is evident here as 74% of Gen Y respondents consider offering multiple payment options important, compared to 67% of all respondents.

“While new bill payment channels such as mobile and tablet are coming on strong, traditional channels remain in use, creating a need for billers to support an ever-growing set of billing and payments, channels, and payment types,” says Jardon Bouska, Fiserv’s division president, biller solutions. “Americans—particularly Gen Y—are hungry for multiple options for digital bill presentment and payment.

Additional survey findings:

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