Fiserv has released findings from is 2011 Billing Household survey of 2,500 bill paying consumers. One notable finding of this year’s study is the variability of consumers’ bill payment behaviors.
Consumers indicate it is important for billers to provide multiple payment options and many report changing the way they pay their bills month-to-month due to timing and funds availability. The study found a number of factors driving the demand for choice including the consumer’s financial situations and changing technology. Paying bills online at biller or bank sites is most common followed by check and auto debit.
The frequency of changes in payment behavior is also notable, especially for a segment of frequent changers, a fact that effects consideration of the types of bill payment used.
The survey also found that nearly one out of every five online consumer households changes the way they pay bills each month with 63 percent citing funds availability and 54 percent payment due date as the reason. The fluid nature of payment practices was illustrated by a significant drop in automatic recurring payments from 64 percent last year to 59 percent in 2011. Auto-debit takes money out the same day every month and does not allow for the flexibility many consumers are seeking in today’s economy.
Mobile continues to be an important area for payment evolution.
Six million households paid at least one bill via smartphone in the past year. Billers need to pay greater attention to their mobile experience, as 30 percent of online consumers have visited a biller’s site using their mobile web browser to access a monthly bill. The most popular bills paid by phone include phone, cable, credit card and utilities.