Walk-In and Alternative Bill Payments in the United States

by Ron Mazursky 0

Walk-in payment services provide a means for consumers who lack accounts at formal financial institutions or have limited access to banks to pay their bills. They also provide billers an efficient way to reach their customers. As consumers have adopted new technologies like smartphones and tablets in recent years, the ability to pay bills remotely at their convenience has become critical to keep them satisfied. Mercator Advisory Group’s review of leading third-party bill-payment providers finds that online bill payment is now driving the growing alternative bill-payment market and mobile bill payment is on the cusp of expansion.

Mercator Advisory Group’s latest Research Report, Walk-In and Alternative Bill Payments in the United States, delves into the traditional walk-in bill payments market and the core constituency that drives the business—the unbanked and underbanked consumer. The report provides a perspective of the walk-in bill payment market transactions, dollar volume, and revenue. In addition, it highlights changing trends in the market compared to 2011. It also focuses on one the new market verticals, healthcare payments arising from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). A portion of the report then explores the major vendors operating in the walk-in bill payment market. The final section looks into alternative bill payments (specifically online and mobile) and highlights the major growth in the online channel and the consumer attitudes towards alternative bill payments.

“Walk-in bill payments has provided valuable services to the unbanked and underbanked population, and it continues to grow. However, the evolution of this service into the online and eventually the mobile space will further expand the customer base, as it picks up many times the number of users in the banked market,” comments Ron Mazursky, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group and co-author of the report.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Exploration of the unbanked and underbanked segments, in terms of sizing and impact on walk-in bill payments
  • Analysis of factors impacting the walk-in bill payment market
  • Review of the new healthcare payments segment and its impact on walk-in bill payments
  • Comparison of the leading walk-in bill payments vendors/processors
  • Discussion of alternative bill payments and specifically how the online segment has grown and where the mobile segment is headed