New research shows consumers’ billing and bill payment behavior is linked to three factors: speed, security and satisfaction. Consumers want a bill payment experience that is as easy, convenient and intuitive as a push of the button.
The Eighth Annual Billing Household Survey from Fiserv also revealed consumers want a fast and easy way to pay bills. Speed and convenience drive payment channel choice. Not only is payment processing expected to be faster, but the payment interaction is expected to be faster as well. One in four households report using the non-registered “guest checkout option” at biller sites for convenience and to avoid entering passwords. More than eight in 10 households surveyed say that real-time or same-day processing is important to very important.
More than 27 million bill payers are more concerned about security than they were a year ago. In terms of consumers’ perceptions of the most secure ways to receive and pay bills, bank bill pay and biller direct options are virtually tied (32% and 33%, respectively). These are followed by mail (25%), email (8%) and non-banking sites (2%). In addition, plastic is seen as more secure than ACH, with 57% of people saying they view credit, debit or prepaid cards as the more secure options compared to ACH.
Providing multiple bill payment options increases satisfaction, and the link between payment options and customer satisfaction strengthened significantly in the past twelve months. Overall, seven in 10 respondents say that options for multiple ways to pay increase their customer satisfaction. This represents a 43% increase over the 2014 Survey. Paperless electronic bills are a top satisfaction driver with 66% of consumers surveyed indicating receiving electronic bills increases their satisfaction with billers. Another 36% say the availability of paperless electronic bills makes them less likely to switch to a competitor.
Payment channel switching has become the norm for consumers as the vast majority of bill pay-omnivore households expect more options than ever. Nearly 21 million households change how they pay bills from one month to the next, a 40% increase from last year. They adjust their payment approaches to suit their daily needs, depending where they are and what device they have access to at that moment, with the average consumer using 3.6 different payment methods each month – up from 2.9 a year ago.
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