The percentage of consumers using mobile bill pay rose 28% in 4Q/16, compared to 22% for 4Q/15. Among mobile banking users, 41% used the service to pay bills in the past 30 days. Bill payment was a notable factor in mobile banking use, with 53% of mobile banking users citing the ability to pay bills anywhere and anytime, 46% citing the ability to quickly pay bills at the last minute, and 31% citing the ability to receive mobile alerts when bills are due as reasons they use mobile banking.
The latest Expectations & Experiences consumer trends survey from Fiserv also found faster payments continue to be important to consumers, with 76% saying that it is at least somewhat important that the payments they make are delivered in real time.
The share of consumers using person-to-person (P2P) payments via a financial organization in the past 30 days, a timeframe considered to designate “active” use, increased by more than one-third from 2015 to 2016, growing from 14% to 19%. Over the past year, sharing household expenses was the most common use of the service (9%), followed by repaying a loan or debt to a friend or family member (7%) and rent (6%).
Security concerns are a lower barrier to adoption than in the past, with the percent of nonusers of P2P payments saying they have not tried the service due to concerns about security declining from 29% in 2015 to 21% in 2016.
Digital wallet adoption is growing at a slow but steady rate, with 13% of consumers indicating they have used a digital wallet in the last 30 days, up from 11% in 2015 and 8% in 2014, according to a prior Fiserv survey. Fifteen percent of consumers said they had used a digital wallet in the past year.
The growth curve for digital wallet adoption parallels the growth curve for online banking following its introduction in the late 1990s.
According to the Pew Research Center, the earliest online banking users tended to be younger and have higher incomes than the overall population. Fiserv finds the same is true for early adopters of digital wallets.
Among those interested in but not currently using digital wallets, features that mesh with peoples’ lifestyles have the most appeal, such as being able to turn off credit or debit cards in case of fraud (43%) or for any other reason (36%), withdrawing cash without a card (28%), and paying someone in real time (26%). Adding or promoting these capabilities could help drive further adoption.
Millennials (ages 18-36) are more likely to have used a digital payment service in the past 30 days compared to their older peers (ages 37 or older). This includes:
• Online bill pay; 64% of millennials vs. 57% of older consumers
• Account-to-account transfers; 61% of millennials vs. 50% of older consumers
• Mobile bill pay; 54% of millennials vs. 18% of older consumers
• P2P payments via a financial organization; 37% of millennials vs. 13% of older consumers
• A digital wallet; 29% of millennials vs. 8% of older consumers
Younger consumers are also more interested in faster payments, with 93% of millennials and 85% of Gen Xers (ages 37-51) saying that it is at least somewhat important that the payments they make are delivered in real-time, compared to 76% of the overall population.