Growing up in a digital world, Millennial and Gen Z consumers are always connected and expect immediate access to information. The Speedpay® Pulse, a consumer billing and payments trends and behaviors survey of at least 3,000 U.S. adults responsible for two or more household payments a month, found that 99.3% of young consumers (defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34) own a smartphone. Smartphones are ingrained in the everyday lives of young consumers, from social media to online shopping – almost every one of these consumers is connected through a personal device. This daily use means these consumers are comfortable with the technology and would be more willing to try new and different platforms and services on their device, including paying a bill. For companies, understanding this audience is critical for the future, and they must update their billing and payment platforms and services to meet these evolving demands.
The Growing Mobile Wallet
Because young consumers are already beginning to use mobile wallets in their daily lives, companies have an opportunity to adapt to the preferences of smartphone mobility by integrating mobile wallets in their platforms for bill payments. According to our survey, these consumers are more likely to pay a bill through a mobile wallet than any other age group, with 49.7% already having used a mobile wallet for a bill payment. In addition, 41.9% would consider using a mobile wallet to pay a bill in the future. Comparing this year’s data to the 2018 Speedpay® Pulse, the overall amount of consumers who would consider using a mobile wallet is increasing, emphasizing the importance for companies to explore mobile wallet options for their customers.
Companies should keep in mind that while there is a greater percentage of consumers willing to use mobile wallets, there are some reservations among the younger consumer age group to completely switch their payment methods. The Speedpay® Pulse found that among the 18-34 age group, the main concerns for paying a bill through a mobile wallet include lack of security and reliability. Companies should educate consumers on their mobile wallet capabilities in order to expand on their services.
Increasing Interest in AI Technology
Compared to other age groups, young consumers have a greater belief (29.3%) that AI-powered solutions such as chatbots and virtual agents will help improve the customer bill payment experience. As AI technology continues to evolve and develop within the payments industry, these consumers believe the areas of benefit within AI-powered solutions are speed, convenience and simplicity, based on our survey. AI solutions provide them with the instant connection and response that they are accustomed to in their connected digital world. The integration of chatbots and virtual agents eliminates wait time associated with making a phone call or getting in touch with an available representative. Companies can elevate their AI-powered solutions for consumers by focusing on the three main benefits and consistently communicating how this advanced technology can enhance their bill payment transactions.
Additionally, AI solutions can help streamline processes and take on more routine tasks. Companies should take advantage of the increasing interest in this technology and begin incorporating AI-powered solutions into their platforms with automated bill services for a competitive advantage.
Accounting for Split and Shared Payments
A growing trend among young consumers gaining financial independence is the act of splitting bill payments. Of consumers aged 18 to 34, 25.2% split bill payments through a separate transaction using peer-to-peer payment platforms. While this trend is still developing, companies can get ahead of this change in the industry and begin exploring opportunities to increase flexible payment options through new technology. By looking ahead, companies can be prepared for the incoming demand of split and shared bill payments among consumers.
As the share of bills and payments increases among young consumers, this group of individuals will continue to play an active role in shaping the payment industry’s services and capabilities. Companies should update digital and mobile offerings to meet these consumers with the speed and convenience they expect from their providers. Simultaneously, service providers can distinguish themselves as leaders in customer service by innovating alongside their consumers with the latest technologies.
To learn more about Speedpay’s services and expertise to help you update your technology, visit our website.