In today’s payments landscape, consumers pay a large volume of bills every month via multiple payment channels, including mobile app, through the mail, biller website, bank website, etc. According to data from Speedpay® Pulse, a recently conducted survey of at least 3,000 U.S. adults who are responsible for two or more household payments a month, the average U.S. consumer pays 10 bills per month via 3.4 different payment channels. Additionally, today’s consumers are busier than ever and constantly on the go while balancing work, social and family commitments. According to the research, more than 60 percent of U.S. adults have paid a bill late and 25 percent reported doing so on a regular basis.
Since consumers are so busy and there is a wide variety of payment methods and channels available to consumers, as a biller, your bill could be getting lost in the shuffle.
So, what can billers do to help ensure timely payments?
The secret: It’s all about notifications.
According to the Speedpay® Pulse data, email alerts are the most preferred form of bill notification with 42 percent of consumers reporting preference for this option. Since consumers are frequently behind a computer screen checking their work or personal email on their desktops, tablets and smartphones, they are less likely to miss a digital notification when sent directly to their inbox. Additionally, since these notifications are subject to the email server’s settings, they visually appear the same as a new email, which helps consumers to not feel overwhelmed since they can tend to it at their own convenience.
Although email notification is the most popular option, some consumers prefer to receive notifications where they spend the majority of their time — their smartphones. According to Flurry Analytics, the average person spends 5 hours a day on his/her smartphone, adding up to roughly 150 hours a month. According to the Speedpay® Pulse research, 15 percent of consumers prefer receiving a mobile text alert or mobile app notification, which suggests that implementing mobile push notifications can go a long way in turning a late payment into a timely one.
Offerings like Speedpay moBills®, which allow consumers to pay bills with just a few taps on a screen while also sending mobile push notifications, can help to reduce late payments. If consumers know they will be reminded on their smartphone and can quickly tap a screen to complete a payment, they will be less likely to view the payments process as a hassle and may complete the payment on time.
Despite the prevalence of smartphone usage and online activity, not all consumers want a digital payment experience. In fact, the data shows that 39 percent of consumers prefer to receive paper copies of their statements. This means that despite our ever-evolving digital world, there are consumers who still desire hard, physical copies for a variety of reasons, including record-keeping and reminder purposes.
However, only 52.7 percent of consumers ages 18-51 prefer paper statements, as compared to 71.5 percent of consumers ages 52-80. This means that younger consumers are more willing to adopt new bill payment technologies and platforms. Nevertheless, until all consumers are comfortable with digital payment platforms, billers will need to continue to offer both digital and paper statements in order to reach the entire consumer base effectively.
Key Takeaway: Cater to Consumer Preferences
To help ensure timely payments, it’s important for billers to continue to take consumer preferences into account. Digital and mobile push notifications may work for some, but for others a paper statement is still preferred. Overall, it’s clear that billers should focus on user-friendliness and brevity in all notifications to ensure consumers understand deadlines and what is required. Additionally, billers should continue to educate paper-loving consumers to give them a better understanding of digital and mobile push notifications while making them feel more comfortable with these technologies and offerings.
Interested in learning more? Click here to read the full Speedpay® Pulse research report.