- An ACI Speedpay Pulse survey of 3,000 people found that nearly four in 10 consumers have used mobile wallets to store non-payment items such as digital tickets, identification, loyalty cards and billing statements, up from one-quarter in 2021. Almost half (49%) of those polled would consider using a mobile wallet to pay bills, compared to 36% who said so last year.
- Almost one-third (32%) of respondents said the most critical benefit of real-time payments is avoiding late charges, followed by immediate payment confirmation (24.9%) and immediate payment posting or transfer of funds (20.8%), the survey showed.
- Nearly four in 10 consumers are willing to adopt new payment methods with faster processing, up from 30.9% in 2021. About three-fifths of consumers use checking accounts to pay monthly bills, followed by more than half of consumers using debit cards and 18.5% using paper checks, per the survey results.
The survey appears to show a generational shift in consumer bill payment habits. It revealed 31.7% of survey respondents preferred to pay their bills via websites, down from 38.8% in 2021.
Conversely, consumers’ preference for paying bills via mobile apps increased from 10.1% last year to 15.4% this year. The survey noted that older consumers prefer to pay via websites while younger consumers are more comfortable with mobile and smart devices for bill payments.
“New habits and attitudes are still emerging, but the ones we see so far signal a huge opportunity for companies to double down on transforming and modernizing their billing experiences,” said Sanjay Gupta, head of the biller segment for ACI Worldwide, in a statement. “Diversifying with new channels and the payment methods consumers want is important. However, remaining agile to more quickly respond to future changes in their preferences is equally critical. This may soon emerge as a crucial long-term competitive advantage.”
Despite more consumers preferring to pay bills via digital channels, payment companies are teaming up with retailers to make in-person payments more convenient. Last August, InComm Payments teamed up with Doxo to let consumers pay their household bills at about 60,000 retail storefronts, including 7-Eleven, Dollar General and Family Dollar, across the country.
In March, Walgreens announced that customers would soon be able to use PayNearMe to pay their bills in cash at roughly 9,000 Walgreens locations, a deal that expanded the payment company’s physical presence by about half.
ACI’s survey showed that while few consumers use cryptocurrency to pay bills, millennials are the most likely to perceive cryptocurrency payments as safe (42.7%), followed by Gen Z (35.3%), Gen X (28.3%) and Baby Boomers (5.7%).
Despite the perception of cryptocurrency payments as secure, previous research suggests that very few consumers are using cryptocurrency for payments. An S&P report released earlier this year found that less than one-fifth of crypto consumers have used digital currencies for expenses. Meanwhile, only 2% of consumers surveyed in 2021 by the Federal Reserve said they had used crypto as a form of payment within the past year.