In its fifth annual study of bill payment habits of U.S. households, Fiserv Inc. found that this is the era of the “omnivore” bill payer – multiple methods are proliferating – but in the fast track is “mobile bill pay. It is growing very fast,” said Eric Leiserson, an analyst.
In 2012, 8% of online households paid at least one bill with a mobile device, up from 6% in 2011, per the Fiserv research.
An unexpected statistic, said Leiserson, is that 3% of infrequent Internet users and those who never use it also had paid at least one bill with a mobile device.
“People may be realizing that with a smartphone they have a computer in their pocket even if they don’t have a home computer with broadband,” said Leiserson.
The broadest trend in the 2012 Fiserv survey is that multiple bill pay methods are still winning fans. Leiserson pointed to in person payments, phone payments, online payments, paper checks, mobile payments, and phone payments as all claiming usage.
Indeed, he pointed out, three consumers in four use at least two of those methods every month and at least 20% of consumers change the ways they pay their bills from month to month, depending on funds availability, payment due date and the amount owed.
“Payments are increasingly fragmented,” said Leiserson, who indicated that still more fragmentation, not less, is probably the future.
As for why mobile is rising, the survey from Wisconsin-based Fiserv pointed out that consumers who are using mobile payments say that “mobile as a payment option saves time (50%); offers anytime access (44%); and is most convenient when on the go (43%).
When asked what mobile billing and payment capability they are most interested in, nearly one in three respondents indicated they are very interested in viewing and paying bills from their smartphone.”
Of those who access the Internet at least once weekly, 73% say they pay at least one bill online monthly, according to Fiserv.