Bill Pay Adoption Continues, Snail Mail Continues
A new report finds that the use of electronic bill pay continues to grow sharply among Americans but that there’s still plenty of paper in the mail.
The report by Aite Group analyst Ron Shevlin – titled “Sizing E-Bill Adoption in the United States” – found that nearly half of the 16.3 billion bills paid by Americans in 2013 (totaling $4.3 trillion) were paid either online or by mobile device.
That’s more than twice the number of bills paid through the mail, Shevlin found, and he said from 2010 to 2013, digital bill payments grew from 37% of all bills paid to 49%.
“Despite the growth in bills paid through digital channels, consumers still receive many paper bills,” Shevlin added in the report, which was based on analysis from a Q2 2013 Aite Group survey of 1,242 U.S. consumers recruited to represent overall age, income, geographic and gender distribution.
The Aite Group analyst found that Americans paid 21% of all bills in 2013 without receiving a paper statement.
Roughly two-thirds of U.S. consumers received at least one of their bills in e-bill format last year. Among them, three-quarters stopped receiving paper bills for at least one type of bill.
But, Shevlin added, “The paper turnoff rate is nowhere near where billers would like it to be.”
Other findings in the report include that billers' websites and mobile apps were the sources of about half of all e-bills and that as a percentage of all bills, the cell phone, student loan, and cable TV industries lead the way in e-bill adoption, with e-bills accounting for roughly four in 10 of the bills paid by consumers in these categories.
“Of home insurance and education bills, however, just about one in five bills paid were sent in e-bill format. And among medical and tax bills, e-bills accounted for only about one in 10 of the bills paid,” the report said.
The think firm’s report also found that nearly three-quarters of Gen Yers, two-thirds of Gen Xers, almost six in 10 baby boomers, and 56% of seniors received at least one e-bill in 2013. The report said that more than half of both Gen Xers and Gen Yers turned off paper bills for at least one of the bills they received in e-bill format.