Digital bill payment has become an issue for billers as consumers have increasingly turned to paying their bills via mobile and online channels over the past two years, according to a recent survey by EngageSmart. , a provider of customer engagement and payment apps.
Research finds 50% of respondents say they are somewhat or much more likely to pay their bills numerically now than before the Covid-19 pandemic, while 46% of the remaining respondents say they make digital bill payments as often as before the pandemic. Only 4% of respondents say they are less likely to make digital bill payments.
Healthcare has seen rapid growth in adoption of digital bill payment, with 42% of respondents paying their bill digitally in 2022, up from 31% in 2020. Taxes are another bill consumers pay digitally with more frequency, with 32% of respondents. paying digitally in 2022, up from 25% in 2020.
Other bills consumers regularly pay digitally include internet services and credit cards, with 64% and 66% of respondents, respectively, saying they pay these bills digitally. In 2020, 62% and 60% of respondents said they paid their internet and credit card bills, respectively, digitally. EngageSmart, which conducts the survey annually, surveyed more than 2,100 consumers who use its InvoiceCloud bill payment service.
“Consumers are now accustomed to going online first for everything from shopping to booking concert tickets, restaurant reservations and medical appointments, and digital payments have proven to be just as secure. and convenience than using a credit card in person or online,” Sara said. Faied, vice president of processing transformation for InvoiceCloud, says via email. “Consumer choice is also an important factor, as there were only a few digital payment options available just a few years ago compared to today, which has also contributed to the adoption of digital payment. bills.”
A surprise in the results is that bill payments initiated by mobile devices have surpassed bills paid digitally through online portals. In 2022, 67% of respondents said they made a bill payment via a mobile device, compared to 63% who said they made a bill payment via an online portal (multiple choices were possible). Mobile devices are also consumers’ preferred device type for digital bill payment, with 30% of respondents saying they prefer mobile devices, compared to 28% for online portals.
Convenience is driving consumer preference for using a mobile device, according to Faied. “There is nothing more practical than a computer that you can carry in your pocket [to pay a bill]. It’s worth noting that while the vast majority of respondents (92%) completed the survey on their phones, only 30% say mobile devices are their preferred method of paying a bill,” says Faied. “Payers may be comfortable using their mobile phone for many things, but there is clearly still room to optimize the mobile payment experience.”
When it comes to mobile wallets, Apple Pay tops the list in terms of popularity, with 53% of respondents saying they prefer using Apple Pay over other digital wallet options. PayPal, which ranks second overall, is the most preferred by respondents over the age of 60, which the report says is remarkable given how far behind this age group is in mobile wallet adoption.
“Apple is known for its simple, elegant and secure solutions, and I think that applies here,” says Faied, who adds that consumers can also use ApplePay through their Apple Watch. “Apple Pay is safe and easy to use, and it has made many people feel comfortable leaving their wallets behind as long as they have their mobile device with them.”
One of the weaknesses of digital bill payment is that it can be difficult for consumers to contact customer service. This obstacle was cited as the most common problem by consumers aged 30 and over.
“The more difficult the online payment experience, the more likely customers are to call a billing office or abandon payment altogether,” Faied says. “If customer service teams are busy helping confused customers make a payment over the phone, they will be much harder to contact with any issues.”
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