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TheStreet Open House

Consumer Bill Payment Practices Linked To Internet Usage, Mobile Bill Payment Growing, Shows Fiserv Survey

New research from Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, has found that consumers pay their bills in multiple ways each month, and that mobile bill payments are on the rise. The survey also showed there is a correlation between how consumers pay bills and their use of the Internet. The fifth annual Billing Household Survey assessed the bill payment habits of active online households and was the first survey in the series to also evaluate the payment habits of consumers who use the Internet infrequently or not at all.

Reflecting the myriad payment choices today, Americans are now payment “omnivores” and use multiple channels to pay various bills. These include online payments at bank and company (biller) sites, paper checks sent via mail, walk-in payments made in person, phone payments and mobile payments made via apps or mobile web browsers. Three out of four consumers use at least two bill payment methods each month, and more than 20 percent of consumers change the ways in which they pay their bills from month to month, for reasons that include availability of funds, payment due date and amount owed.

Mobile Bill Payments Small, But Fast-Growing

Payments initiated via a mobile device – such as through an app – still make up a relatively small percentage of bill payments overall, but gained momentum year to year. Eight percent of online households - representing 8 million total households - paid at least one monthly bill this way, up from 6 percent in 2011. In addition, 3 percent of infrequent and non-Internet users – representing 720,000 total households - are using mobile bill payment. Growth was most notable among smartphone owners, with mobile bill payments among this group jumping 41 percent during the previous year. In addition, one in five consumers who own a tablet paid a bill through a bank or biller site using their tablet.

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