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Cash, Check Or Text; How Americans Pay Each Other

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, including the social payment service Popmoney ®, today announced the results of its 2013 “How Americans Pay Each Other” national survey. The survey of more than 2,500 Americans evaluated person-to-person (P2P) payments, also known as social payments, providing insights into who people are paying and how they are paying them.

Among the key findings were:

  • Person-to-person payments are typically made using cash and checks, but the majority of respondents are interested in a digital payment option from their bank.
  • People most often gave or sent money to friends and family members, yet to whom and how money is sent varies by age and gender.
  • Splitting bill payments is the norm among U.S. households, with one person paying the bills and others reimbursing them being the most common way to divide costs.
  • People are uncomfortable requesting money owed to them, so much so that nearly 50 percent have let people not pay them back because they didn’t want to ask.

Survey findings indicate that, overall, digital payments have hit a critical mass, with 60 percent of respondents making a payment at least once a month using a laptop or desktop computer. Thirty percent have made a payment via their mobile phone and 22 percent via their tablet.

According to the survey, 88 percent of U.S. consumers have sent money to another person in the last 12 months. Among those, 56 percent used cash, 41 percent used a check and 31 percent used an online method such as a bank-based person-to-person payment service or PayPal. The single most common way to exchange funds was giving someone cash in person, which accounted for one-third of all person-to-person payments. However, nearly one-third of respondents reported that they never have enough cash on hand to pay someone back, a number that rose to 39 percent among 18 to 24 year olds. And 79 percent of respondents said they would be open to using a digital person-to-person payment service from their bank.

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