31pc of Gen Y has paid a bill via mobile: report
Mobile device ownership and use are changing how consumers pay bills, with 31 percent of Gen Y having paid a bill via a smartphone or tablet, according to a new survey from Western Union.
In comparison, 25 percent of Gen X respondents and 11 percent of Baby Boomers have paid a bill using a mobile device. When it comes to paying bills via mobile, the smartphone is king, with 65 percent of those who have paid a bill via mobile having done so with their phone compared to 25 percent for tablets.
“The Western Union Bill Payments Money Mindset Index points to increasingly tech-savvy consumers choosing to add mobile options to their bill payment tool kit,” said to David Shapiro, senior vice president of payments at Western Union, Englewood, CO. “Another key takeaway for the business community is the importance of meeting consumer demand for convenience, flexibility and choice.”
Financial institutions, insurance companies, utilities and other types of businesses are increasingly adopting mobile methods of payments for their customers in recognition of the way that smartphone users are increasingly engaging with their devices to bring added convenience to everyday activities such as paying bills.
Mobile bill payments are expected to continue to grow, with 15 percent of respondents saying they plan on paying more bills via a mobile phone or tablet and 13 percent via a mobile app or text message over the next six months.
However, the results also show that even as users embrace mobile for paying bills, they continue to use different payment channels such as in-person or mail to pay bills.
For example, 36 percent of respondents said they use three or more channels, such as online and in-person, to pay bills, while 38 percent use three or more payment methods such as credit card, debit card, ACH or cash.
Additionally, 18 percent of multi-method bill payers and 27 percent of multichannel bill payers used a mobile phone to pay at least one bill per month.
Other key findings include that 61 percent of mobile device owners use a smartphone to view a bill statement while 29 percent use a tablet to view a bill statement.
Additionally, 19 percent would pay more bills via their device if they received a financial alert when the payment is due while 10 percent would pay more bills via their mobile device if the experience was more personalized.
Mobile-friendly bill payment methods include optimized Web sites, payment apps, pay-by-text and email billing.
The survey also found that 91 percent of respondents own a mobile phone, 68 percent own a wireless notebook or laptop, 41 percent own a tablet, 23 percent own an ereader and 23 percent own an iPod Touch.
“It is important that businesses offer their customers a comprehensive selection of payment options to choose from,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The survey underscores why choice and convenience are critical to meeting consumer needs.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York