ACI Speedpay Pulse Study Finds 35 Percent of Consumers Who Have Missed Bill Payments During COVID-19 Do Not Expect to Catch Up for at Least Six Months
Driven by pandemic, consumers’ needs for fast, flexible bill payment options increase
According to the study, 1 in 10 consumers reported currently having past-due monthly bills as a direct result of their financial situation during the pandemic, with 65 percent stating it will take up to six months to catch up on missed payments. To address this growing uncertainty, 15 percent contacted billers for payment arrangements or deferrals, according to the data.
“Customer satisfaction has been directly impacted by billers’ abilities to evolve alongside consumers’ changing needs and concerns, and billers must act quickly to anticipate these through flexible solutions,” said
The Pulse study showed that 80 percent of consumers check their payment source within the same week, if not immediately, to see if their bill payment has processed, indicating a need for faster payments processing.
“We know that consumers have an appetite for faster transactions, which has become critical in supporting people’s daily lives, for example, disbursements and refunds from insurance companies and government aid,” Gupta continued. “As billers are faced with a choice — adapt their offerings to changing consumer preferences or stick with the status quo — we expect the demand for and adoption of faster payments to accelerate further.”
Shift from paper to digital:
- 16 percent of respondents say they use digital platforms to pay a bill more now than they did before the pandemic.
- Driving the shift from paper to digital is the fact that some options like in-person payments came to a halt during the pandemic — the number of consumers who paid a monthly bill in person at the biller’s location decreased by more than 10 percent from 2019 to the second half of 2020.
Increased need for faster payments:
- One in 4 consumers would consider changing their payment channel or method if it meant the payment would be processed more quickly.
- One third of consumers say they would consider paying a bill using an app like Venmo or Zelle.
A higher number of the younger generation missed payments due to the pandemic compared to the older generation:
- 18-34 – 28 percent
- 35-51– 14.4 percent
- 52-80 – 5 percent
In fact, due to the pandemic, the younger generation is still currently past due on bills:
- 18-34 – 26 percent
- 35-51 – 14 percent
- 52-80 – 5 percent
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The ACI Speedpay Pulse is a longitudinal consumer billing and payment trends research study conducted by