Paying Its Way: Why Bill Pay Remains Highly Valuable to Financial Institutions
How do financial institutions measure the impact of bill pay? Most point to increased retention, but bill pay is also a repeat engagement driver closely tied to deeper customer relationships, longer tenure and higher satisfaction.
Paying bills is one of the top reasons customers visit a financial institution’s website, and with the number of people paying bills through mobile devices expanding exponentially, bill payment is driving more meaningful use of mobile and tablet channels. More frequent use of these self-service channels increases consumer engagement and can increase cross-sell opportunities, leading to greater adoption of additional services.
The 2013 Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey found that bill pay users average 28 percent more revenue-generating services – debit cards, credit cards, savings accounts, mortgages and car loans – from their primary bank or credit union than non-users. Bill pay use was correlated with significantly higher adoption rates for multiple financial products from their primary financial institution, as detailed in the chart below.
Consumers also continue to derive great value by relying on their bank or credit union as the place to manage and pay their bills. Consumers cite convenience, control, and the ability to pay bills in one place using one password as top benefits. In turn, bill pay benefits the financial institution by drawing customers back to their bank or credit union in a recurring, consistent and predictable way – at costs that are far less expensive than other forms of engagement, including the branch or call center.
Consumers who use bill pay typically report they’re more satisfied with how they go about managing their household finances, and express a greater sense of overall control. The vast majority of bill pay users also report satisfaction with the service itself.
Of course, satisfied customers are more likely to stay with their primary financial institution. According to the Fiserv survey, 38 percent of bill pay users responded that their experience paying bills with their bank or credit union made them less likely to switch to another financial institution. This number rises to 46 percent among those who get the most value from their financial institution’s bill pay service by making seven or more payments a month through the service.
Consumers have a myriad of options for paying bills, but consolidated bill payment capabilities from a trusted financial institution offer the greatest convenience and security for consumers and distinct benefits for financial institutions. As more value-added features, such as mobile enhancements and expedited payments are added to a financial institution’s bill pay offering, the more bill pay’s value for all parties involved increases.
Tom Roberts is Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Electronic Payments Division at Fiserv. In this role he oversees the development and execution of research and marketing initiatives designed to drive adoption and use of the company’s online and mobile payment products. He can be reached at email@example.com.