Meeting Consumer Demand With Better Bill Pay

Meeting Consumer Demand With Better Bill Pay Consumers expect ease and convenience when it comes to paying bills, but bill pay today is far from easy

Consumers expect ease and convenience when it comes to paying bills

For consumers, paying bills online usually means a time-consuming process of going from one biller site to another, trying to remember user names and passwords. Or paying by phone. Or, yes, even sending a check through the mail.

Only 22% of all bills paid online by consumers are paid through their financial institution’s online bill pay service, according to a 2021 Aite-Novarica Group survey, “U.S. Bank Bill Pay, It’s Time for Resuscitation.” And that’s less than a decade ago.

This trend sends up a red flag for financial institutions, as it indicates unrealized opportunities to drive customer engagement, build loyalty and increase revenue. But what can be done to turn it around?

There’s definitely room for improvement in the eyes of consumers. According to “The One-Stop Bill Pay Report,” a 2022 PYMNTS and Mastercard collaboration, more than half of consumers are open to switching to a centralized, consolidated digital por­tal, or “one-stop shop,” for managing and paying all their bills. The research showed that 91% of billers receive complaints from customers about how inconvenient it is to pay their bills.

Both consumers and financial institutions benefit from a one-stop bill payment method – available online and through a mobile app. Here’s how:

Consumer advantages:

  • Greater convenience and time savings: Users can schedule payments at one time in one online location, either through their mobile phone or laptop
  • Improved security: Users can avoid sharing their payment details with multiple billers by paying all bills through one financial institution
  • Simple, one-time setup: Users set up their billers once, with help from automatic connection to most billers and step-by-step instructions as they go, eliminating much of the manual entry
  • See payments in real time: Users can see their balance adjusted in real time as a payment gets scheduled; payments to participating billers post the same day with certain bill pay solutions
  • Receive payment alerts: Users can receive alerts and reminders when bills are due, allowing them to go about their daily activities without having to worry about missed or late payments
  • Ability to set up autopay: Users can “set it and forget it” with autopay or recurring pay options that help ensure bill due dates aren’t missed

Financial institution advantages:

  • Drive engagement and revenue: When your accountholders are paying bills on your website, they can easily be prompted with information about additional services
  • Avoid loss of revenue: When accountholders are satisfied with your bill pay services, they won’t go to a competitor, whether another financial institution or a third-party provider
  • Increase retention: Satisfy your accountholders with a positive online bill pay experience
  • Nurture financial wellness: When accountholders are able to pay their bills on time, it adds to their overall financial health

The acceleration of digital banking shows that consumers want to perform transactions such as bill pay online and through a mobile app – but like everything else, the process has to be easy, convenient and efficient.

At Fiserv, we offer Checkfree® NextSM, a simple and intuitive one-stop solution for all bill payments on all devices. CheckFree Next helps you keep pace with accountholder needs by providing more engaging bill payment options that accelerate adoption, enhance satisfaction and increase retention.