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Aite Group: Online, mobile bill payments to account for 55% of all bills paid by US consumers by 2016

Wednesday 18 September 2013 | 10:31 AM CET

Changes over the past 10 years in how US consumers pay their bills have resulted in additional revenue for debit and credit card issuers, cost savings to billers and lost revenue, a recent report has revealed.

According to a new report titled ‘How Americans Pay Their Bills: Sizing and Forecasting Bill Pay Channels and Methods, 2013-2016’ and issued by independent research and advisory company Aite Group, for the most frequently paid types of bills, US consumers will pay more than 14.7 billion bills in 2013, spending USD 3.8 trillion doing so. Bills for utilities, phone services and insurance account for roughly half of all bills paid.

The report has also found that payments made through the mail will account for 18 percent of all payments in 2013, a sharp decline from 34 percent of payments in 2010. The percentage of payments made in-person in 2013 will also decline from its 2010 level, from 15 percent to 9 percent. Online and mobile payments will account for nearly half of all bills paid in the US in 2013.

While the percentage of payments made by cheque is steadily declining, online and mobile bill payments will account for roughly 55 percent of all bills paid by US consumers by 2016. Payments made through the mail are also expected to decline from 21 percent of bills to 15 percent by 2016. Credit, debit, and prepaid debit cards will be used to pay for 43 percent of all bills by 2016.

Finally, the report has found that with a projected drop in the share of digital payments made on bank sites from 36 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2013, banks are losing the bill payments game. Although the growth in card-based payments—particularly debit card payments—produces additional revenue to banks in the form of interchange fees, some factors that influence bill payments behavior are working against banks as younger consumers prefer biller sites rather than bank sites.

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