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ACI Worldwide, Aite release study on US consumers bill payments

Friday 27 January 2017 | 09:55 AM CET

According to “How Americans Pay Their Bills” study from ACI Worldwide and Aite Group, US consumers spent USD 3.9 trillion on bill payments in 2016.

The survey data, encompassing bill pay habits of nearly 2,500 consumers across the US, uncovers insights into how each generation is paying bills and how the various channels and methods consumers used in 2016 to pay their most common bills have evolved compared with 2013 and 2010.

Approximately 8.2 billion bills (56%) are paid online via a biller, bank or third-party website. Bills paid by check declined 20% between 2010 and 2016, while the number of bills paid via ACH increased by 10%, and those paid by a credit card have doubled to 15%.

Credit card issuers outpace other biller categories with 46% of credit card bills paid online; this is compared to an overall average of 36% of bills paid online across all biller categories. Nearly three quarters (72%) of online bill payments are made on a billers’ websites, growing 18% since 2010.

Only 32% of bills are set up on a recurring basis and the remaining 68% are made as one-time payments.

Seniors pay fewer online bills and pay more bills via snail-mail, at 40%. Bills paid via mail declines with each younger generation down to 15% for millennials, while online bills as a percentage of total bills increases with younger generations: millennials at 61%, Gen Xers at 60%, baby boomers at 52% and seniors at 42%.

Seniors pay a larger percentage of bills using checks than younger generations: 31% of seniors pay by checks versus 23% for baby boomers, 15% for Gen Xers and only 8% for millennials. Millennials and Gen Xers pay more of their bills using debit cards than older consumers: 22% and 16% respectively, versus 11% for baby boomers and 5% for seniors.

78% of online bills paid by millennials are made at the billers’ websites, versus 60% for seniors, whereas banks’ websites represent only 22% of millennials’ online payments versus 39% for seniors.

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