Mobile Bill Payments and Usage on the Increase

The past year has seen “substantial growth” in mobile bill pay offerings and usage, according to research commissioned by Fiserv.

The financial services technology vendor reports that almost one in five visits to a biller’s website come from a mobile device – a 55% increase over 2013. Of those visits, bill payment is the number one consumer activity.

However, despite the growing use of the mobile channel, only 16 percent of billers have implemented a mobile bill pay and presentment (MBPP) strategy.

The third annual Biller Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark Study examines the progression of mobile bill payment and billers’ approaches to MBPP, which includes enabling customers to pay their bills through a mobile device using a variety of methods, as well as presenting bills for viewing on a mobile device.

Among the other findings from the survey:

  • Mobile payments are linked to an increase in customer satisfaction and paperless e-bill adoption.
  • Billers continue to face barriers to deployment of mobile bill pay and presentment, including a lack of IT resources, conflicting business priorities and security concerns.

Fiserv comments that as the number of mobile bill payers continues to grow, billers need a solid understanding of customer behaviours in order to develop a MBPP strategy that addresses both customer needs and those of the billing organisation.

Billers offering MBPP saw a 44% greater e-bill adoption rate since 2013, compared to billers that did not offer the same capabilities. Those offering alerts and notifications had a 47% increase in e-bill adoption compared to billers that did not.

“Consumers want a consistent, secure experience across all channels,” said Eric Leiserson, senior research analyst, biller solutions, Fiserv. “As consumer use of the mobile channel increases, so does the demand for an enhanced mobile billing and payment experience.

”Large and small billers alike can provide a superior experience with capabilities such as bill pay alerts and reminders, and mobile image capture, which allows users to capture bill payment information with their smartphone camera. By developing and implementing a MBPP strategy, billers can improve the consumer’s experience and satisfaction, as well as realize cost efficiencies with paperless adoption.”

Billers face several barriers to implementing an MBPP strategy, even though they see the added benefits. Asked to name their top three obstacles, 76% cited the challenge of providing the necessary IT resources, while 54% said conflicting priorities in their organisation was an obstacle.

Security concerns were cited by 43%, rising 16% from last year. This is most likely a result of high-profile payment card security breaches and concerns about managing solutions for an increasing number of devices and operating systems as the mobile market expands.

A research paper highlighting the study findings, ‘A Comprehensive View of Mobile Billing and Payment: Consumer Behaviour and Preferences and Billers’ Strategies and Deployments,’ can be downloaded at http://fisv.co/1y6yBLK.

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