The Evolving Face of the Electronic Bill Pay User

Electronic bill payment is quickly becoming a mainstream financial solution for individuals of varying demographics and technological orientation.

 

By

 

It’s not just for affluent or technology savvy members anymore. Electronic bill payment is quickly becoming a mainstream financial solution for individuals of varying demographics and technological orientation.

And it’s no surprise that credit unions continue to target members to increase electronic bill payment usage. According to Avivah Litan, vice president financial services at Gartner Inc., people who bank online typically have loan balances that are up to 40 percent higher, buy up to 10 percent more bank products and maintain checking balances up to 45 percent higher than traditional customers.

By 2007, there will be as many bill payments made over the Internet as by check. By that same year, as little as 29 percent of consumer bill payments will be settled by check, down from 53 percent in 2004, according to Celent. With statistics pointing toward mainstream use, credit unions continue to look for creative ways to increase electronic bill payment use with members.

A study by The Ohio State University found that marketing, not demographics, is the key to increased adoption of Web-based banking technologies. The study examined the role that factors such as age, income and education play in the adoption of online banking and found that people who believed the service was useful, reliable, secure and easy-to-use were more likely to try it, regardless of age or background. In addition, according to a Callahan & Associates survey of 26,724 members, half of credit union members who don’t currently use electronic bill payment said they were unfamiliar with the features and benefits of using this type of service.

Additionally, a Harris Interactive study of 2233 adults indicates that convenience, control and security draw consumers to financial institution Web sites for electronic bill payment. And more than forty percent of the participants who pay their bills online said they would change financial institutions if their current one stopped offering the service. It is critical that credit unions focus on communicating to members the control and flexibility of their electronic bill payment offering.

And as the graphs below show, electronic bill payment users are distributed across age and income brackets. Surprisingly, only 13 percent of electronic bill payment users in the survey were between the ages of 19 and 29.


According to Callahan & Associates, Inc’s study of 26,724 credit union e-Members.


According to Callahan & Associates, Inc’s study of 26,724 credit union e-Members.

As members’ usage of online solutions grows, it is more important than ever for credit unions to focus on products that are easy to use and customizable to meet the unique needs of their member base and to communicate the benefits of electronic bill payment to their members. As members become more and more familiar with electronic bill payment, they will increasingly seek this service from their credit union.

Credit unions can take advantage of extensive interface flexibility and maintain control over their member data with the MemberStreet Ò line of electronic products, enabling them to proactively monitor changes in member statistics and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. For more information on MemberStreet, contact your corporate credit union, visit http://www.memberstreet.com, or contact Nate Truelson, National Sales Director at (888) 656-4050, ext. 6126.

 
 

May 16, 2005


Comments

 
 
 
  • While shoppin for high price motorcycle I wanted lower payments for longer time the dealership via credit union offered me 5.9% per year on balance if paid electronicly VS 7.9% per year on same balance if paid by check. I did not buy motorcycle but I would have gone elontronic to save 13% points in 81 months every time. That way I would never miss a payment and have a much better deal.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Love to hear some stats about member usage of FM software (Money, Quicken etc.) and the impact on the relationship especially if it's pull technology and they bypass your website.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • I believe you have to consider the fact that there will always be checks and bill pay will only go so far. People love to control their debits and receive their credits electronically. I.e. People love the float and control checks provide over bill pay which debits automatically on a certain day of the month. It is a fact of human nature that cannot be changed.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Check 21 will only help to increase the number of people who pay bills online. If you can't "float" a check, why bother with the stamp?
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Seniors might want to have paper bills sent to them, even if they pay online, otherwise there will be no information available to the person handling their estate when they die. (This could happen to someone at any age.) Penalties and interest would continue accrue on the unpaid bills until the estate was notified of the default.
    Anonymous