In this difficult economy, where members are trying to save money and decrease costs, credit union bill pay could be positioned as a critical time and money-saving tool. As members worry about their credit rating and the negative impact of late payments, bill pay could help them schedule payments to avoid late fees.
The study of 14,687 online credit union members showed that more than half of the members reported trying to avoid a late payment within the last year, with many paying a fee to make their payment on time. Women (61%), households with children (65%), and those under the age of 40 are more likely to have tried to avoid making a late payment.
Typical methods used included sending a payment by phone (44%), going in person (29%), sending it by overnight mail (6%), or using a payment kiosk (2%).
Of those who used a particular method to avoid a late payment, about half said they did pay a fee to make an expedited payment. This did not vary by bill pay user segment. The fee amount varied, but was typically $10 or $15 (47%). Few paid more than $20 (7%).
Credit unions could offer significant value to their members by enabling them to make payments faster and with less lead time. However, for this initiative to be successful, credit unions will need to ensure that they have the right support systems, including:
- Ability to sign-up online or by phone with quick activation
- Detailed information online, both within and outside the online banking log-in
- Technical capabilities - many bill pay providers are enhancing this capability to enable faster payments
- Performance guarantees to reassure members that payments go through on time
For more ideas on how to increase credit union bill pay adoption, read the article: Ramping Up your Bill Pay Marketing: Leveraging Current Consumer Trends
. A CUtv webinar event Cementing the Member Relationship: Driving Bill Pay Adoption & Usage
will discuss ways credit unions can increase bill pay usage and leverage advanced features to increase adoption.