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A New Age of Billing and Payments: Mobile Wallets, AI Technology and Bill Sharing

Smartphones are now ingrained in the everyday lives of young consumers, from social media to online shopping. Daily usage means these consumers are comfortable with the technology and would be more willing to try new and different services on their device, including paying a bill.

For companies, understanding this audience is critical for the future, and they must update their billing and payment platforms to meet these evolving demands.

The growth of mobile wallets

Because young consumers are already beginning to use mobile wallets in their daily lives, companies have an opportunity to adapt to the preferences for smartphone mobility by integrating mobile wallets into their bill payment platforms. According to our survey, these consumers—more than any other age group—are more likely to pay a bill through a mobile wallet, with 49.7 percent already having used a mobile wallet for a bill payment. In addition, 41.9 percent would consider using a mobile wallet to pay a bill in the future. Comparing this year’s data to last year’s ACI Speedpay Pulse, the overall proportion of consumers who would consider using a mobile wallet is increasing, emphasizing the need for companies to explore mobile wallet options for their customers.

Companies should keep in mind that while there is a greater percentage of consumers willing to use mobile wallets, there are some reservations among the younger consumer age group when it comes to completely embracing mobile wallets. The ACI Speedpay Pulse survey found that among the 18 to 34 age group, the main concerns for paying a bill through a mobile wallet include lack of security and reliability. Companies should therefore educate consumers on their mobile wallet capabilities in order to expand their services and encourage adoption.

Increasing interest in artificial intelligence

Compared to other age groups, young consumers have a greater belief (29.3%) that AI-powered solutions such as chatbots and virtual agents will help improve the customer bill payment experience. As AI technology continues to evolve and develop within the payments industry, younger consumers believe that AI-powered solutions will benefit them with speed, convenience and simplicity. AI solutions provide them with the instant connection and response that they are accustomed to in a connected digital world.

The integration of chatbots and virtual agents eliminates wait time associated with making a phone call or getting in touch with a representative. Companies can elevate their AI-powered solutions for consumers by focusing on the three main benefits of speed, convenience and simplicity and consistently—and communicating how this advanced technology can enhance their bill payment transactions.

Additionally, AI solutions can help streamline processes and take on more routine tasks. Companies should take advantage of the increasing interest in this technology and begin incorporating AI-powered solutions into their platforms with automated bill services. This could deliver a competitive advantage.

Accounting for split and shared payments

A growing trend among young consumers that are gaining – or have gained – financial independence is the act of splitting bill payments. Of consumers aged 18 to 34, around a quarter (25.2%) split bill payments through a separate transaction using peer-to-peer payment platforms, such as Venmo. While this trend is still developing, companies can get ahead of this change in the industry and begin exploring opportunities to increase flexible payment options. By looking ahead, companies can be prepared for the growing demand for split and shared bill payments among consumers.

As the share of bills and payments increases across younger consumer demographics, it will continue to play an active role in shaping the payment industry’s services and capabilities. Companies should update digital and mobile offerings to meet these consumers with the speed and convenience they expect from their providers. Simultaneously, service providers can distinguish themselves as leaders in customer service by innovating alongside their consumers with the latest technologies.

Learn more about next-generation billing and payment preferences: Download the ACI Speedpay Pulse Trend Report

VP Product – Bill Pay Solutions

Alexis Blackstead is vice president of Product Management, with twenty years' experience overseeing product, development, project management, QA and sales support/marketing. She has spearheaded the integration of new features including mobile billing, recurring payments and credit/debit processing. Today, Alexis is responsible for managing product expansion of ACI Speedpay for Billers – delivering new channels and innovative mobile solutions for the electronic payments industry.