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Our latest bi-annual survey of consumers’ bill paying habits shows a large shift toward mobile adoption, indicating that Request to Pay is gaining traction. Plus, with faster payments more in demand than ever, the data reveals that 2022 is shaping up to be another year of big change for billers.

The headline finding of the 2022 ACI Speedpay Pulse report is that more consumers than ever are willing to change how they pay their bills. In the pursuit of greater convenience, speed and choice, they are also looking for payment experiences that better fit their daily lives.

Here, we dive into the top three highlights of this year’s survey, which heralds opportunities for billers to modernize their billing experiences to both better serve customers and reduce their own costs.

Let’s take a closer look (and remember, you can always access the full report for detailed data).

#1. Sharp growth in mobile wallet interest

As consumers feel safer and more familiar with mobile channels, they increasingly value the convenience and efficiency of these payment methods, resulting in increased regular usage.

In 2022, 39.2 percent of consumers reported using a mobile wallet to store non-payment items, compared to 25.2 percent in 2021. And when it comes to paying bills, 49 percent would consider using a mobile wallet, up from 36 percent in 2021 (and 28% in 2018).

We can also see this increased inclination toward mobile channels when it comes to billers’ apps, which are challenging billers’ websites for the most popular payment channel. 53 percent of consumers reported having paid their monthly bills via a biller’s website in 2022, which is a drop of 4.5 percent from 2021. Meanwhile, use of billers’ mobile apps rose 7 period in the same period, with 30.7 percent of consumers now reporting using this channel.

#2. Consumers want faster bill pay experiences

If it meant their payment would process faster, 38.4 percent of consumers would change their payment channel or method of choice, compared to 30.9 percent in 2021. And 29.6 percent say they are frustrated by the length of time it takes for companies to process bill payments, up from 26 percent in 2021.

With consumers more willing to change payment behavior than ever before, as well as increasing frustration at the speed of current bill pay experiences, billers can take advantage of these twin drivers to migrate consumers to lower cost digital channels and methods. Doing so would also support their response to another emerging trend: a big increase in last minute, urgent payments. One in three consumers told us they had to make an urgent or same-day payment in this past year, which is significantly higher than in 2021 (one in five).

#3. Request to Pay is gaining traction but crypto hasn’t caught on… yet

Interest in real-time payments functionality is also growing, as we see when examining consumer preferences for Request to Pay (RtP) – 41.2 percent said they would be extremely or somewhat interested in their billers offering this feature. Avoiding a late payment (32%), immediate confirmation that a payment was received (24.9%) and immediate payment posting/transfer of funds (20.8%) were cited as the top three most important benefits of RtP.

Meanwhile, when it comes to emerging payments, crypto is yet to make an impact on consumer preferences for paying bills. However, respondents in the younger generations show the most signs of potential adoption in the future. Specifically, Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to believe cryptocurrency payments are secure (Gen Z: 35.3%, Millennials: 42.7%, Gen X: 28.3%, Boomers: 5.7%). Meanwhile, most Boomers are unsure (53%).

As our report concludes, the growth in last minute payments and frustration at payment processing speeds all point to a critical mass of consumers looking for more speed when paying bills. With consumers also willing to change how they pay to get greater speed, it’s time for billers to strike while the iron is hot and invest in their support for mobile wallets and related digital/mobile experiences. This will also help them leverage more cost-effective and real-time payment methods.

The evidence is mounting that these investments will be quickly rewarded.

To understand more about the biggest payment trends impacting billers and how to respond, check out the 2022 ACI Speedpay Pulse report.

Director, Product Marketing

Steve is a seasoned marketing professional with an extensive background in driving usage and adoption of financial products and services including credit cards, mobile/online bill payment, and card-based reward programs.