ACI Speedpay Pulse Study Finds 35 Percent of Consumers Who Have Missed Bill Payments During COVID-19 Do Not Expect to Catch Up for at Least Six Months
December 15, 2020 at 08:00 AM EST
New data from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, shows that more than a third of consumers will take at least six months to catch up on missed bill payments due to COVID-19. The study, which surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults, also showed that 3 in 10 consumers in the U.S. saw a decrease in income following the onset of the pandemic, necessitating the need for more flexible payment options from billers.
According to the study, 1 in 10 consumers reported currently having past-due monthly bills as a direct result of their financial situation during the pandemic, with 65 percent stating it will take up to six months to catch up on missed payments. To address this growing uncertainty, 15 percent contacted billers for payment arrangements or deferrals, according to the data.
“Customer satisfaction has been directly impacted by billers’ abilities to evolve alongside consumers’ changing needs and concerns, and billers must act quickly to anticipate these through flexible solutions,” said Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide. “For example, to ease financial strain and provide loyalty incentives, we saw auto insurers offer rebates or policy credits early on during the pandemic as many were driving less due to stay-at-home safety measures. Trends around payment plans and extensions will likely remain key differentiators as the pandemic continues.”
The Pulse study showed that 80 percent of consumers check their payment source within the same week, if not immediately, to see if their bill payment has processed, indicating a need for faster payments processing.
“We know that consumers have an appetite for faster transactions, which has become critical in supporting people’s daily lives, for example, disbursements and refunds from insurance companies and government aid,” Gupta continued. “As billers are faced with a choice — adapt their offerings to changing consumer preferences or stick with the status quo — we expect the demand for and adoption of faster payments to accelerate further.”
Shift from paper to digital:
Increased need for faster payments:
For more information on U.S. consumers’ billing and payment preferences and behaviors, visit the ACI Speedpay Pulse interactive tool.
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