Inaugural doxoINSIGHTS “How Americans Pay Their Bills” Report Uncovers Evolving Bill Pay Trends and Behaviors
doxo, the innovative web and mobile bill pay service, today released the How Americans Pay Their Bills Report. Part of doxoINSIGHTS’ “United States of Bill Pay” series, the report is the first annual study of the US bill pay consumer, with in-depth findings and analysis of payer demographic data and behavior. The analysis, which was conducted and released simultaneously with the highest U.S. inflation rates in 40 years, reveals evolving consumer attitudes and actions around their household bills, including: stress drivers, hidden costs, most-used tools and platforms, favored communication and reminder methods, and other related trends. When it comes to standards, the report finds there is no standard across the payer demographic, including a lack of normalcy as the ‘new normal’ in today’s fraught economic landscape.
“Paying bills is stressful for the average consumer, as is once again confirmed in our latest doxoINSIGHTS report. This anxiety is only compounded with the continued impact of the COVID economic seesaw, and now made worse with the rapid ramp in inflation that means monthly bills take an even bigger bite out of American household incomes,” said Steve Shivers, co-founder and CEO of doxo. “Our report highlights the fact that in order to stay on top of bills, consumers must juggle payments across multiple methods, and quite often modify timing to line up with pay day cashflow. In this uncertain economic environment, doxo’s simple, secure all-in-one bill pay greatly helps consumers reduce stress and keeps them on a path toward financial health.”
Key Findings from this year’s doxoINSIGHTS’ How Americans Pay Their Bills Report, include:
Big Bills = Big Stress for Consumers
- Bills are a significant drain on total household income: Household bills make up a staggering 36% of the average household income [with average household income of $67,521 and average annual bill spend of $24,032 ($2,003 per month), up from $22,666 in 2020 ($1,889 per month)]. With costs rising across all categories, it’s no surprise then that 12% of respondents report being stressed about their household bills.
- Precarious finances and inconsistent earnings contribute to bill pay anxiety: The average household pays 10 bills per month, with 16% of households delaying at least one bill per month. 29% of bill payers have variable income from month to month, which makes making bills in a consistent manner difficult.
- The hidden costs of bill pay are cause for concern: doxo’s report digs deeper into consumers’ bill pay concerns by excerpting key findings from this year’s doxoINSIGHTS Hidden Costs of Bill Pay report. “Negative Impacts to Their Credit Score” scored the top spot for the first time ever, tying for first place with “Stolen Bill Pay Information” (84%) on this year’s report. Comparatively, while Identity Fraud and Stolen Bill Pay Information were the top concerns in the 2020 report, Credit Score concerns came in at third place.
The Pandemic, Inflation and Payments
According to doxoINSIGHTs’ recent A Year of COVID-19 report, the pandemic drove new strategies to pay bills. In addition to consumers moving online to complete myriad household tasks, 52% paid more bills online due to the pandemic. Credit card usage also increased during the pandemic, with 25% of respondents using them more often to pay bills than they had previously. 40% of bill payers delayed paying at least one household bill during the pandemic and, of those that delayed bill payments, the most common delayed bill was Utilities, with 68% of people delaying bills in the category.
In addition, a recent doxoINSIGHTS survey found that 89% of consumers said they had seen their household bills increase as a result of rising inflation rates.
doxoINSIGHTS’ How Americans Pay Their Bills report also reveals consumers’ top requests for an improved bill pay experience and payment reminders. Consumers most prefer email reminders, with 63% of respondents wanting the feature from their bill pay platform. The ability to construct to-do lists when paying bills is also highly sought after, with 59% of total respondents looking to check that box on their list. Nearly the same percentage (58% of bill payers) reported that mobile payment apps improve the payment experience.
Using anonymized data from doxo’s 7 million users, the report breaks down the days and times that consumers are most likely to pay their bills.The window between 10am and 12pm is when individuals are most likely to make payments. Monday and Friday are the most popular days to make bill payments, while most consumers take a break from payments and paperwork on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday are the least popular).
In addition, women are more likely to manage household bills than men, with 54% of bill payers being female, while 46% are male.
Payment Practices and Instruments
The study finds that consumer preferences around payment instruments widely vary by type of bill. More than 70% of consumers use ACH (direct bank account transfer) to pay their health insurance and life insurance bills but, when it comes to Rent payments, only 31% of consumers use ACH. Cash is also disproportionately used to pay Rent (20%); while cash payment for other bills is nominal (between 1% and 3% of the time). Debit cards are also used to widely varying degrees, with only 11% of respondents using a debit card to make mortgage payments, and 37% of respondents using a debit card to make electric bill payments.
While websites account for the largest chunk of usage for the majority of bills, with the remaining percentage (over 50%) split between other platforms, including bank bill pay, phone payments, mail-in payments, and even in-person payments. Rent, in particular, sees a large percentage of real-life payments: 32% of consumers pay their rent checks in person.
For the complete United States of Bill Pay: How Americans Pay Their Bills Report and additional insights, go to https://www.doxo.com/insights/
doxoINSIGHTS provides direct insight into household financial health and spending activity by leveraging consumer surveys and doxo’s unique aggregate bill pay data set, comprising actual bill payment activity to confirmed household service providers across the country. doxo data brings together the broadest available data set for analyzing actual household bill payment activity, pulling from over 7 million paying consumers across over 97% of U.S. zip codes. doxo’s payment network covers over 120,000 billers in 45 different service categories and enables payments using bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards. This uniquely broad statistical foundation powers doxoINSIGHTS reports – uncovering key trends for household financial health and bill payment behavior.
doxo provides simple, secure all-in-one bill payment to any biller, with any payment method, on any device. A doxoPLUS subscription adds free bank payments and five essential financial protections that boost household financial health. Through these services, doxo currently serves over seven million users who can make payments to over 120,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation. Billers on the network get paid directly, fast and free – and consumers have complete bill pay independence over when and how they pay their bills. doxo expanded its user base by more than 70 percent in the past year and is expanding its team to further accelerate growth and change the bill pay landscape to focus on the customer. doxo investors include MDV, Sigma Partners, and Bezos Expeditions. doxo is based in Seattle, WA. For more information visit www.doxo.com.