Today we released our first annual How Americans Pay Their Bills Report for 2022. Part of doxoINSIGHTS’ “United States of Bill Pay” series, the report is our inaugural 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.
Key Findings from the report revolve mostly around the stress and anxiety that paying bills causes the consumer, especially during this trying economic time. They include, but are not limited to the following themes:
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.
For more details on the above, and more, see the full report below.
How Americans Pay Their Bills: Full Report for 2022