The Defining Elements of Tomorrow’s Holistic Bill Pay Platform (And How to Achieve Them Today)

Billing & Payments Insight

A new research report from Paymentus and PYMNTS highlights two very important learnings for today’s billers:

  1. Consumers expect their bill pay experiences to offer convenience, choice and control

  2. What these three Cs mean varies greatly by demographic

Against this backdrop, billers must work to overcome the status quo and deliver a bill pay solution that is comprehensive, inclusive and frictionless. With 48% of consumers paying more than six bills each month, the ability to meet these expectations could be the difference between being the first bill paid or the last.

Here’s how you – the billers – can gear up your billing and payment platforms to deliver the holistic choices and experiences customers want.

Defining Holistic Bill Payments

For many bill payers, managing their monthly bills is a chore. Inconsistencies in user interfaces, confusing payment flows, redirects, and multiple processes and steps all work to undermine a customer’s ability to view and pay their bills. Financial concerns aside, simply keeping track of what’s been paid and how can leave many bill payers feeling stressed.

With each biller offering a different experience and payment methods, consumers can feel out of touch with their bills – leading to delayed or missed payments. 

But what is a holistic billing and payment platform? Simply, it’s a comprehensive approach that centralizes the bill pay experience and seamlessly brings together bill payment and account management into a single destination. This includes offering an omnichannel payment experience that accommodates everything from traditional payment methods to new methods such as digital wallets, allowing you to access and serve your entire customer population.

Holistic bill payments also allow bill payers to manage their accounts just as they would within a particular biller’s customer portal. Consumers can set their payment preferences and view their billing history for each biller without having to leave the experience.

Bill Pay Channels Consumers Want

A key learning from the Paymentus-PYMNTS research report is that consumers prefer to pay using billers’ websites and banks’ payment systems. But when it comes to meeting these preferences, today’s billers are in fear of falling short as needs increase and resources to execute true omnichannel billing and payments decrease. And the numbers bear this out:

What’s interesting is that there is no real dominant payment channel employed by a majority of consumers. The most popular ways to pay are by manually using a billers’ website or a banks’ payment system – both of which are by 15% of consumers. Autopay through bill and bank sites follows closely behind with 13% apiece.

These digital methods, combined with mobile app payments and smartphone payments, account for 80% of today’s preferred payment channels. That leaves 20% of bill payers preferring more traditional or cash-based options such as physical retail locations, grocery store kiosks, IVR and mailed payments.

Based on these numbers, it’s clear that billers must prioritize one thing: a holistic billing and payment solution that offers every payment type and channel.

Bill Pay Channels Consumers Actually Receive

As stated above, 80% of bill payers want to pay manually or automatically through biller or bank websites. Only 67% of those surveyed offer website bill payments, with that number dropping to just 40% allowing bank bill payments. Conversely, 80% of organizations offer in-person payments at their offices, one of the least preferred payment options.

The real pain point here is that younger consumers, millennials and below, are both more apt to use digital payments and are growing as a customer base. 24% of millennials say they prefer to pay through their billers’ mobile apps – five times that of baby boomers and seniors. However, only half of the organizations surveyed had deployed mobile application or web-responsive payments.

Prioritizing Inclusive Payments

The research makes it clear that inclusivity – the ability for all customers to pay in a way that best fits their needs and/or lifestyle – must become a top priority for today’s billers. 22% of consumers say that having a wide range of payment options is a highly desirable feature in a comprehensive bill pay service, trailing only “ease and convenience” within the top benefits of bill pay innovation.

Inclusive payments remove the guesswork of meeting consumer expectations, while delivering the choice and control consumers of all demographics and financial needs expect. After all, the goal is to ensure on-time payments. If a customer is offered a payment method they find most convenient, the likelihood of them prioritizing that bill increases (along with customer satisfaction).

Given today’s increasing consumer expectations and financial challenges, it’s no surprise that 82% of billers say they expect holistic bill pay to improve their processes. The Paymentus Instant Payment Network® (IPN) and our billing and payment solution is designed specifically for this purpose.

IPN offers more channels and payment methods than any other provider including an expanding network of billers and premier partners such as PayPal and Walmart, to name just a few. IPN enables billers to easily launch everything from digital wallet payments to cash payments at retail locations, with implementation ease and flexibility built into their existing environments.

Why Holistic Bill Payment Experiences Will Win the Payment Platform War is now available for download. Get your complimentary copy today!

You can also contact us today to learn more about how Paymentus can help you build a holistic platform today to address your many tomorrows.

All statistics courtesy of PYMNTS, Why Holistic Bill Payment Experiences Will Win the Payment Platform War, May 2023