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Consumers, Billers & Banks, Oh My! How Modernization Benefits Everyone in the Bill Pay Ecosystem

Consumers, Billers & Banks, Oh My! How Modernization Benefits Everyone in the Bill Pay Ecosystem

This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared on Payments Journal on December 7, 2020.

Consumers, billers, and financial institutions expect their needs to be met by today’s bill pay ecosystem. However, those needs vary for  each of these parties  and unfortunately, today’s ecosystem is missing the mark on all three of them.

Consumers want frictionless, fast experiences that mimic the seamlessness of Amazon-like purchases. Billers are looking for cost-efficient and quick settlements. Financial institutions want greater transaction volumes and  customers who are fully engaged and open  to new products and services.

In an upcoming webinar hosted by BillGO—“Consumers, Billers & Banks, Oh My!”—BillGO and Mercator Advisory Group experts will discuss the current bill pay landscape and the steps the industry can take to better serve each constituency in the ecosystem. The webinar is the third in a  three-part interactive Bill Pay Knowledge series presented by BillGO.


When it comes to paying bills, consumers want options

Every year, Americans pay 15.5 billion bills,  valued at $4.6 trillion. However less than a quarter of those bills are paid  through bank-bill pay services.

A recent study completed by Aite Group and BillGO found  a majority of Americans reject bill payment offerings from their financial institutions. Online payments made on biller sites grew from 62% of online bills paid in 2010 to 76% in 2020. Meanwhile, bank bill pay declined from 38% to 22% of online bills in that same timespan.

What’s causing so many Americans to reject bank bill pay? Simply put, consumers across every generation perceive it as cumbersome and lacking both visibility and payment options. For example, many financial institutions force customers to pay via their checking accounts, even if that isn’t a consumer’s preferred choice.

The study also found that most American consumers live paycheck-to-paycheck. Accordingly, they want technology that offers features like payment confirmations, more payment choices, faster payments, and a more responsive user experience. So even though consumers trust their banks more than they do billers, billers are the ones offering them the features they want.


Due to gaps in bank bill pay, many consumers are struggling with a decentralized billing system that makes it difficult to stay on top of expenses and achieve financial wellness. The good news is that it’s not too late for financial institutions to recapture this area through the delivery of a modern, transparent experience that comes with the payment options consumers want to see.


Modern bill pay drives revenue for banks

Optimizing bill pay recaptures customers and fortifies their relationships with banks, but that’s not the only perk. Although financial institutions have historically viewed it as a necessary cost, it can actually be turned into a revenue generator.

Banks that modernize their offerings are already reaping the benefits. In the second webinar of BillGO’s three-part series, Valley Bank EVP and COO Robert Bardusch explained why Valley Bank chose to partner with BillGO to modernize its bill pay menu.

As a small organization, Valley Bank is competing with larger organizations that have greater access to cash flow. That’s why “it’s important that we have strategic partners that provide us with that ideation and innovation,” said Bardusch. “That’s what this is about: having a partner that thinks differently about the business model and helps us provide much deeper and better products and services for our customers.”


A better bill pay ecosystem better serves its three constituents

In the upcoming webinar, BillGO’s Russ Chacon and Mercator Advisory Group’s Sarah Grotta will examine the complexities of today’s landscape, the many players operating in the ecosystem, and how the industry can deploy speed, choice, and intelligence to better meet the needs of everyone involved. Ultimately, participants will learn how modernizing the ecosystem benefits consumers, billers, and banks alike and what steps they can take to improve their organization’s bill pay offerings.


Examine the complexities of today's bill pay landscape, the many players operating in the ecosystem and how the industry can meet the needs of everyone involved in our webinar "Consumers, Billers & Banks, Oh My!"Watch Webinar