63.1 mln US households are paying their bills online rather than writing paper checks, according to Fiserv. 13% of respondents cited online security as the top reason for not using the online bill payment service, down from 17% in the 2007 survey. Overall, online security ranked third among barriers to online bill payment adoption 2008, compared to its number-one ranking in 2007. The primary barrier (15%) in the new study was “I don’t know enough about how it works.” 31 mln households are using online banking websites to pay bills, 47.9 mln households are using biller websites and 16 mln are using both online banking and biller sites to receive and pay bills. 63.1 mln of Internet-using households pay at least one bill online in an average month, up from 61 mln in the 2007 survey. These households collectively paid 934 mln bills in a typical month, according to the survey results. Online bill payments made at both bank and biller websites rose to 42% of the total volume of household bill payments made each month, up from 39% in the 2007 survey. Online bill payment adoption has significantly grown since the 2002 survey, when only 14% reported paying their bills online.
Internet-using households pay an average of 11 bills per month. Consumers use an average of three different ways to pay bills, with online, check, automatic debit and in-person topping the list of popular bill payment methods. Online bill payments at bank and biller websites comprised 42% of total monthly payments, followed by 31% of bills paid by check. 51% of survey respondents cited the environment as a reason why they chose to view and pay bills online. Of these, 72% identified paper and clutter reduction as chief benefits, followed by tree conservation (19%) and reduction in gas consumption (16%). Saving time and gaining control over their finances were major online bill payment benefits cited by 44% of respondents.