Study finds high consumer anxiety about paying bills as inflation soars and economic impact of pandemic lingers

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SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–doxothe innovative web and mobile bill payment service, today launched 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 consumer who pays bills, with in-depth findings and analysis of payer demographics and behavior. The analysis, which was conducted and published simultaneously with the US inflation rates highest in 40 years, reveals changing consumer attitudes and actions regarding their household bills, including: stressors, hidden costs, most used tools and platforms, preferred communication and reminder methods, and other related trends. With regard to standards, the report finds there is no standard across payer demographics, including a lack of normality as the “new normal” in today’s challenging economic landscape.

“Paying bills is stressful for the average consumer, as our latest doxoINSIGHTS report once again confirms. This anxiety is only compounded by the continued impact of the COVID economic shift, and now compounded by rapidly rising inflation which means monthly bills are weighing even more heavily on US household incomes,” said Steve Shivers, co-founder and CEO. of doxo. “Our report underscores the fact that to stay on top of bills, consumers must juggle payments across multiple methods, and quite often change the schedule to align with payday cash flow. In this economic environment uncertain, doxo’s simple and secure all-in-one bill payment greatly helps consumers reduce stress and keep them on the path to financial health.

Key findings from this year’s doxoINSIGHTS How Americans Pay Their Bills Reportinclude:

Big bills = big stress for consumers

  • Bills weigh heavily on total household income: Household bills represent 36% of 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 that 12% of respondents say they’re stressed about their household bills.
  • Precarious finances and irregular income contribute to anxiety about paying bills: 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, making it difficult to pay bills consistently.
  • The hidden costs of paying bills are concerning: The doxo report delves deeper into consumer concerns around bill paying by extracting key findings from this year’s doxoINSIGHTS Report on the hidden costs of paying bills. “Negative impacts on their credit score” took first place for the very first time, tied for first place with “Stolen bill payment information” (84%) this year report. Comparatively, while identity fraud and stolen bill payment information were the top concerns in the 2020 report, credit score issues took third place.

The pandemic, inflation and payments

According to recent data from doxoINSIGHTs A year of COVID-19 report, the pandemic has led to new strategies for paying the bills. In addition to consumers moving online to complete a myriad of household chores, 52% have paid more bills online due to the pandemic. The use of credit cards has also increased during the pandemic, with 57% of respondents using them more often to pay their bills than before. 40% of bill payers delayed paying at least one household bill during the pandemic and, among those who delayed paying bills, the most common delayed bill was utilities, with 68% of people delaying invoices in this category.

Additionally, a recent survey by doxoINSIGHTS revealed that 89% of consumers said they saw their household bills rise due to rising inflation rates.

Payment prompts

doxoINSIGHTS’ How Americans Pay Their Bills also reveals top consumer demands for a better bill payment experience and payment reminders. Consumers most prefer email reminders, with 63% of respondents wanting the functionality from their bill payment platform. The ability to create to-do lists when paying bills is also highly sought after, with 59% of total respondents looking to tick this box on their list. Almost the same percentage (58% of bill payers) said mobile payment apps improve the payment experience.

Distribution of the bill

Using anonymized data from doxo’s 7 million users, the report breaks down the days and times when consumers are most likely to pay their bills. The window between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. is when individuals are most likely to make payments. Monday and Friday are the most popular days for making bill payments, while most consumers take a break from payments and paperwork on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday are the least popular).

Additionally, women are more likely than men to manage household bills, with 54% of bill payers being women, while 46% are men.

Payment practices and instruments

The study reveals that consumer preferences for payment instruments vary significantly by bill type. Over 70% of consumers use ACH (direct bank transfer) to pay their health 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 of other bills is nominal (between 1% and 3% of the time). Debit cards are also used to varying degrees, with only 11% of respondents using a debit card to make mortgage payments and 37% of respondents using a debit card to pay electricity bills.

While websites account for the bulk of bill majority usage, the remaining percentage (over 50%) is split between other platforms, including bank bill payment, mobile telephone, payments by mail and even payments in person. Rent, in particular, accounts for a large percentage of actual 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 information, go to https://www.doxo.com/insights/.

About doxoINSIGHTS

doxoINSIGHTS provides direct insight into household financial health and spending activity by leveraging consumer surveys and doxo’s unique global bill payment dataset, including actual bill payment activity to confirmed household service providers across the country. Doxo’s data brings together the largest data set available to analyze actual household bill-paying activity, drawing on more than 7 million paying consumers across more than 97% of U.S. ZIP codes. The doxo payment network covers more than 120,000 billers in 45 different service categories and allows payments using bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards. This unique and broad statistical base powers doxoINSIGHTS reports – revealing key trends in household financial health and bill-paying behavior.

About Doxo

doxo provides simple and 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 improve the financial health of households. Through these services, doxo currently serves more than seven million users who can make payments to more than 120,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill payment directory in the nation. Billers on the network get paid directly, quickly and for free – and consumers have full bill payment independence of when and how they pay their bills. doxo has grown its user base by more than 70% in the past year and is expanding its team to further accelerate growth and change the bill payment 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.

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