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Complicated Processes Frustrate Online Bill Payers

Online payment frustration leads to more late payments. In the past 12 months, more than half of all consumers were late paying a bill, even when paying online. While financial hardship and unemployment may play a role, new research points to frustration with online bill payment processes. A recent industry survey of 2,676 U.S. consumers found that 19% of respondents said their late online bill payments were due to the process being too complicated. Among consumers aged 30-44, 38% said they couldn’t complete paying their bills online due to frustration with the process. Even among tech-savvy consumers aged 18 to 29, 33.5% claimed the process was too complicated.

Two other interesting facts emerged in the 18 to 29 age group for their late payments. This is because 1) fifty-three percent had difficulty keeping track of due dates, and 2) fifty-one percent mentioned trouble remembering keywords when trying to log in to pay a bill.

Navigation is a problem.

Twenty-seven percent of all respondents cited navigation sites that are not optimized for end-users make bill paying more difficult. As a result, the navigation is causing frustration, delay in paying, and eventually late payments.

If billers made it easier for payers to see due dates and amounts owed, it would go a long way to easing frustration. However, industry experts say that the user payment experience across all devices, especially phones, needs to be considered first when designing the payment navigation. Billers can quickly fix navigation challenges, like designing the credit entry format to match the physical layout of the credit card. However, payments experts recommend using designers with experience in User Experience (UX) . Experienced in current design trends and best practices, UX designers can spot common payment problems and create simple, clean, and easy-to-read experiences even on smaller screens, they continued.

Adding popular features like a digital wallet can be a competitive advantage and another way to reduce late payments. Forty-two percent of respondents said they would be likely or very likely to use a digital wallet to pay a bill.

Reminders Help

Forty-five percent of all respondents said a text message or email reminder when a bill is due will make on-time bill payment more effortless, and thirty-eight believe that a reminder that includes a clickable pay now link would help them pay on time. Payment processors like IntelliPay offer billers the ability to send secure SMS (text) and emails with clickable pay now links. Early adopters report that text and email payment emails reduce the number of late payments and that their customers appreciate the convenience.

Effects on Billers

Late payments affect cash flow and result in increased collection activity and costs. Billers who do not optimize their online payments experience do not realize all the cash flow and labor savings they could realize with an optimized experience. While adding a late fee can help offset some additional costs, it is far better to address the root cause -minimizing consumer frustration. Addressing the friction consumers experience in the payment process will result in fewer late payments, improved cash flow, reduced accounting time spent in collections, and improved customer satisfaction.

User-Friendly Online Payment Options

IntelliPay offers billers a variety of user-optimized front-end payment experiences. Each is hosted on a secure PCI DSS Level 1 network and is easily added in a stand-alone or fully integrated configuration. The lightbox is an elegant solution that floats over an existing invoice or billing page that includes traditional absorb fees ( merchant pays the fee). The alternate no-cost cardholder pays the processing fee options. For more information on how we can help you optimize your user payment experience and reduce margin pressure, please get in touch with or call 855-872-6632 option 3.