US consumers are increasingly turning to mobile channels and using a multiple number of ways to pay monthly bills, a survey commissioned by US-headquartered technology solutions provider Fiserv has found.

According to Fiserv, 8% of online households, approximately 8m households in total, paid at least one monthly bill with a mobile device in 2012, up 6% from 2011.

The increase was biggest amongst smartphone users, with a 41% jump in mobile payments from 2011. In addition, tablet usage is on the rise with one in five consumers who own one using it to pay a bill.

In addition, 3% of infrequent and non-internet users, 720,000 total households, paid at least one bill using a mobile.

The respondents to the survey gave a variety of reasons for why they used mobile devices for payment. Half of those surveyed cited time when making mobile payments; 44% cited the ability to make payment at any time; and 43% saw it as convenient when on the go.

The fifth annual Billing Household Survey, conducted in May 2012 by The Marketing Workshop on behalf of Fiserv, was completed by 2,000 respondents and examined the bill payments of active online households in the US.

Other findings of the survey include:

– 30% of those surveyed paid a bill late within the previous year due to cash flow difficulties, up 28% percent from 2011.

– Infrequent and non-internet users were more likely to pay late because they had difficulty tracking bills, with 25% saying this was an issue.

– 73% of those who use the internet at least once a week now pay at least one bill online each month.

– 48% of online households receive at least one electronic bill.

– Online households are more likely to use auto-debit.

Jardon Bouska, division president of Biller Solutions at Fiserv, said Americans had become "payment omnivores" and the research pointed to the many "fluid payment practices" of consumers.

He said: "By understanding these preferences, billers, service providers and financial institutions can offer services that meet a wide range of consumers’ needs and demands."


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