Millennials Drive Mobile Adoption for Bill Payments

couple paying bills with phone

In an increasingly complex finance environment where consumer services proliferate, consumers are searching for ways to gain control over their finances. One crucial aspect of financial control is bill payment. Many consumers find the bill payment process frustrating and lacking in ease and convenience. They are seeking a single, inclusive and convenient platform to view and pay their bills. Specific bill payment mobile apps may play this role, but adoption of these platforms differ by generation. Market research reveals that millennials are at the forefront of adopting mobile features for bill payments, utilizing them for various purposes beyond in-store purchases.

Consumers primarily rely on billers’ websites and bank payment systems for bill payment. According to the PYMNTS Intelligence study “Why Holistic Bill Payment Experiences Will Win the Payment Platform War,” conducted in collaboration with Paymentus, billers’ websites are preferred by two-thirds of consumers, while only 40% of billers offer the option to use bank systems. This indicates the appeal of an integrated solution that combines banks with billers, offering consumers more choices and convenience. As extracted from the survey, around 1 in 3 consumers are very interested in a platform that allows them to pay all their bills from different providers using one single payment method.

chart, appeal of bill payment portals

Millennials display the highest level of excitement for alternative methods and faster payments, exhibiting a strong preference for paying bills via a biller’s mobile app. And 1 in 4 millennials prefer the mobile channel for billers’ payments — nearly five times the share of baby boomers and seniors. Moreover, 60% percent are interested in a holistic bill payment portal, the largest share among all age groups. This highlights that, when making regular payments, millennials are heavy adopters of mobile for digital payments, broadly exceeding other younger generations.

By contrast, baby boomers tend to lean toward websites for bill payments, with 27% of respondents in this age group expressing a preference for this payment method. In comparison, lower percentages of Gen X prefer credit card payments. They have the highest number of bills to pay and are the least likely to pay on time.

Gen Z also exhibits a preference for in-person payments, often choosing to pay at third-party locations like Walmart or Walgreens. This preference may stem from their need for assistance or the desire for a unique experience.

While some differences in bill payment preferences can be attributed to generational changes, it is essential to consider the impact of different life stages. Certain preferences may be influenced by financial situations or habits associated with specific life stages. Millennials are seeking mobile-friendly solutions that offer a variety of payment options, but consumers from other generations have their own payment preferences. Understanding these differences is crucial for payment solutions providers to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of consumers across different age groups.