Instant Payouts Tripled As Consumers Learned the Value of Really Fast Money

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By July of 2020 the U.S. government had made roughly 171 million payments valued at $400 billion as COVID aid was disbursed, of which less than 6% were instant.

By 2021, the number of consumers receiving instant disbursements tripled, with 17% of the 11 billion disbursements last year done instantly, showing a clear consumer preference for it.

In the fourth edition of The State Of Consumer Disbursements: Who Pays Consumers — And How Quickly, a PYMNTS and Ingo Money collaboration, we find that as more consumers learn the difference between fast and immediate — think ACH versus instant — the more they gravitate to instant.

Availability and awareness are integral to broadening the instant disbursements trend.

“In 78 percent of instances in which instant payments were the most common way by which consumers received disbursements in 2021,” per the study, “consumers were given a choice in how they were able to receive those payments.”

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Findings show that most consumers opt for methods like ACH when not offered a faster alternative. On that count, the good news is that 71% of recipients reported being offered at least two disbursement options in 2021, which is 23% higher than a year earlier.

Interestingly, 13% of instant payments received in 2021 simply came that way; payors decided.

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With disbursements choice now on the radar of payors and recipients, that knowledge is effecting change at the corporate level, with payors seeing logic in meeting expectations.

“Consumers also were given more choice in how they received disbursements from every source in our study, whether they came from the government, investment accounts, employers, insurance organizations or other sources. In summary, consumers are receiving more instant disbursements this year than last year in large part because more organizations are giving them the option to do so.”

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Get the study: The State Of Consumer Disbursements