Increasing Consumer Satisfaction Spurs Instant, Digital Payouts Across Sectors

disbursements, instant payments, consumer preferences

Drawing insights from the “Generation Instant Series,” a collaboration with Ingo Money, PYMNTS Intelligence takes a look at instant payouts across the hospitality, gaming, rental and corporate spaces, examining consumer and worker satisfaction with disbursements received from government and nongovernment entities.

The findings underscore the pivotal role of technology in reshaping traditional practices, particularly in facilitating faster and more convenient transactions. They also highlight a shift in consumer behavior, emphasizing a clear trajectory toward embracing digital instant payouts and disbursements.

This signals an inflection point for businesses to adapt, innovate and meet the rising expectations of their customers and workers. In doing so, businesses not only enhance the customer experience but also sharpen their competitive edge in today’s increasingly digital landscape.

Here’s an in-depth examination of each report, presenting the key insights gathered.

Hospitality and Tips

Whether it’s left on the table or in a tip jar, cash has traditionally been the way hospitality workers receive tips.

But while hospitality workers have a strong preference for receiving gratuities via cash, — 83% of them report being highly satisfied with this payout method — a share are embracing instant tip payouts, with 85% expressing comparable satisfaction with digital instant payments, the “Generation Instant: Hospitality and Tips” report reveals.

Choosing instant payments

However, the data shows that hospitality employers are overlooking this opportunity to enhance the tip payout process, despite workers’ desire for a digital tipping experience.

Instant tip payouts were offered to only around half of the workforce, even though 82% of workers say they would choose this option if given the choice.

“Moreover, if they had a choice, 79% of hospitality workers would have chosen to receive their tips via instant payments, but they were not offered it,” the report notes.

This underscores the need for employers to prioritize digitizing gratuities, particularly as instant tip payouts have been found to boost morale and job satisfaction. Moreover, in a competitive service industry where staff retention has always been a challenge, this option could serve as a pivotal factor in fostering employee happiness and a stronger commitment to their roles.

Business Expenses Reimbursements

Business travel is on the rise post-pandemic, leading to increased expenses. According to the “Generation Instant: Business Expense Reimbursements” report, the total amount of business expense reimbursements saw a 57% rise in recipients over the last two years, with millennials and high-income earners receiving reimbursements most frequently.

Satisfaction with instant digital reimbursements

This surge has fueled higher expectations for faster reimbursements through digital payments, resulting in a 6% increase in instant expense reimbursements compared to last year. Specifically, almost half of consumers received instant reimbursements for business expenses, with nearly 60% using instant methods in the past year. Among these, 43% received instant payments most often, up from 37% in June 2022.

The research study also finds that employee satisfaction with this method has peaked, highlighting the value they place on the convenience and quick access to funds that instant payment methods provide. This is evidenced by the fact that instant payments boost satisfaction levels by 12%, with nearly 80% of recipients highly content compared to 70% of receivers across all payment methods.

“To meet increasing demand and retain valued employees, enterprises in all industries could benefit by enabling instant payment of business expense reimbursements — and making it more apparent that the three-quarters who would elect to receive instant digital reimbursements can choose to do so,” the report notes.

Gamings and Winnings

Over the past year, 10% of consumers received payouts from gaming, gambling or lotteries, averaging eight disbursements totaling $8,500, per findings detailed in “Generation Instant: Gamers and Winnings.”

Choosing instant payments 2

Cash remains the primary mode of instant payment for these gaming-related payouts, surpassing digital instant methods. This gap is mainly due to various challenges and payment frictions gamers encounter when transitioning between physical and digital channels.

As a result, cash payouts boast the highest satisfaction rate, with nearly 90% of gamers expressing high satisfaction. Non-instant digital methods follow closely, with 75% reporting similar satisfaction. In contrast, satisfaction drops slightly for instant digital payouts, with 71% expressing high satisfaction.

While cash payouts remain the favored choice, the adoption of digital instant payouts is steadily gaining momentum. When given the choice, 79% of gamers opt for a digital instant disbursement, and an additional 76% of consumers who lack this option express a desire to use it if it were available.

Not all gaming companies are cashing in on the trend, however. The study highlights an opportunity gap, as 49% of consumers have access to the instant winnings disbursement options they desire. This gap signifies a missed opportunity to monetize instant payouts, similar to what’s observed in the hospitality sector.

Renters and Refunds

As digital rent payment options become more prevalent, there’s been a noticeable surge in digitizing rent-related refunds such as security deposits or reimbursements for property-related work.

Insights from “Generation Instant: Renters and Refunds” emphasize the value tenants place on receiving refunds promptly, especially among individuals paying higher rents who anticipate larger refunds.

Primary instant reimbursement methods

Survey results indicate a strong preference among renters for instant refunds directly into their bank accounts. Among the 40% receiving rent-related refunds via instant methods, 19% receive most payments instantly to their bank accounts, while 13% receive them instantly to a digital wallet.

Renters express higher satisfaction when receiving rent-related refunds instantly, which are larger compared to non-instant methods. Specifically, while 57% using non-digital payment methods are very or extremely satisfied, 72% of renters receiving refunds via digital methods report the same level of satisfaction. Moreover, 61% are very or extremely satisfied with instant payment methods for rent-related refunds.

This high level of satisfaction signals that property management companies offering instant payments are ahead of the curve, enabling them to attract and retain affluent and tech-savvy tenants.