PYMNTS Intelligence: Leveraging Real-Time Payments to Solve Bill Pay Challenges

Download the PYMNTS and The Clearing House April 2023 Tracker

Download the PYMNTS and The Clearing House April 2023 Tracker "Real-Time Payments: Leveraging Instant Payments to Improve Bill Pay"

Americans pay trillions of dollars in bills each year, but this everyday process is far from seamless. A PYMNTS study found that 52% of consumers encountered at least one pain point when it comes to bill pay, such as missing payment features or a lack of payment options.

Enabling real-time payments can improve customers' quality of life immensely.These frictions can frequently mean the difference between bills that are paid in a timely manner and those that end up entering into collections, with 14% of cash-strapped bill payers prioritizing bills that present fewer frictions in the payment process. Real-time payments could be a critical tool in solving these pain points and streamlining both the payments and the collection methods for these bills.

How the RTP® Network Can Simplify Bill Pay

Customers are already used to leveraging online portals for bill pay, with 29% of consumers saying they have used such a service to pay a medical bill within the past year. Consumers are also growing accustomed to faster payment methods in most parts of their financial lives, with 70% saying that having access to quick payment capabilities drives satisfaction with their financial institutions.

Expanding these capabilities to all of a customer’s regular bills is thus low-hanging fruit for service providers. Nearly half of consumers reported that online channels improve the payments and billing management experience, while 29% said that digital portals make their experience more convenient.

49%: Portion of U.S. and Canadian companies that say they have benefited from faster payments; 92% of global companies say the sameService providers looking to enable these seamless bill pay services need look no further than the RTP® network’s Request for Payment (RfP) service, which processes payments in just seconds, rather than the days that standard automated clearing house (ACH) payments take. The Clearing House has reported that more than 70% of consumers are ready to try real-time bill payments. Accordingly, 70% of businesses are planning to adopt the RTP network, not only to improve the bill pay experience for their customers but also to make life easier for their accounts receivable (AR) teams.

Real-Time Bill Pay Can Streamline Payments on the Receiving End as Well

A survey found that 49% of companies in the United States and Canada said faster payments have impacted their organizations positively, with this number increasing to 92% among global organizations. This discrepancy likely can be attributed to the greater prevalence of instant payment networks in the rest of the world, resulting in global companies’ increased exposure to their benefits.

One of the core benefits of real-time bill pay would be to move AR teams away from regular ACH payments or checks, with more than half of business suppliers saying they prefer to receive payments through faster payment methods. By enabling bill pay in real time, AR teams can improve their cash flow processes and ensure smoother operations overall.