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Survey Shows Inflation Hindering Bill Payment for U.S. Consumers

March 7, 2023

Nearly 3 in 4 U.S. adults (74%) say inflation has impacted their ability to pay bills, and assert that increased payment choice and convenience can help them pay on time

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March. 7, 2023 – PayNearMe, a fast-growing fintech company radically improving the customer payment experience, today released survey findings that reveal inflation has impacted bill payment for the majority of survey respondents (74%). The online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,206 U.S. consumers, age 18 and older, also indicates Americans’ ability to pay bills on time is expected to worsen in the face of a potential recession. Findings affirm that during periods of financial hardship, increased payment choice and convenience can help consumers pay their bills on time.  

Key Findings: 

  • 91% of survey respondents are worried about the potential recession (55% somewhat worried and 36% very worried)
  • The majority of survey respondents (74%) say inflation has moderately (50%) or greatly (24%) impacted their ability to pay their bills
  • Approximately 38% of respondents have been late paying important household bills more than once during the last 12 months (housing, auto loans, personal loans, internet, electric, etc.) 
  • Due to inflation, nearly 1 in 6 of those surveyed (16%) already have delayed—or will delay—paying important household bills 
  • More than half of survey respondents (54%) worry they won’t be able to pay their bills during the potential recession 

“We’re already seeing U.S. adults struggle to pay bills as they battle rising costs brought on by inflation. They are paying bills late in an attempt to keep up,” said SVP, Chief Marketing Officer Anne Hay, PayNearMe. 

“Of the U.S. adults surveyed who received money from friends and family during the holidays, nearly 2 in 5 (38%) used those funds to pay bills,” she continued. “That’s a clear indicator Americans are having a tough time meeting their financial obligations, a trend that is only expected to worsen in the face of a potential recession.” 

When consumers are feeling financial strain, or anticipating economic hardship ahead, they begin to make tough choices about which bills to pay on time, and that’s already playing out in the data. A majority of survey respondents (61%) will prioritize paying their rent or mortgage payment first, followed by their electric bill (30%) and auto loan (25%). Surprisingly, for 27% of consumers, paying personal loans ranks lowest on their list of bill payment priorities.

Payment Choice and Convenience Supports On-Time Payment

Survey respondents say the following options would help them pay bills on time:

  • 76% – flexibility to set their payment due dates 
  • 63% – payment reminders sent via email, SMS text message or push notifications 
  • 54% – ability to make multiple smaller payments throughout the month 
  • 48% – ability to split bill payment between multiple payment types (cash, Apple/Google Pay, PayPal, card, etc.). 

“A majority of consumers surveyed (63%) say getting payment reminders via email, SMS text message or push notification would help them pay bills on time.”

“Almost half (48%) want the ability to split bill payment between multiple payment types—cash, Apple/Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, card—and say this convenience would help them make on-time payments.” 

More than half of survey respondents (54%) say being able to make multiple smaller payments throughout the month, and 76% say having the flexibility to set their payment due dates, would help them pay their bills on time. The survey also found that consumers — especially those 18 to 29 years old — keep a sizable balance of accessible funds in their digital wallets that could be used for bill payment if necessary.

“Given that autopay could  boost on-time payment, billers must continue to work with customers to give them the control they need and want to participate,” Hay said. “Our survey showed simple adjustments like offering the flexibility to choose weekly, bi-weekly or another custom payment schedule, would entice 65% of customers to consider autopay. Having auto payment set up for their most important, fixed-cost bills may help consumers organize their finances and avoid delinquencies if the months ahead become lean.” 

“Billers cannot stop a recession or lower inflation, but they can work with modern bill payment providers such as PayNearMe to offer more support tools as well as flexibility around due dates and payment types, strengthening consumers’ hand when it comes to paying their bills,” she continued. “We already have the technology and know-how to implement those strategies quickly, now it’s up to billers to make the move.”

Survey Methodology

PayNearMe conducted a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,206 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted using an online survey format. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population aged 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of survey respondents and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 2.0 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Media Resources

Download the full report for a deeper look at the findings.

Download report infographics and charts of key data points.

About PayNearMe

PayNearMe develops technology that drives better payment experiences for businesses and their customers. Our modern, flexible and reliable platform helps businesses increase customer engagement, improve operational efficiency and drive down the total cost of accepting payments. PayNearMe enables more ways to pay by offering all major payment types and channels in a single platform.

PayNearMe today processes a wide range of payment types including cards, ACH, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and Venmo, and has enabled cash payments through our proprietary cash network since 2009. PayNearMe cash payments are accepted at more than 40,000 retail locations in the U.S. including participating 7-Eleven®, Walmart®, Family Dollar®, Casey’s General Stores®, and ACE Cash Express®, among others.

Thousands of businesses partner with PayNearMe to manage the end-to-end customer payment experience in industries such as Consumer Finance, Property Management, Insurance, Utility and Municipality and iGaming and Sports Betting.To learn more about PayNearMe, please visit www.paynearme.com. Follow PayNearMe on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The PayNearMe service is operated by PayNearMe MT, Inc., a licensed money transmitter.