In the know
The 2011 BPAY Usage and Attitude Study
In 2011 BPAY continued its study into consumer behaviours and attitudes around payments
and bill payments – known as the Usage and Attitude (U&A) study.
The 2011 study surveyed approximately 1,000 people aged between 16 and 75. With
the study now in its 10th year this means that BPAY has spoken to over 10,000 people
over the last decade. The study is a valuable tool as it provides key business insights
into the consumer payments market and enables the tracking of long term trends.
This year some really interesting themes have emerged:
1. The financial environment
As might be expected given the global economy’s slow recovery from the GFC, the
2011 study revealed that around 40% of our bill paying consumers are "more concerned"
about their finances than they were a year ago.
This concern has been reflected in people’s spending habits, with a marked decline
in credit card usage and a corresponding increase in the use of cash and debit cards
for paying bills. Cash use nearly doubled when compared to 2010. We have not seen
a trend change of this size in the use of cash over the last 6 years.
2. BPAY’s performance
A key measure of BPAY’s performance is the level of brand awareness amongst our
target market. In 2011, BPAY maintained an impressive awareness level of 90%.
Payment volume growth is a primary objective for the BPAY Scheme. A key driver of
higher payment volume is the frequency of an individual’s use of a payment method.
BPAY is the most frequently used payment method, beating electronic funds transfer
and direct debit. Some 31% of consumers are using BPAY weekly.
Another key measure is an individual’s ‘share of bills’. This measures what proportion
of the total number of bills an individual receives is paid using each payment method.
In 2011, BPAY’s ‘share of bills’ remained higher than any other payment method at
3. BPAY on the move
One of the most interesting trends uncovered by the research is the increase in
the number of people paying bills via mobile phones and tablets. In 2011, the proportion
of people paying a bill via BPAY on one of these devices more than tripled when
compared to the previous year (16% vs 5%). There was also an increase in awareness
in the ability to make BPAY payments on a mobile device. Importantly 28% of consumers
would consider using their mobiles to make BPAY payments in future.
This trend is likely to continue into 2012 and could fundamentally change consumer
payments behaviour over the next couple of years.
The U&A tracks the attributes consumers think are most important when choosing
a payment method.
BPAY leads all other payment methods on the ten attributes that customers ranked
as most important (Security, Free to use, Easy to use, Convenient, Reliable, Fast,
Allows me to pay my bills in one place, Meets my needs, Requires least amount of
ongoing effort, Puts me in control of my payments).
BPAY has always ranked strongly on the convenience and ease measures, so this year
we decided to explore what these terms actually mean to individuals. The chart below
illustrates what consumers mean when they say a payment method is easy or convenient.
5. Electronic presentment – BPAY View
The U&A research also looked at users’ attitudes to and experience of BPAY View.
It found that over half (52%) of consumers would consider using an electronic presentment
service in the future for bills, statements and annual reports. There is definitely
an appetite in the Australian market to move to electronic presentment. The chart
below shows the split of consideration levels by document type among consumers who
currently do not receive information electronically.
Take-up of electronic bill presentment is likely to be boosted by the increasing
number of companies that charge a surcharge on paper bills. According to this study,
one in four consumers have incurred a surcharge for receiving a paper bill and nearly
50% of those say it makes them more likely to move to electronic billing in the
Specifically looking at BPAY View performance, 90% of current BPAY View users said
they would re-register for BPAY View if they changed banks which is a positive result.
If you are interested in further details about the BPAY Usage and Attitude study,
please contact your Financial Institution or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.