According to a study of 1,000 billers released by NACHA, Direct Payment via ACH is the leading method consumers in the US currently use to pay their bills.
The study found that the great majority of billers – more than three-quarters of those that offer electronic payment options – offer Direct Payment via ACH with almost 50% of consumer bills paid through this method. Of the rest, 42% percent of consumer bills are still paid through the mail, and 11 percent are paid with credit/debit cards.
The findings also show that billers prefer receiving ACH payments over cards 48 percent to 21 percent. Specifically, billers prefer recurring ACH payments, citing this option as the most favorable payment method.
Consumers, on the other hand, prefer one-time ACH payments for bill pay. Of the 47 percent of consumer bills paid via Direct Payment, 25 percent are one-time ACH payments, 11 percent are recurring ACH payments, and another 11 percent are ACH payments originated by biller service providers.
Direct Payment via ACH provides the control, security, and simplicity that consumers are looking for when paying their bills,” said Janet O. Estep, NACHA president and CEO.
“Additionally, for billers, Direct Payment via ACH transactions provide costs savings, improve operating efficiencies, and make a positive impact on the environment. There are still many checks being mailed today, so there is a significant opportunity to increase Direct Payment adoption, and during May – Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH Month – we direct both billers and consumers to the available resources and proven practices expanding Direct Payment usage.”
NACHA says that financial institutions have an important role for expanding Direct Payment. Billers in the study report positive results from cross pollination efforts, where billers and banks combine marketing efforts.