With the increasing number of digital payment options being offered and available to consumers, checks are still holding strong as a preferred payment method -- particularly when it comes to paying bills. According to a consumer survey report by Mercator Advisory Group, Subscription Services and Bill Pay: Card Payments Dominate, which examines U.S. consumers’ current use of subscription services and methods for paying their bills, four out of ten consumers still prefer to pay their bills via check!
The report presents results from questions exploring how adults in the United States use and pay for “box of the month” clubs and online subscription services. It also explores the ways consumers pay their bills and the increasing importance of digital bill payment.
...When it comes to paying bills, the majority of consumers (6 in 10) are currently paying at least some of their bills electronically through either automatic billing or bank account withdrawal. Consumers are paying bills in equal proportion through electronic bill pay via their bank, their biller, or bill pay service.
An article from investorjunkie provides a bit of context on consumers utilizing paper checks to pay bills:
In some cases, a personal check could be not only the best way, but the only way to pay a bill. Some smaller businesses still accept checks (and may not accept your credit card), and there are plenty of landlords and real estate people who accept checks. You can pay your taxes by mailing a check to the IRS. In fact, some companies may charge you an extra processing fee for using a credit card to pay a bill, while there is no fee for using a check.
There's also the offline factor to consider. According to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, 11% of all adult Americans don't use the internet. 19% of households making less than $30,000 don't use the internet. If you live in a home without internet access, paying your bills by check may be your only option. Checks can be a lifeline for these homes.
Four in every ten consumers still paying bills via check highlights the importance of this tried-and-true payment method. Even with the array of digital payment methods available, it appears that consumers still gravitate towards a method of payment that they are comfortable utilizing. In response, banks and financial institutions are wise to invest in technologies like AI in order to automate the processing of checks.