Billing and Payment Trends for 2023

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2022 brought a lot of macroeconomic challenges that will likely have some staying power throughout 2023. These events and factors affect consumers and businesses alike. With consumers still needing to pay their bills and companies still needing to get paid, what’s on the horizon for billing and payment trends for 2023? Our bets are on digital acceleration, sustainability, and data security. Read on to get our thoughts on these 3 themes.

Omnichannel will be crucial

Regardless of what kind of business or organization you are, you’re likely seeing the consumer changes that come with transacting online, such as an increased desire to receive statements and pay using channels like mobile and methods like digital wallets. In addition, offering more payment methods is one of the top five customer acquisition and retention strategies brands are using to drive growth, according to a Shopify and Ipsos survey. Incorporating additional bill-pay methods into your business satisfies consumers spending more time online and helps you get paid faster (often even instantly). These benefits contribute to why the digital payment market will hit $19.89 trillion by 2026, a CAGR of 24.4%.

And let’s not forget that in the current macroeconomic climate where consumers might be losing jobs or are otherwise feeling squeezed financially, providing payment choices can help them stay on top of their bills. For instance, in 2021, the ACH Network processed more than 29 billion payments, including direct payments for accounts such as utilities and mortgages. In our current economic landscape, more consumers will move to “cash-like,” bank-based payment options like ACH, according to Forrester Senior Analyst Lily Varon. Retailers are already starting to adopt this payment method, which means consumers will increasingly expect it from their banks, utility companies and property management firms.

As we already know, the COVID-19 pandemic helped catalyze a massive shift to using digital means to shop, consume content, and conduct business. While e-commerce gets hammered by both supply chain snarls that contribute to out-of-stock inventory and fluctuations in consumer demand, it’s still taking an increasingly larger slice of total retail sales worldwide. So being everywhere your customer expects you to be will be crucial to your success in 2023 and beyond, and that means adopting an omnichannel approach through both print and digital channels.

Data security and privacy becomes paramount

Things like third-party cookie deprecation might be over most consumers’ heads, but other data privacy-driven changes influence how they transact with brands. For instance, many consumers won’t let apps track their internet activity thanks to Apple’s iOS privacy updates. And some state laws, in addition to federal privacy legislation on the table, mandate companies within those locations to take prescriptive steps to guard consumer data privacy further. 

To achieve consumer privacy, you must protect every touchpoint, online and off, with the strictest security and compliance to industry standards. Your payment partner must integrate data privacy, security, and protection into their solutions. If using print-based bill presentment and payment channels and methods, look for partners with exception-based, self-monitoring systems that are fully redundant, repeatable, and monitored 24/7, 365 days a year. Learn more about this here

The other piece of the data-privacy puzzle is that the more protective you are of consumers’ information, the more likely they are to share more with you. Eighty-four percent of consumers are more likely to share information with brands that have transparent data practices and policies, according to a survey by Qonsent. It’s essential to assess how well you gather, organize, manage and activate your data to provide customers with the most relevant, respectful experiences. Using one provider with one system that gives you one view of customer data helps streamline and ensure the accuracy of your information.

Sustainability plays on the minds of consumers

Paper bill presentment, bill pay methods, and other transactional communications definitely aren’t going away anytime soon. But more and more consumers will take action to reduce their carbon footprints, especially as the bill payer generation is increasingly more tech-savvy than their aging traditional counterparts. 

Sustainability is one of the biggest consumer concerns. Over two-thirds of consumers want to do business with environmentally-friendly brands. Younger individuals are driving this trend, with 73% of Gen-Z consumers open to spending more on sustainable products. Gartner research from 2020 found that 85% of investors considered environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) factors in their investments, and more than 90% of banks monitor the ESG performance of investments. 

Concerted efforts to reduce your business’s environmental impact can improve business. Now, we’re not saying you should eliminate paper bill presentment and bill pay entirely as many if not possibly the majority of your customers still want and prefer paper statements. It is worthwhile, however, to take an omnichannel approach, providing both traditional and digital options and work with a provider that can make your print costs more efficient and cost-effective. 

For instance, OSG uses USPS’s NCOALink® to improve the accuracy of your mailings by correcting misspellings and comparing your addresses to the delivery points that USPS has on file. We also offer a return-mail system integrated closely with the USPS that updates address listings to ensure future mailings are delivered. Both systems cut down on having to reprint statements and use additional envelopes. Learn more here about our Print and Mail solutions, and how OSG can help you gain greater efficiencies in your bill presentment process.

Things will stay in flux during a dynamic year like 2023. But the trends listed above are likely to last beyond this year. Don’t forgo the chance to future-proof your business and set yourself up for success this year and beyond.