|What's Your Type? CheckFree-Sponsored Lieberman Study Identifies Six Types of Bill Payers|
Wednesday November 17, 4:00 pm ET
-- From Maximizers to Desperate Avoiders, Americans Approach Paying Bills Differently --
ATLANTA, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- While monthly bills are a fact of life for most consumers, the approach people take to paying their bills varies widely. Today, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News) announced the results of a 2004 survey conducted by Lieberman Research. The survey found that Americans fit into six categories when it comes to attitudes about paying their bills, and that these segments are likely to approach bill paying in very different ways -- ranging from seeing their bill payment behavior as a way to get ahead to a task they are desperately trying to avoid.
The Lieberman survey of 1,200 Internet users, sponsored by CheckFree, which powers the bill payment services of more than 1,400 banks and Web sites, is representative of the approximately 74 million online consumer households in the United States. As of June 2004, an estimated 52.7 percent of online households have paid at least one bill online according to CheckFree Analytic Research Services, a group that studies consumer financial behavior year-round to enhance products and share trends with the company's clients.
The participants in the CheckFree-Lieberman study either have primary responsibility for paying their household's bills or share that responsibility. The attitude segmentation found that most Americans fit into one of the following six bill payment categories:
- e-Savvy Planner -- e-Savvy planners are excited by the idea of trying
the latest technology products and services and are willing to spend
money on tools that make managing their finances easier. They tend to
be organized and successful financial planners, are technology
optimists who may be among the first to use the latest gadgets, and are
often asked for technology advice by friends and family. They typically
sign up for electronic billing and payment at their bank, credit union
or brokerage site, because of the flexibility and centralized features
that such a service provides.
- Convenience Seeker -- Convenience seekers do not want to spend a long
time paying bills. They are interested in "quick and easy" services and
are likely to pay their bills online at a single Web site such as their
bank. Convenience Seekers are more likely than the other segments to
believe that paying bills online is safer than paying bills via the
paper mail, and value the ability to track and control their spending
from one site.
- Self-Improver -- Self-Improvers find financial management to be
stressful and time consuming, but they are actively seeking help to
gain control of their finances. They often struggle to manage their
budgets, may overlook bills and frequently carry a balance on their
credit cards. They are in search of an organizational system that gives
them increased control and makes managing finances easier. Paying
bills online at one place appeals to them because they acknowledge that
they "need help."
- Maximizer -- Maximizers manage their money strategically and actively
seek rewards such as frequent flyer points. They tend to be financially
secure, and schedule bills to be paid online in order to optimize cash
flow and to qualify for low interest rates. They particularly like the
time savings and not having to deal with the hassle of making a trip to
buy stamps, or writing checks to the same companies each month.
- Desperate Avoider -- Desperate Avoiders are stressed about their
finances in general and can be overwhelmed by their debts. They
typically find monthly bill payment to be a chore and financial
management in general to be very stressful. They have trouble keeping
track of finances, and may avoid opening bills and delay paying them
altogether. By paying and receiving bills online at a single Web site,
and using self-scheduled reminders, these Desperate Avoiders could gain
control of the bill payment process.
- Paranoid Paper Pusher -- Paranoid Paper Pushers are distrustful of
Internet security and believe they are safer receiving paper bills and
sending paper checks by mail. They are very careful and organized about
their finances and may have developed a comprehensive paper-based
financial management system that they've been using for many years.
Consumers who want to learn more about the benefits of paying bills online and use a search tool to identify banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, portals and billers in their state who offer these services, can visit checkfree.com , a consumer education site. . .