When it comes to paying bills, consumers -- especially young ones -- are embracing mobile, according to an August 2013 survey from Western Union. Yet more "old-fashioned" methods of payment still remain popular among all age groups.
Generation Y (ages 18 to 34) is the most likely to utilize mobile -- nearly one-third of them have paid a bill via smartphone app, mobile browser or text message, compared with 25 percent of Gen Xers (age 32 to 52) and 11 percent of baby boomers (age 48 to 68). Yet they're also the most likely to walk into a bank and pay in person. Baby boomers, meanwhile, prefer the envelope-and-stamp method of bill paying. Among all age groups, using the biller's website to make online payments is the most popular method.
Western Union's 2013 Money Mindset Index polled 3,087 adults in March 2013. The results have a margin of error of 1.76 percentage points. The overlap in the age ranges mentioned above accounts for the fact that those near the end of one generation could be identified as part of the next generation. Their survey answers were applied to the results of both generations.
The chart below shows bill-paying preferences by generation.
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