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Consumer Payment Study

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To what extent do age 25+ individuals with bill-paying responsibility for their households use newer electronic payment methods, such as automatic bill payment and online transactions, as well as more traditional payment methods, such as cash, checks and credit cards? This national survey addresses that question and explores the degree to which use of these newer technologies varies by age.

A majority of the surveyed bill-payers have used some of the newer offline electronic payment methods, such as automatic bill payment deducted directly from their checking account and check cards. However, only a minority have used online payment methods, such as online banking and online bill payment at the Web sites of companies that bill them.

The findings also reveal some clear differences by age.

  • Automatic bill payment is as common among respondents ages 50+ as it is among younger respondents, with approximately half of respondents in each of the three age groups examined (25-49, 50-64, and 65+) reporting that they use automatic bill payment at least once each month.
  • Monthly use of online payment methods is less common among age 65+ individuals than among those in the 50-64 and 25-49 age groups.


Internet privacy and security concerns are the most frequently cited explanations for not making use of online payment technology.

This national telephone survey of 1,500 age 25+ individuals who have primary or shared responsibility for paying the bills for their households was conducted for AARP by Woelfel Research from April 10th to May 17th, 2006. Further information about this survey may be obtained by contacting S. Kathi Brown of AARP Knowledge Management/Strategic Issues Research at 202-434-6296 or Sharon Hermanson of the AARP Public Policy Institute at 202-434-3909. (31 pages)

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