That’s one conclusion from Fiserv’s 2010 Billing and Payment Trends Survey, which was completed in January by more than 3,000 individuals. Some highlights:

  1. About four out of five households pay at least one bill online through their financial institution. Overall, about one-fourth of all bill payments were completed online, up from about 7 percent in 2000, and nearly equal to check payments, which came in at 26 percent. In 2000, just over half of all consumer payments were completed via checks.
  2. Additionally, about one-third of users online bill payment tools receive electronic bills, an increase of nine percent from 2009.
  3. Online bill payers are fairly evenly distributed across income levels. About 35 percent have a household income of less than $50,000; 38 percent are between $50,000 and $99,999 and just over a quarter top $100,000.
  4. While the largest chunk of online bill payers are between the ages of 35 and 54, 28 percent are between 21 and 34, and one-fourth are 55-plus.
  5. The use of mobile devices, such as smart phones, to complete payment transactions also is growing. The percentage of online households that used a mobile device to complete one or more banking services jumped from 23 to 30 percent over the past two years.
  6. While consumers of all ages are using online payment methods, members of Generation Y (those born from the late 70s to the late 90s) are, perhaps not surprisingly, some of the most prolific users. They are more likely than the population overall to use mobile banking, make payments through a biller-direct model and use personal financial management tools, such as Yodlee.com or Mint.com.

Payment tools that were considered emerging just a few years ago, such as online bill payment, now are mainstream. Judging by the interest younger (20- and 30-something) consumers have shown in today’s newer tools, such as mobile payments, these are likely to become mainstream in the not too distant future, as well.