doxo, the innovative web and mobile bill pay service, today released its newest doxoINSIGHTS statistical report: The Hidden Costs of Bill Pay. Each year U.S. households spend over $3 trillion, about half of all household expenses, on recurring bill payments. Staying on top of these bills is the single largest determinant for consumer financial health. The hidden bill pay costs – obscured in identity theft, payment account fraud, late fees, overdraft fees, and detrimental credit impacts – amount to an additional $74 billion annually, averaging $577 per household. For the first time, doxo’s report uncovers the concerns American consumers have about these hidden costs and quantifies the expense for the typical U.S. household.
Breaking Down the Hidden Costs of Bill Pay
Analysis of consumer survey and statistical data shows the average U.S. household incurs $577 per year on additional hidden costs associated with bill payment, comprised of:
- $27 in Payment Account Fraud and Identity Theft Costs: While total identity fraud losses reach $16.9B, much of this expense is absorbed by card issuers and merchants. Even so, the average household still incurs direct out of pocket losses of $27 each year to identity theft or payment account fraud, for a total of $3.5 billion – not accounting for the additional consumer time and expense required to repair identity. Over 150M consumers have had their payment or identity data compromised in recent hacks of U.S. businesses, and over 900 municipalities and billers were hacked in 2019 alone.
- $117 in Overdraft Fees: The average bank overdraft fee is over $30 per incident, and bill payments are the primary cause of bank overdrafts. Each year banks charge consumers over $15 billion in overdraft fees, or about $117 per household.
- $132 in Late Fees: Missing or paying a bill late often incurs late fees, and 54% of households incur one or more late fees every year. This totals over $17 billion in household expense, or $132 per household.
- $301 in Added Costs of Credit: Staying current on bills and debt payments is a primary factor for strengthening credit. doxo analysis shows that staying ahead on payments and improving credit score by 35 points can save the average household $301 per year in interest expense. The average U.S. household carries over $72,000 in revolving debt – for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards – so boosting credit and qualifying for lower interest rates significantly reduces expenses.
“doxo aims to empower consumers to improve their financial health and accomplish their financial goals while making it easier than ever to stay on top of bills,” said Jim Kreyenhagen, doxo’s VP of Marketing and Consumer Services. “Bill paying consumers are telling us that security, credit protection, bank fees, and late payment penalties are major concerns. Shedding light on these hidden costs and making this data transparent enables consumers to make better financial choices. We also leverage this data directly in the development of our products. Our doxoPLUS subscription service, which just launched, is specifically designed to eliminate these hidden bill pay costs that can otherwise cost consumers $577 on average each year.”
High Consumer Concern about Identity Theft and Credit Impacts
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the variety of ways they get stuck with expenses when managing and paying their bills. doxo’s survey of active household bill payers shows:
- 95% are concerned about bill pay impacts on their credit score
- 91% worry about identity theft when managing online accounts
- 85% are concerned about having payment account information stolen
- 81% worry about incurring late fees and penalties
- 67% are anxious about overdrafts to their bank account when paying bills
doxoPLUS Tackles the Hidden Costs of Bill Pay
doxo’s secure, all-in-one bill pay service facilitates secure payment to any biller, with any payment method, on any device – delivering payments from millions of paying users to tens of thousands of billers across the country. doxo users can now upgrade to doxoPLUS and receive five key Bill Pay Protections that directly address the hidden costs of bill pay: Private Pay™ Protection, Identity Theft Protection, Overdraft Protection, Credit Score Protection, and Late Fee Protection. Collectively, these protections reduce the hassle and anxieties of paying bills and improve household financial health.