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From AI to Gen Z: How Payments will Impact the Utility Industry in 2019

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From AI to Gen Z: How Payments will Impact the Utility Industry in 2019

By Randy Vyskocil

In 2018, mobile payment adoption surged, new payment technologies, like cryptocurrency, AI and biometrics, took center stage, and with it, the impact of mobile payments fraud. Now a month into 2019, here’s what we can expect a new year of innovation to bring to the utilities industry.

#1: Gen Z is Here

Move over Millennials – Gen Z is officially here. Born between 1997 and 2015 and known as “true digital natives,” this age group now has members old enough to begin making major financial decisions and paying bills. In 2019, we believe brands will develop strategies to better cater to this age cohort, and, as a result, utilities billers will begin tailoring their offerings to meet this generation’s needs as well.

#2: “Pay my Water Bill.”

Voice assistants have become fixtures in many homes across the country and this growth is only expected to continue. In fact, according to Deloitte Global, their “63 percent growth rate would make smart speakers the fastest-growing connected device category worldwide in 2019.”[1] With more consumers becoming comfortable with voice assistants, and consequently AI, the idea of paying an electric or water bill by voice could grow in popularity sooner than we think. In fact, according to Speedpay® Pulse, a consumer billing and payments trends survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults responsible for two or more household payments a month, over a third (38.4%) of consumers ages 23-34 are interested in paying their bills by via voice assistant.

#3: The Need for Instant Gratification

Thanks to household brands, today’s consumers have become accustomed to state-of-the-art technology that can satisfy their desires within seconds. With these expectations in mind, it’s critical for utilities billers to ensure their mobile payment technology stands up to the competition and that their apps and mobile technology run seamlessly; otherwise, they risk damaging their reputation and the customer experience.

It’s just a month into the New Year, but we’re already seeing consumer preferences evolve and new, cutting edge technology emerge. It’s critical that billers in the utilities space stay up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile payments in order to deliver a best-in-class payments experience to their customers.

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