More consumers are using mobile phones to pay bills, but specifically how they are doing so requires more study, according Fiserv Inc., which identified the gap in information earlier this year when it polled 2,000 households as part of the technology company’s 2010 Billing Household online survey (see story).

Consumers are using mobile phones to pay bills not only by calling them in but also through text messaging and via Web browsers to access online-banking sites and billers’ sites, Eric Leiserson, senior research analyst in Fiserv’s Bill Solutions group, tells PaymentsSource.

“It’s the mobile-phone affect,” Leiserson says. “There’s a lot going on with mobile that makes it the most interesting space out there.”

More than 15% of consumers surveyed made a payment using their mobile phone. Of that group, 62% paid their cell-phone bill, 32% paid their cable or satellite TV bill, 16% paid a major credit card, and 19% paid their electricity bill. Fiserv did not ask about mobile payments in last year’s similar survey.

Concerning the future of online bill payment, Fiserv’s research suggests mobile alerts could play an important role in getting consumers to pay bills online. While 27% of consumers surveyed said they would be interested in receiving billing alerts via mobile phone text messaging, 56% said getting those alerts would encourage them to sign up access bills electronically with a mobile phone.

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