The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently revealed an increase in the adoption of fintech during the pandemic, according to a recent report. The agency found digital engagement — enrollment in online portals and mobile apps, opt-in rates to e-statements over paper equivalents or electronic payment of credit card bills — is consistently growing across all age groups and on almost every platform type.
The most consumers ever recorded are paying their credit card bills online or via mobile app, according to the report, and the use of paper-based payments has declined.
The share of consumers enrolled in automatic payments increased last year, with 20 percent of active accounts surveyed enrolled in automatic payments at year-end compared to 16 percent in 2018. Consumers who utilized the automatic payment option reported eliminating late fees as the No. 1 reason why.
“COVID-19 necessitated a sharp adjustment in the operational posture of major credit card issuers,” the CFPB said. “In some ways, the consumer impact of the acute destabilization in issuer customer service might have been worse if issuers had not established digital servicing channels prior to the pandemic.”
Concerns over contact along with bank branch closures, shortened hours, postal service delays or social distancing possibly motivated consumers to use mobile or online tools to check balances or cash a check more frequently than before the pandemic, according to the report.