The studies, listed in order of their publication and their relavent conclusions are as follows:
Consumers Shift to ePayment to Get Control Over Finances
Federal Reserve Study Shows More Than Three-Quarters of Noncash Payments Are Now Electronic
e-Bills Will Surpass Paper Bills By 2016
Implications of These Studies
These studies confirm the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG's) conclusion that the primary purpose of mail in 2020 will be the delivery of advertising as the volume of bills and payments in the mail decline. These three studies suggest that the Postal Service and others interested in the future of the Postal Market need to take a second look at the forecasts developed by BCG and presented publicly last spring in order to determine if the more recent data suggests a faster or slower decline in transaction mail than previously believed.
From a policy standpoint, these studies suggest that more information is needed about:
- the proportion of the population that are only using mail continues to handle bills and payments continue to shrink and better information is needed about the characteristics of U.S. households that continue to use mail as their primary means of handling transactions;
- how the shift of the mix of mail senders affects demand for collection and delivery services and the accuracy of the Postal Service's understanding of the business needs of its advertising mailer and parcel shipper customers;
- the appropriate role of the Federal government regarding the maintenance of an infrastructure to deliver advertising containing media (both direct mail and periodicals) when the volume of printed communications handling transactions or information becomes significantly smaller; and
- the relevance of the Postal Service's money order product when unbanked individuals are increasingly using walk-up electronic payment services rather than mailing postal or private sector issued money orders.