In many ways, 2020 was the year of disbursements in the United States. The U.S. government disbursed stimulus payments to 138 million consumers to shore up their income as employment levels plummeted amid the pandemic, and by July had issued roughly 171 million payments.
Stimulus payments as a form of disbursement — payments made directly from organizations to individuals — are winding down as the pandemic wanes, but they have left a lasting impact.
Today, consumers’ use of instant disbursements is growing faster than any other method of receipt, according to The State Of Consumer Disbursements 2021, a PYMNTS and Ingo Money collaboration. Receipt of instant disbursements has grown threefold over the past year and nearly fivefold since 2018, with 17% of all disbursements having been received via instant payment.
This rapid increase in instant disbursement usage can be seen among all types of disbursements U.S. consumers receive. The share of consumers receiving instant investment account disbursements has roughly tripled since last year, for example, as has the share receiving income disbursements, insurance disbursements and product purchase disbursements.
The spike in disbursement receipt corresponded with a massive uptick in consumers’ familiarity with instant disbursement capabilities. Thirty-seven percent of consumers now say they are aware of instant payments and what they are — 50% more than the share who said the same in 2020.
Consumers have come to value instant disbursements so highly that they are more willing to continue doing business with organizations that offer instant disbursements than they would those that do not provide instant options. Sixty-six percent of all disbursement recipients say they would be more likely to continue doing business with firms that provide them with free instant payment options, in fact. This is more than would be willing to continue doing business with senders that offer any other disbursement options.
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