The Times

Money

Aussies get budget savvy with surge in deferred payment of bills

  • Written by The Times

Deferit co-founders Mat Blas and Jonty Hirsowitz
Deferit co-founders Mat Blas and Jonty Hirsowitz


Deferit, a payment platform exclusively focused on helping people pay their bills on time, has released new data on the huge uptake of its services nationwide since the COVID-19 outbreak. The service, which helps people stay out of penalty notice pathways, has seen a 40% increase in sign ups over the COVID-19 period as Australians look for more effective ways to manage their tighter budgets.


Deferit has seen a growing demand for the service with user activity increasing and people paying 57% more bills in 1HY20 compared to the previous non-COVID period. The platform, which doesn’t fund discretionary purchases but helps users manage household bills such as telco, energy and car registrations, has already helped Australians pay off over 400,000 bills totalling over $70 million to date.


Jonty Hirsowitz, co-founder and CEO at Deferit, said the current economic climate meant thousands of Australian families were looking for smarter ways to manage paying bills for household essentials including things like child care fees, school fees, and registration fees for school sports and extracurricular activities. 


“Australians nationwide are feeling the knock-on effects of the pandemic on the economy and job market and are now under greater financial pressure than the same time last year. A lot of families have experienced redundancies or reduced hours for their main income earners and simply don’t have the same cash flow they used to have,” said Mr Hirsowitz.


“To help ease this pressure, many are turning to bill payment solutions to help stagger their current cost of living in a way that is convenient and allows them to save with pay on time discounts. We’re seeing Australians become more strategic about the way they manage their bill payments over each pay period, and from doing so, they are actually getting better at paying their bills in the long run. Over 55% of people who first use Deferit to pay off an overdue bill are then paying their next bill on time,” he added. 


Overdue bills are an increasing problem, but a payment solution can help


On sign up, the majority of Deferit’s users (51% nationally) start off by paying an already overdue bill. 55% of these users then go on to pay their next bill on time using deferit. 


State

Number of bills that are overdue at the time of payment

Number of people who then go on to pay their next bill on time

ACT

53%

54%

TAS

53%

50%

NSW

50%

57%

WA

53%

55%

QLD

45%

55%

SA

52%

59%

VIC

47%

58%

NT

55%

50%


Instead of penalising people for paying bills late, Deferit helps users become smarter budgeters and it guarantees pay on time discounts, minimises stress, and saves time by paying bills all in the one place. To date, Deferit has saved its users $8M in late fees and over $5M in pay on time discounts. 

 

Australians who sign up to Deferit can simply upload a bill they need to pay and Deferit will pay it off immediately. The user then has the opportunity to pay the cost back in four equal instalments for a fixed monthly fee of $5.99. There is no interest or late fees charged at any stage. 

 

Car registrations top the list of bills to be paid

 

In a breakdown of categories, Deferit’s data reveals a surge in car registration bills paid across Australia with over 68,200 nationally paid in 2020 already. The second highest category for bills is energy, with over 27,610 nationally processed through the platform this year. Assistance with telco bills for phone and internet have also surged during 2020 with a total of 76,500 nationally. 

 

State

Number of car registration bills paid

Number of energy bills paid 

Number of telco bills paid

ACT

1,000

100

1,000

TAS

5,000

1,000

3,000

NSW

4,000

7,000

20,000

WA

20,000

5,000

10,000

QLD

24,000

8,000

25,000

SA

4,000

1,500

5,000

VIC

10,000

5,000

12,000

NT

200

10

500

National total

68,200

27,610

76,500

 

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