Do you know how much you're spending every month thanks to recurring automatic payments? Most have no clue

SWNS
·3-min read

It takes the average American almost three months between deciding to cancel a recurring spend and actually canceling it, according to new research.

Not only that, but a survey of 2,000 Americans (with a debit or credit card) revealed 58% of those with recurring spends said they've forgotten about at least one recurring payment they've set up.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents have at least one recurring payment, and 57% of those respondents said the thought of going through their recurring payments — either to organize them or to cancel them — is a hassle.

Commissioned by Chase and conducted by OnePoll, the survey delved into respondents' recurring spends, and how they've been handling their finances.

Results found 55% of those with recurring payments don't know exactly how much money is automatically taken out of their account on a monthly basis due to these recurring spends.

And while some may not have clarity into their recurring payment footprint, these payments are here to stay. Seventy percent said they take some of the hassle away from "life admin" tasks, like managing their money.

But 2020 brought with it an unexpected result: 60% of respondents said the past 12 months gave them an opportunity to reevaluate their recurring payments.

For those who reevaluated their recurring spends during the last year, the top reason was that they realized there are more important things to spend money on (53%).

Fifty-two percent of those respondents said money has been tighter as a result of the pandemic, while half had more time at home to catch up on bills and finances.

Results revealed the pandemic has also made respondents more aware of where their money is going (69%).

"Spending is changing. It's going digital. From automating payments to simplifying purchases, it's ideal for customers to have the tools that provide them a clear picture of where their credit card information is stored," noted Abeer Bhatia, President of Marketing, Growth and Innovation, at Chase.

However, 73% said they'd like to have a better idea of where their card information is stored, especially for recurring payments.

Six in 10 (62%) said that 2020 made them more aware of where their card is stored, showing further need for increased visibility into recurring payment activity.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents noted it was a goal of theirs to get a better understanding of their digital financial footprint, including where their card is stored in the next six months. 

One reason for this is a desire by respondents to better manage their finances: results revealed 60% believe if they knew more about where their card information was stored, they would have a better grip on managing their finances.

Bhatia added, "By understanding where credit cards are stored, consumers have a greater understanding of their digital financial footprint including their ongoing recurring payments.  We're offering customers new tools, right within their account with us, to help track where card information is stored. This transparency enables them to make smarter decisions about where they spend each month and ultimately, helps them get a better handle on their finances."