A critical component of class action administration is disbursement. While settlement administrators have often sent payments out in the form of a check, the increasing use of digital payment apps such as Zelle and PayPal provides the opportunity for class members to instantly receive settlement funds without needing to wait for a check to be mailed.
Digital payments are also an effective way to reduce costs associated with settlement administration. As postage and print costs increase, these costs are added to the administrative fees, which limits the amount of funds available to distribute to the class.
According to a recent study “three in four millennials have made online or mobile person-to-person (P2P) payments. Generation X (aged 39 to 53) comes in a close second at 69%, and Baby Boomers (54 to 74) at 51%.” With this consumer behavior in mind, it’s important to provide both digital and traditional disbursement options to improve the efficiency of settlement administration.
In our experience administering more than 6,000 class action settlements, we’ve seen how offering digital payments has increased participation rates and improved efficiency. In fact, digital payments see a 98% success rate compared to the 77% cash rate of paper checks.
The three most popular payment apps for digital payments are PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle.
Typically selected by 30-40% of class members, PayPalis the most popular app for class members under 35. PayPal requires an email address and delivers funds to their PayPal account.
Typically selected by 15-20% of class members, Venmo is the second most popular app for members under 35. Venmo requires a phone number and delivers funds to their Venmo account.
Typically selected by 10-20% of class members, Zelle requires a phone number or email address to deliver the money to their bank account.
Another form of digital disbursement is digital gift cards from merchants such as Amazon. The advantage of digital gift cards is there are often no transaction fees associated with using the card.
Depending on the class and payment value, digital disbursement is a cost-effective and convenient option to consider. Contact us today to learn how we can help.