Paying Millennials: The Trend Toward Digital

A generation are now rising up that have never known any world other than one that contained the internet. This is the biggest generation since the baby boomers, and they take their smartphone everywhere they go – even to the bedroom. Thanks to their reliance on digital technologies, this segment of society is closely followed by organisations that are hopeful for their future success, seeking to understand exactly how technology influences the lifestyles of Millennials, the trends in their payment behaviour and how this may change and develop in the future.

Millennials and Technology

The mobile phone has become the defining device of the Millennial generation, with 40% of them using either an iPhone 6 or an even newer model. Apple smartphones are the most popular brand among this segment, with Samsung coming a close second. Over half of Millennials also use a tablet and 80% have a laptop or PC which they regularly use. A fifth of this generation also use wearable technology such as an Apple Watch or Samsung Gear. These devices integrate with their lives to simplify their daily activities such as banking.


Millennials and Social Media

Millennials' daily lives revolve around social media, with the older segment of this generation choosing Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook while the younger ones prefer Instagram and Snapchat. The vast majority believe that social networking is an essential form of communication, with almost 80% using Facebook a minimum of once per day. However data security does worry the average Millennial, with the amount of personal information being revealed on social media causing serious concerns.

Paying Millennials

Online money management prevails among Millennials, whether through mobile phones or through a PC. This generation are much more likely to check their balance, transfer funds or receive alerts about their account on their smartphone than on a computer. Interestingly, almost 90% of this segment have paid in a cheque over the past 3 months, and a surprisingly large 14% write more than 30 cheques each month. Millennials prefer to pay by card or by mobile payment, with a large amount of correlation between this form of payment and activity on social media. When making regular payments such as mortgage, rent or utility bill payments, Millennials generally use a card, although mobile payments are becoming increasingly common for paying for taxis and public transport. Most Millennials are paid their salary through bank transfers or cheques, although 14% still receive cash. PayPal is also growing in popularity, especially for split bills or for transactions with digital organisations.

Millennials and Payments and Security

Although over 80% of the Millennial generation are aware of Apple Pay, a very small proportion, only 8%, of those who have an iPhone have tried this payment method for themselves. Samsung Pay was equally unpopular and PayPal was only adopted by 9% as a payment option through their mobile. Although 52% of Millennials favour mobile payments, almost 90% of them have had some kind of issue when making contactless mobile payments and 47% of those who no longer use mobile payments have ceased their use due to worries about security on the network or fears of losing their financial data. Users who have only tried mobile payments a couple of times are more likely to stop using the method and this means that payment providers must look harder at improving user experiences. Almost 80% of Millennials are planning to increase their use of mobile payments, and one way to encourage more users is to introduce security enhancements such as biometric methods like fingerprints or voice recognition.

Digital Banking, Mobile Apps and Online Account Portals

Although Millennials are more likely to try new technology than other generations, this generation still prefer to make mobile payments through their own bank, or alternatively through a card provider, PayPal or another service provider that has received an endorsement from their bank rather than through a large technology company or the Government. To increase their chances of using mobile payments, Millennials want a guarantee of better security as well as simplicity of use and mobile banking that can easily be integrated into their everyday life. Instant payment is a definite bonus, and is something that almost three quarters of Millennials would like to see introduced.