How different generations pay: from cash to mobile money

Author: Nkanyiso Kumalo We keep hearing that we need to pay close attention to the needs of millennials, as they become major contributors to the economy but what about everyone else who also keep the money moving.

To help you ensure that all customers, regardless of age, are taken care of, we thought we would highlight how differently each of them pays for the things they need.

The Baby Boomers

The baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They’re called “baby boomers” because they were born during the big baby boom that followed the Second World War.

How do they pay?

Baby boomers are known for their safe shopping behaviours. They’re hesitant to borrow, they pay on time and they save up for a rainy day. This generation have seen the most change in the way we pay for products and services. They’re typically considered to be opposed to new technologies, but research conducted by The Pew Charitable Trust in the US revealed that 33% of baby boomers have used mobile payments. This tells us that while baby boomers tend to prefer cash, they’re comfortable with digital payments too.

Generation X

Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1983. They’re considered rebellious and disaffected youth who grew up to have sensible, often entrepreneurial, careers.

How do they pay?

Gen Xers came of age during the credit card boom, and as a result, they rely heavily on plastic. In fact, Experian claims that they have the most credit card debt. Because Gen Xers were the first to have PCs at home, they’re known to embrace emerging technologies. Thanks to their entrepreneurial spirit, Gen Xers are prone to taking risks, even when it comes to their money. The Pew Charitable Trust reports that 80% of them own smartphones and that they’re the group with the second-highest adoption of mobile payments after millennials.

The millennial generation

A millennial is anyone born between 1984 and 2004. Most are now in the beginning of their career, which means that they’re starting to commit to home loans and retirement plans. They’re considered to be the generation with the most influence on current payment trends.

How do they pay?

Millennials expect efficiency, convenience and personalisation from the businesses they support. They value rewards, customised consumer experiences and they choose brands that are easy to access on their channels of choice. Millennials don’t have a favourite payment method, instead they choose them all for different purposes. But whichever one they choose on any given occasion has to meet three basic needs: it must be faster, better and more intimate.

Generation Z

Generation Zs look very similar to their predecessors, the millennials, probably because the starting date for generation Z is considered to be around 1995, but end date for the millennial generation isn’t until 2004. Because of this, the two groups share many similar shopping traits.

How do they pay?

Generation Zs are the most comfortable with digital and mobile payments. They embrace new payment trends and are not as concerned about the security surrounding payment apps the way millennials and Gen Xers are. They will make up 40% of all consumers by 2020 and predictions indicate that they will be the biggest supporters of cryptocurrencies and decentralised banking.

If you need to offer your customers more ways to pay for the products and services you provide, contact Paycorp, a leading provider of independent payment products including ATMs, point-of-sale solutions and micro-vending opportunities.