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For smartphone natives, payments is but one part of the journey

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It’s often said that millennials are the internet generation. Well, Gen Z is the always-connected generation. They’re also pragmatic and have a high degree of digital literacy, making them likely to value payment experiences that are secure as well as smooth.

These trends are especially important as Generation Z (roughly defined as those born between 1996 and 2010) comes of age. These young people hold nearly $150 billion in spending power and will make up 40% of all U.S. consumers by end of 2020. They want products that are social, authentic, digital-native, and educational.

Having grown up with smartphones in hand, these digital natives crave high speed and instant results. Don’t try writing a check to your Gen Z pet sitter! 68% of Gen Z consumers are interested in instant P2P payments, more than any other age group. They also prefer digital wallets and will motivate traditional players to enhance their mobile offerings over the coming years.

For Gen Z'ers it's second nature to ask a voice-enabled AI assistant for help finding information. To them, making a payment isn’t just something you do at the end of a transaction. It’s part of the customer journey as a whole, and may even influence purchasing decisions from the get-go, based on what payment options are available. Gen Z will be instrumental in shaping a world where paying comes with zero hassle or deliberation – whether that’s over a mobile app, via a digital assistant, on a social media site, or at brick-and-mortar locations.

Over the past ten years, payments have moved in radical yet customer-centric directions. These advances are sparking more of the same – and, likely, a few surprises. One thing is (almost) certain: as we approach a new decade, we can expect to draw closer and closer to the goal of a payment experience with more options, fewer barriers, and greater potential for human connections.

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