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Gen Z will give rise to 'super apps'

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Payment companies should be prepared for this new wave of Generation Z-influenced multichannel consumer behavior. With e-wallets, digital cards, and bank accounts, we are already seeing a trend of aggregation of payments to one source that holds the monetary funds. In the future, different payment methods will be directly linked to different channels, and increasingly the purchase and payment experience will have to seamlessly blend into one.

One prime example of the experience I am talking about is what we call "retail-tainment": in China, virtually all major social media platforms have fully integrated e-commerce and digital payment solutions. At the same time, and not surprisingly, Chinese e-commerce websites have transformed themselves into social media platforms. Digital influencers have their own products and online stores, where they turn followers into consumers and earn thousands of dollars with it. Online search in super apps also allows consumers to find recommendations not only on the web, but also on social media posts and private conversations. For Gen Zs, everything has to be connected and we’ll very likely see this similar pragmatic attitude from them develop outside of China throughout this decade.

Gen Zs are also demanding new ways to pay and expecting more features and transactions to happen at a much faster pace, which means that companies need to keep up with the pace to adapt and offer the payment experience that this generation looks for.

For instance, a few years ago, Mastercard pioneered "selfie pay," which allows customers to authenticate themselves while online shopping by snapping a photo. This is the kind of experience that Gen Zs want: fast, seamless and intuitive, with a deep integration to different channels, sources of money, and accounts.

Finally, payment companies should be willing to lower fees and costs for consumers, especially as the market is becoming increasingly competitive. In the past five years, a third of Gen Zs have already opened at least two new accounts with challenger banks. In fact, in Latin America, this is happening at an even higher rate. In Brazil, a survey revealed that nearly 20% of Brazilians now have their primary financial account at an online-only digital bank. The fees that Latin American banks are charging consumers today -- such as peer-to-peer bank transfers -- will soon likely be removed, due to challenger banks such as Nubank.

As we have seen, Gen Zs are growing up in a completely different environment with evolving payment and financial options. As this generation continues to grow and in two years' time will represent 10% of the global workforce, payment companies must be prepared to meet their demands and expectations to stay at the forefront of a competitive market.

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