While young consumers do not have a past with legacy payments methods and are most open to new innovation, most new payment systems are not adequately focused on the youth market.
For those currently under 18, which makes up 25% of the current U.S. population, going to a bank, opening a checking account and getting a checkbook makes no sense.
As the world gets more and more connected through the Internet, we are exploring how to make the payments industry more effective and easier to operate on a global basis. New innovations in payments such as Apple Pay, mobile payments and Bitcoin are more easily understood and embraced by Generation Z because they are unencumbered by years of doing payments an outdated way.
The advent of digital currency, Bitcoin being the flagship, is a result of the modernization of the payments industry. While Bitcoin in its present form may not become dominant, over the next five years digital currency will become a key part of the payments industry.
For the most mobile generation to date, it makes much more sense to use payments technologies reliant on mobile devices to spend and manage funds. Considering Generation Z has more spending power than any previous generation, their spending preferences are bound to guide the industry.
The problem is that none of the current technologies work well for this generation. Everyone is focused on the over 18 audience.
Snapchat is the perfect example with the recent introduction of SnapCash. SnapCash is only available for those over 18, despite 70% of the Snapchat user base being under 18.
When you are under 18, you are under the age of majority in the U.S., which leads to legal consent issues. However, these can be handled with the right approach. What we found when designing Oink as a payment method for the under 18 audience, was that the functionality we built in as protection actually secured the system at a higher level for all users.
Jo Webber is founder, chairman and CEO of Oink.