As a whole, millennials make up 25 percent of the population and are often considered to be digital natives who were raised on social media and they use those outlets to satisfy their desire for peer affirmation. It is no surprise that they spend an above average amount of time on social media but taking a closer look at how they actually interact with social media is what truly makes them different from their older counterparts. Millennials are the most willing generation to try new trends and more than 50 percent of them believe that their generation is typically the first group to try new technologies.
The personal finance word is changing rapidly with advancement in technology. Millennials are the most likely to use mobile banking, however their parents are more likely to use online banking. Not only do they use mobile banking to check their balance but they also use it to make transfers. Banks that have not implemented mobile apps are missing a huge engagement opportunity when it comes to millennials. However, millennials are using more than just their banks for mobile commerce transactions.
Who’s getting it right?
Venmo is a mobile app that focuses on finance but also dips in to the convenience factor millennials love. The app connects to a users bank account and enables them to make a payment to anyone with the app or cash out past payments instantly. With Venmo it’s easy to go out to dinner with friends and split the bill without worrying about having cash. Or in my case, go shopping with my mom and assure her that I’ll pay her back for those Frye Boots as soon as I get my next paycheck. Essentially, the app makes it easier for millennials to spend time together without having to think about cost or payment.
Apple Pay, which was released September 12, 2014, is one of the mobile commerce platforms we expect to see millennials fully embrace. I was excited to see some of my favorite brands already offer Apple Pay, like Walgreens, Panera, Whole Foods, Sephora, and coming soon to Anthropologie. Apple Pay essentially turns your phone into your wallet by saving your credit card information on your phone. While at a store with an Apple symbol on the card reader signifies that you can simply hold your phone up to the scanner to make the transaction. Security may be an issue for some, but to use Apple Pay you must activate the finger-scan feature on your phone. You’re identified with your finger scan every time you use Apple Pay. Although some might be wary, I believe a finger-scan is more secure than my four-digit pin or signature. Like all new things, the skeptics will soon follow suit as the mobile payment platform becomes mainstream and outside factors, like the number of places that accept MCommerce payments and security issues, become less of a worry.
With a direct purchasing power of $200 billion a year and an indirect purchasing power of $500 billion, brands and banks that are not embracing the millennial generations with mobile opportunities and functions will fall out with the digital crowd. It’s rare that I, and most of my millennial peers, have cash in my wallet. My debit card goes with me everywhere, it’s attached to my house keys in a small key chain wallet. In fact, millennials today are more concerned about using cash considering it to be more of a liability than an asset. Today, nearly every technology is now crossed over with another. Your phone is your gaming device, camera and social outlet…and soon, it could be absorbing your wallet.