How Millennials and Gen Z are changing the payments landscape

Read our blog to find out how tech-savvy consumers are ripping up the traditional rule book on payments and not being subtle about it. Find out how you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure you have a pipeline of new customers by ensuring your catering for these demographics now.

The world of commerce is changing. The largest living generation, Millennials, and their younger counterparts, Gen Z, are quickly taking over the workforce. They are also shaping the way businesses operate and how consumers spend their money through their combined spending power. As a business owner, it is essential that you understand the purchasing behaviours of these two generations and adopt their preferred payment methods to ensure a continued pipeline of new customers. In this blog post, we will explore the different payment methods favoured by millennials and Gen Z and discuss how your business can benefit from adopting them.


Millennials are the first generation to come of age in the digital era. They are comfortable with technology and expect businesses to offer a seamless, convenient, and personalised experience. As such, they prefer payment methods that are fast, easy-to-use, and secure. Contactless credit and debit cards are the most popular method of payment for Millennials, followed by mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Gen Z consumers are even more reliant on mobile payments, with nearly half preferring to use them over other methods.


Digital wallets' capabilities are also expanding to support younger generations' interest in alternative digital currencies like Bitcoin. For example, millennials are especially interested in crypto - as more than 67%* reported that they are more open to using cryptocurrency in 2021 than they were in 2020.


Another preferred payment option for these demographics is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), as it provides immediate purchasing gratification without the commitment or high-interest rates of traditional credit products.

Looking to the future, the next era of eCommerce shifts payments right into live video sales. For retailers, in particular, this is an evolving trend to keep an eye on.


Already hugely popular in China, livestream selling - also known as live commerce - allows businesses and individuals to sell items directly and instantly to customers via video. These streams include audience participation enabled via messenger and chat tools, reaction buttons, and ordering functionality - boosting engagement levels and sales.


To help businesses adapt to these changes in consumer behaviour, there are new technologies being developed all the time. Tap-to-phone payments (also known as mobile tap or tap-on-phone technology) are currently gaining steam in the Asia Pacific region. This technology turns smartphones and tablets into point-of-sale terminals with no hardware required, creating the opportunity to take in-person payments on the fly in a secure manner.


The takeaway for businesses is clear: to stay ahead of the curve, they need to provide their customers with the payment methods they prefer. By understanding the generational trends in payments and investing in the right technologies, businesses can ensure a continued pipeline of new customers and maintain a competitive edge. As these generations become an increasingly larger part of the workforce and consumer base, businesses that are able to cater to their needs will be the ones that succeed in the long run.


Read the full blog post by Beacon supply partner, Global Payments, here. And if you need any advice or support regarding your Merchant Services arrangements, get in touch with Beacon now. We work with some of the world's leading providers and will work closely with you to ensure we find a solution that's right for you, your business and your customers. Just drop us a quick message via Live Chat or follow the button below and we'll be back in touch at a time to suit you.



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*Source: Square's "State of Crypto" report (January 2021) – survey of nearly 11,000 consumers across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

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