Is it safe to say that young adults don’t tend to use cash as much as older generations do? I’ve certainly seen it with my under-35 adult friends and colleagues over the years; this age group depends on debit and credit cards for just about everything. It’s just easier (no going to the ATM or worrying about the cash on your person) and if we had even easier options, we’d probably use them instead.
There was a poll on this very topic recently that validated some of my musings on cash vs. credit and debit with younger adults. Ipsos Public Affairs found that a lot of young people (48%) would really like to see even more acceptance of credit and debit cards in places where cash is usually the norm – like mobile food vendors, taxi cabs, vendors at street fairs, flea and farmers markets. And not only that, many (30%) want even more varied and advanced options for paying, such as using their mobile device.
The poll’s findings offer similar data on mobile payments when it comes to older vs. younger adults. Another study from MasterCard found that overall, 62% of Americans with a mobile phone would use it to make purchases. But it gets interesting when you look at the numbers based on age; of those aged 18-34, 63% were for it, compared to just 37% of those over 35.
In the proximity mobile payments world, everyone always seems to be asking, “Will consumers like it and use it?” When I read stats like these, I have to believe ‘yes’, they will like it and they will definitely use it. And when proximity mobile payments take off (they are expected to reach $41billion by 2017, making up nearly half of all mobile payments), it will be these young adults will lead the charge.