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Addressing Millennials and Their Influence within the Payments Industry

Addressing Millennials and Their Influence within the Payments Industry

Generational changes are a reality that affect all of us, and bring with them variations in behavior. We are currently experiencing one of these generational changes, which has also brought with it challenges for the payments industry. The nearly 2 billion millennials that now inhabit the earth have entered into adulthood (in some respects at least) and will soon become the generation with the greatest purchasing power.

For this reason, understanding millennials and their purchasing decisions is one of the main challenges for both the payments industry and merchants alike. This is a sizable task, largely because millennials have grown up in a global and interconnected world, full of information that promotes and accepts personal development outside specific standards.

Despite the number of differences that may exist amongst millennials, there are commonalities related to payments that are of common interest among this vast and varied group.

Millennials enjoy different experiences

One of the interests millennials have in common is the ability to personalize their experiences. And everyone wants to customize their payment experience to their liking. This is something the industry must be able to offer; different kinds of and levels of personalization.

Millennials don´t have shopping schedules

Millennials have come of age with vast information at their fingertips and they expect and demand this information whenever they need it. As such, millennials do not want to adhere to the schedules of a retailer; they want to satisfy their needs in the moment that they decide, regardless of the day of the week, or time of day. And of course, they want this experience to be consistent, regardless of their geographical location.

Millennials love making decisions, sometimes...

Millennials want choice, and the more options they have, the better. For example, it is not enough to give them a single mobile payment option; they want to be able to decide to pay using an Apple Watch, their smartphone, NFC sunglasses, or any other channel that allows them to have a more comfortable shopping experience.

Seamless payments perfectly fit millennials

In this modern era, making a payment shouldn’t be a headache, let alone a task that requires much effort. Since the millennial boom the use of the word "seamless" which in payments refers to the act of making a payment virtually imperceptible, has received plenty of airtime. A clear example is the card-on-file technology used by many mobile applications such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix, among others. Making millennials’ lives easier is the key to gaining their loyalty.

While it is true that these characteristics that I’ve mentioned are important for most of my generation, it is important to emphasize that these are not the only characteristics. It is difficult to prepare to meet millennials’ needs, to understand the importance of the disruption to the industry, and to stay updated as to the possible solutions that can be offered. But this will surely lead to recognizing business opportunities that others do not recognize in this new world.