Much has been written and said about the millennial generation – their attitudes and expectations, ambitions and concerns and, perhaps most of all, their behaviours. They are, above all else, digital natives – they’ve never known a world without the internet and increasingly they can’t imagine a world where most people didn’t carry a phone in their pocket or bag.
And, given that there are so many millennials – they are the largest generation since the baby boomers of the mid-1940s – mid-1960s – it’s not surprising to see the digital world tracking their behaviours closely and looking for signs of what will be the ‘next big thing’. The dramatic spread of mobile phone technologies around the world, in both developed and developing economies, and the rapid pace of developments in the payments industry, prompt some important questions: How do millennials pay for goods and services? Why do they choose these methods? And, how do they see behaviours and preferences evolving as technology continues to advance and offer new alternatives?
As a pioneer in the development and integration of new payments systems, VocaLink has an important role to play, both in understanding the perceptions and behaviours of millennials, and also in helping the wider financial and commercial world to understand how millennials’ preferences will impact their demands for products, services and the infrastructure that supports commerce.
So, we set out to research how millennials are using the payment technologies and methods currently available to them. Earlier in the year we looked at the US market and now we are turning our attention to Europe and South East Asia.
For this report, we held focus groups with millennials – men and women aged between 18 and 35 – and surveyed the opinions and behaviours of just over 4,000 participants across Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and the UK through the leading market research provider Ipsos MORI.