In 2020, we launched our first annual Generation Pay Report, which touched on evolving attitudes towards payments along generational lines. For 2021, we took a similar approach, surveying more than 4,000 consumers in five regions across 4 generations – Generation Y, Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers+. The report covers how consumers want to shop, pay and be rewarded, offers insights into how things are now and where we think they’re going in the future. It’s all about helping our customers improve their customer experience.
Between March of 2020 and now, things have definitely changed for me and my family. I’m sure they have for you, as well. Once relatively easy tasks like grocery shopping – even if some of us dread it – became much more challenging, so a lot of businesses had to adapt, and quickly. Groceries shifted to order online, pick-up curbside. Digital subscription services boomed. I read once that it takes 60 days to create a habit – since so many of us have been home a lot more, I know we’ve all picked up more than a few new ones. I’ve lost track of how many shows I’ve streamed over the past year and a half.
Of course, the flipside is that traveling and eating out at our favorite restaurants took a significant hit. Travel in particular was hit especially hard – and we’ve seen that in our portfolio. So I’m excited to see restrictions easing and things opening up a bit more, for a variety of reasons, and I imagine you are, too.
If you’ve been inside some of your local stores, restaurants and other businesses, one of the big things Generation Pay 2021 touches on is the adoption of contactless payments. For lots of folks, myself included, it’s made delivery, pickup and even regular shopping a lot easier and more convenient – and safe. Using Apple Pay for the Tube when I was fortunate enough to visit London last year really brought that home for me.
Interestingly, younger generations are also keen on trying biometric authentication and are getting more used to shopping through social media. My sons regularly find things to buy through platforms like Instagram and Facebook. I like to think of it as similar to shopping the endcaps at your favorite stores. Conversely, though, most Boomers+ would rather stick with what they’re comfortable with – actually shopping in stores and paying with physical cards or cash. The generational divide is really apparent here.
Now that the report is available, I encourage you all to take a look. There’s a lot of good insights. Between crypto, Buy Now, Pay Later – which has taken on a fascinating life of its own and is something we’re paying a lot of attention to – and loyalty programs, it’s increasingly important for our business to know the ins-and-outs of not just regional payments experiences, but generational ones, as well.