Put Your Money Where the Millennials Are

Posted by Bethany Frank on 03 Jan 2018

Millennials – the group born approximately between 1981 and the early 2000s – are the largest generation in history. They’re also the most diverse, which is why it’s particularly difficult to analyze this group or predict their behavior.

Disruption is more than just a buzzword these days, and millennials are probably the most disruptive of all. They’re quickly coming of age, gaining financial power, and becoming important decision makers in nearly every market. And while this cohort is often open to trying anything at least once, they are fiercely loyal to the brands, products, and services they like most. What marks the difference?

It’s hard to categorize millennials, but they aren’t impossible to figure out. When it comes to payments, all these tech-savvy freethinkers really want is an experience that’s simple, seamless, and complete.

Millennials are all about the “big picture”.

For this generation, technology is simply a means through which they share a digital extension of themselves. They don’t necessarily view their laptops, smartphones, and connected devices as separate channels, but rather parts of a single technology suite. Millennials don’t just want digital payment options – they want all the digital payment options, and zero friction in the process.

It should be easy, for example, to initiate a bill payment through one channel, but complete it using another. Businesses can use each payment channel as an opportunity to engage these hyper-connected customers – if someone abandons a payment before completing, for example, maybe a quick reminder via Facebook Messenger would help. This could help businesses get paid faster and accelerate cash flow.

Millennials are early adopters.

Millennials are often the first consumers to use new technology. They are already embracing voice recognition, virtual reality (VR), and other emerging technology. It might seem futuristic right now, but it won’t be long before this group is delegating daily tasks to virtual assistants and shopping in VR malls.

Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that it can be a challenge to keep up – businesses need to be aware of these trends and implement technology that leverages the power of these new digital platforms now, or risk getting left behind. Billers are likely to see an uptick in electronic payment adoption rates if innovative options are offered, especially as millennials become a larger part of the customer base. The ability to make payments by conversing with a chatbot, for example, is likely to appeal to this base. Electronic payments are a win-win for businesses and their customers alike because they are faster, easier, and much more efficient.

Millennials are important.

Does anyone remember Blockbuster? Or driving to a bank?

Regardless of how millennials are perceived, they are the largest and most influential group of people ever. The things they support are likely to see tremendous growth, while those they don’t tend to fall by the wayside. Businesses need to pay keen attention to this generation before they become the dominant earners, spenders, and influencers across every industry.

The payments process is often the most frequent point of contact between businesses and their customers, and it’s an integral part of the overall customer experience. While innovative digital payment options are appreciated by many, they are especially important to millennials. How one can pay says a lot about a business to millennials, and for this cohort, it can have a major impact on customer retention. Millennials expect billers to provide the same kind of digitally-driven customer experiences they encounter elsewhere, and they expect the payments process to evolve as better options become available.

Millennials are already a key demographic in most industries, and they will only become more important through the next decade and beyond. A cumbersome payments process, or even a single frustrating incident, can signal to millennials, and others, that your business is outdated. This can lead millennials to competitors who offer the kind of innovation these connected consumers want.

Check out our blog for more on payments innovation, and to learn how EBPP can help your business.

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Bethany Frank Senior Marketing Associate Bethany specializes in content and events as part of Alacriti's marketing team. She's a graduate of Rutgers University and has a background in writing, broadcasting, and digital media. Fascinated by the intersection of technology and human nature, Bethany is out to explore what drives consumers in such a fast-paced, digitally connected world.

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