Consumers today demand convenience when paying for practically anything,
and they demand options. Luckily, the growing array of payment options – from
cash and cards to mobile wallets and person-to-person (P2P) apps – gives them a
diverse menu of ways to pay.
Cardtronics’ recent Health of Cash
Study captured this “new norm” as well as the reality
that consumers still choose and use cash the most in this fragmented payments
landscape, at 89 percent. That use contrasts with 74 percent for debit cards,
66 percent for credit cards, 18 percent for store mobile apps and 17 percent
for mobile wallets. The upshot: A cashless society is a myth today and for the
Indeed, a new payments era has arrived. The Cardtronics research finds
that 91 percent of 1,006 consumers surveyed like the ability to pay with a
variety of methods. Eighty-five percent use at least two different types of
payments each month and 55 percent use at least three.
However, the diversification of payment preferences doesn’t stop at just
cash vs. credit vs. mobile. The
Cardtronics data also provides an interesting view of payment behaviors for
different demographic groups. Here are several:
Millennials: Except for writing checks, the typical millennial is using every
payment method more frequently than he or she did a year ago. Fifty-five
percent have used a mobile wallet, more than three fourths still use cash
regularly, but 70 percent don’t like using a credit card because they “don’t
like being in debt.” They’re more likely than other demographic groups to use
cash or mobile wallet at mass merchandisers; to save cash for a future
purchase; and to consider a payment method’s security before buying something.
Gen Xers: They use credit cards and debit cards more frequently than do the other
generations. They also are most apt to withdraw money weekly from an ATM.
Boomers: They’re more reluctant to try digital payments, with 42 percent saying
they have no interest in them and 34 percent seeing no reason to adopt them.
Fifty-two percent prefer using debt or credit for purchases and 36 percent
Males vs. Females: Males use cash, credit, and their mobile wallet on a daily basis more frequently
than women and they’re more prone to withdraw money weekly from an ATM.
However, women’s use of debit cards and mobile wallets increased over that of a
year ago; they spend more of the money they withdraw from an ATM than men; and they
most often prefer cash as a gift from a friend.
Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural Residents:
Urban residents daily use cash, credit and debit
cards more frequently and they carry more cash, while suburbanites daily use a
store-specific card and mobile wallet more frequently. Rural residents withdraw
the most money from an ATM and spend more of it immediately. They also most
like getting paid back in cash by a friend and receiving a cash gift.
When it comes to payment options, it’s obvious that consumers demand
options, and there isn’t one clear winner in the payment space. While Gen Xers
may use mobile wallets, Boomers are reluctant to try the innovation. And
millennials, in particular, prefer a solid mix of all options. One size never
fits all when it comes to clothing. Evidently
the same applies to payments.
Chief Marketing Officer