Generation iPod eschew cash

TRENDAFRiCA November 12, 2012

Cash will soon be “ancient history” according to Visa’s recent research findings on South African youth – the millennials or “iPod Generation”. And 73% expect to be able to pay bills with their mobile phones.

The main findings of the 11-country ‘Connecting with the Millennials’ survey by Visa show that:

  • 68% say a cashless society is on the way.
  • South Africans and Koreans are the highest global adopters of cards over cash.
  • More prefer debit cards to cash.
  • Nearly all South Africans say life without a computer is ‘impossible’.

Millennials, typically born between 1982 and 1995, make up 25% of the world’s population and grew up with the internet making them tech savvy, Visa explains. In the study, over 5 500 people between 18 and 28 years were interviewed.

Of those, 68% said a cashless society was on the way. Close to 80% said they expected that soon it would be possible to conduct all their shopping and pay all their bills online. 73% believe this will be possible with a mobile phone.

“The ubiquity of the internet and mobile technology are helping to make electronic payment an intrinsic part of a millennial’s purchasing behaviour,” said Paul Jung, head of Visa’s eCommerce division for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“We see a long future for mobile phone and other device-based payments as more people, especially millennials, adopt electronic payments around the world.”

South Africans, along with Koreans, are the top ‘cards over cash’ adopters in the world, with 61% of millennials in both countries preferring to use their cards instead of cash. Of those with debit cards, 61% of their monthly expenses are made with debit so they do not have to carry cash and recognise its convenience for everyday purchases.

More South African youth can live without a TV, than without a computer and their phones.

South Africa’s millennials see gadgets as an important part of their lives: 89% said it would be ‘impossible’ to live without a computer; 80% said they could not live without smartphones, while TV lagged at 50%. South African millennials are security conscious, with 99% agreeing that card security is important.

Eight out of 10 millennials are online shoppers, half of which shop online monthly. Millennials from Korea (76%), Taiwan (53%) and mainland China (84%) top the list of online shoppers who shop at least once a month.

Shopping less than once every six months were Filipinos (36%), South Africans (32%) and UAE (44%). Of those, 40% of online shoppers use a credit card to buy online.

South African millennials use the internet for various activities; including emailing, searching for information and internet banking. Groceries, transport and rent/mortgage are the top three areas where South Africa’s millennials funnel their online cash payments.

The propensity to save among South African millennials is lower than average, with only 68% setting aside a part of their income each month for saving and a lower proportion (21%) of their total disposable income. Shopping is the main activity they save for, followed by retirement and a home purchase.

Millennials may spend a lot of their time online but they hold family value values in high regard. They’re ambitious and dreaming big keeps them driven. This trait is especially widespread among Indian, South African and UAE millennials. They see themselves as independent thinkers and the majority say they enjoy the simple things in life.


SOURCE: Visa ‘Connecting with the Millennials’ survey

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