Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gen Y's Financial Habits

How is the U.S' largest demographic impacting American bill payment and money management behavior? A new survey reveals fascinating insightWestern Union® Bill Payments' just-released infographic captures powerful new data detailing the 74-million strong demographic known as Gen Y's financial and tech behavior.

I had a chance to interview Western Union® to learn more.
What are some differences between the way Gen Y and previous generations handle money?
Gen Yers are digital natives, empowered by technology to change the bill pay status quo. Some highlights from the most recent Western Union ® Bill Payments’ Money Mindset Index reveals Gen Y money beliefs and behaviors:
·       21 percent of Gen Y have never written a check to pay a bill
·       64 percent of Gen Y receive half or more of their bill statements electronically
·       In the next six months:
o   55 percent of Gen Y versus 45 percent of all bill payers intend to pay more bills online*
o   28 percent of Gen Y versus 15 percent of all bill payers intend to pay more bills by mobile devices
o   74 percent of Gen Y versus 53 percent of all bill payers prefer to receive paperless bill statements
What are some newer technologies that Gen Y tends to use?
Gen Y is outpacing other age groups in adoption of mobile money management tools:
·       43 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers versus 25 percent of all mobile consumers** use mobile apps and tools to view their bill payment transaction history
·       38 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers versus 24 percent of all mobile consumers
use mobile apps and tools to view their bill statements
·       38 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers versus 22 percent of all mobile consumers
use mobile apps to make bill payments
·       24 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers versus 15 percent of all mobile consumers use mobile apps to set up automated recurring payments
How can members of older generations tap into some of the newer technologies available?
Mobile device ownership and usage are changing consumers’ bill payment behaviors, even as people continue to use different channels like in-person and online payments to meet their  budget and lifestyle needs. It is simply a matter of choice. And it is important for businesses to offer their customers a comprehensive selection of payment options, providing convenience, flexibility and choice.  Bottom line for billers: a multi-channel and mobile bill payment strategy is advisable.
What are some new trends in financial management?

Gen Y is a conscientious, digitally savvy generation that is driving changes in the bill payment landscape, while still demanding bill pay choices. To serve Gen Yers well, perceptive businesses should:
·       Provide choice in bill payment options that include comprehensive channels and payment methods that help to promote convenience, satisfaction and on-time payments.
·       Leverage these channels to offer text alerts and email reminders, and become a partner in helping busy Gen Yers pay on time.
·       Reduce paper by offering eBills and mobile payments, which are more convenient, but also reduce costs and help to save the environment

Survey Methodology
The Western Union® Bill Payments  Money Mindset Index, conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, has a margin of error of 1.73 percentage points and was conducted in March 2013 with 3,202 respondents. The random sample survey targeted online respondents based on representative proportions of geography, gender, age, income, and ethnicity as compared to the overall US population.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 515,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and approximately 115,000 ATMs. In 2012, The Western Union Company completed 231 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $79 billion of principal between consumers, and 432 million business payments.

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