What millennials really want

Published on the 19/04/2017 | Written by Newsdesk


What millennials want

The short answer: a smartphone and an internet connection…

The longer one is somewhat more nuanced and comes to us courtesy of payments provider Visa which has conducted a survey which looks at one aspect of how millennials want to use that handset and connection. It should come as little surprise that the focus of Visa’s research revolves around payments: in a statement, it said the ‘next generation of influential and savvy shoppers want new ways to pay for goods’.

More than that, these millennials are apparently particular about where and how they shop; Visa said the ‘display little loyalty to brands’, although its figures then indicated that 80 percent are brand-conscious.

The Visa New Zealand Millennial Survey, said the company, provides insights around technology, payments and retail from people born from 1980 to 2000. Some 62 percent of those surveyed said they would like to use biometrics (fingerprint or retina scan) to pay for things. They see it as being secure and convenient and having the ‘cool factor’ (more cool factor is to be found in entrepreneur Peter Colbert’s PayWave sunglasses).

The survey was conducted in March 2017 and polled just 335 Kiwi millennials who were asked a series of questions online; 12 of those were questioned further via video to gain deeper insights.

In a statement, Marty Kerr, Visa NZ country manager said millennial consumers are looking to payment technologies to make their lives easier and retailers need to meet their needs.

“Emerging payment technology like biometrics removes potential pain points for customers. They don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing their cards or wallets, and just need to spend a brief time at the till without having to insert cards or remember a PIN,” he pointed out.

More than three quarters of respondents (78 percent) said their smartphone is their favourite piece of technology that makes life easier, with 83 percent of females finding favour with smartphones; males were at 73 percent. Smartphones, said Visa, blitzed other forms of tech, with laptops (10 percent), tablets (three percent) and smartwatches (two percent) falling well short in the eyes of millennials.

Visa’s research also revealed that:

  • 79 percent of those surveyed wouldn’t leave home without their phone and 61 percent say they already use their smartphone to pay for everyday items.
  • 51 percent feel their life will change significantly in the next five-10 years through technology.
  • They want technology to do even more than it currently does, with extended battery life the biggest wish (10 percent) along with suggestions such as “read my mind”, “Artificial Intelligence”, “cook meals”, “3D display like Star Wars”, “make me money” and “fix the planet”. “Take my job” apparently didn’t come up.
  • One in five have no brand affiliations – 20 percent said they are not loyal to any brand (or, in other words, 80 percent ARE loyal to brands).
  • Millennials lose ‘love’ for a brand when there is failure of the product or service (68 percent), rising prices, or poor customer service (63 percent apiece)
  • Items they like to spend their money on the most is food (63 percent), entertainment and going out (47 percent), travel (44 per cent), clothes (38 percent) and technology and gadgets (34 percent)

The launch in the past year of several mobile wallets using contactless technology, including innovations from New Zealand banks, is contributing to the growth in Visa payWave transactions. In December 2016, 19.1 million Visa payWave transactions were made (up on 16 million in October 2016).

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