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Meet the cashless natives


How often do you use cash? Probably not as often as you did last year, or even the year before. Thanks to the rise of contactless and mobile payments, it’s now so easy to tap and pay for everything from a coffee to a bus ticket there’s really no need to carry coins and notes. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise to discover that kids are also going cashless. In fact, our data suggests that Gen-Z are already cashless natives — the first truly cashless generation.

The way that we spend money is changing: in 2018, consumers spent more on debit and credit/charge cards than they did using cash. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that cash accounted for just £1 in every £5 spent in UK shops, pushing payments with cards and notes down to third place for the first time ever. It’s important to teach children how to spend and save in this digital world — and the gohenry debit card for kids gives them the option to pay online, in store and with cash, via an ATM.

Our data shows that, given the choice, Gen-Zers will almost always go cashless: gohenry cardholders withdraw only 14% of their earnings at ATMs. Instead, card payments in store account for more than half of their spending (53%), and online transactions make up an additional third (33%).

Saffron,16, is a typical cashless native. She says: “I don’t really like using cash and use my card at least 80% of the time. It’s just so much more convenient and easy to use. Plus it’s less to carry around and it means I can easily keep track of what I’m spending.”

Pocket money goes digital 

New research from money.co.uk suggests that parents like cashless pocket money payments almost as much as their kids. Almost one in three parents (31%) are now paying pocket money digitally — and even Santa (17%) and the Tooth Fairy (13%) are transferring money straight into children’s accounts rather than giving cash.

If you’ve ever slipped up and forgotten that it’s time for the tooth fairy to visit, you’ll understand why 24% of parents said digital payments are more convenient. Even if you’re remembered to save some loose change, a quick digital transfer is much easier than struggling to slip a coin under your sleeping child’s pillow.

There are other important advantages, too. Unlike cash payments, digital pocket money can’t get lost down the back of the sofa — which could be why 20% of parents said that safety was the reason they went digital. A further 17% of parents said that they favour digital payments because their child wants to spend money online — and this is much easier when they have their own debit card.

Even the Tooth Fairy is going cashless

Better budgeting

Our increasingly cashless society means that money is becoming a more abstract concept for children to grasp. But that doesn’t mean that digital pocket money makes it harder for children to learn important lessons about money management.

In fact, over a quarter of parents said digital pocket money payments help their children to budget — probably because they can see every transaction at a glance.

“Although Generation-Z is going to be the first cashless generation, thanks to apps like gohenry they’re going to be much better at monitoring their spending,” says generational expert Dr Eliza Filby. “It’s wrong to assume that because they don’t use cash they’re not as educated, informed or conscious when they spend. This is a much more sophisticated use of money which wasn’t available to Millennials.”

Of course, handing cash is still an important part of learning about money — especially as it’s something that children will learn about in school as part of KS1 maths. But technology gives children the opportunity to manage money in an entirely new way — and we believe that digital banking solutions empower children to manage their own money and develop the financial know-how they’ll need in adult life.

Is your child a cashless native?

Do you think that the Tooth Fairy should only pay cash?


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