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 – that there’s really no need to carry coins and bills. 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. In a 2018 survey, payment processor TSYS surveyed 1,222 consumers on which payment method they prefer. Over half (54%) chose debit cards, while 26% selected credit cards, and only 14% specified a preference for using cash.

It’s important to help children learn how to both spend and save in a digital economy – it’s one of the reasons we started gohenry. The gohenry debit card for kids, along with the gohenry app, was designed to help kids and teens spend safely and empower them to learn to manage their money confidently.

Research by Paysafe, a leading global payments provider, revealed that Gen-Z consumers are much more likely than other generations to embrace a wider range of alternative payment methods.

According to the research, more than a third (40%) of Gen-Z have some experience of in-app payments – much higher than all other consumers (27% and 9%). A third of Gen-Z (34%) have also used a mobile wallet (compared to 26% of other consumers) and 14% (vs. 10%) to regularly make payments.

The research also revealed that 47% of Gen-Z make purchases on their mobile more often than any other platform. In contrast, just 28% percent of Generation X (40-54-year-olds) and 10% of Baby Boomers (over 55-year-olds) prefer mobile shopping.

Cash allowance goes digital

Most parents in the U.S. still pay their children’s allowance in cash. In a recent poll by CreditCards.com, 61% of parents said they pay their children’s allowance in cash, 10% of parents pay by mobile payments, 10% make a direct bank transfer, 10% pay with a debit card such as gohenry (including a prepaid or gift card) and 9% said they pay another way.

However, based on trends in markets with more cashless payment systems, indications are that digital transfers of cash will become the ‘new norm.’ In fact, new research from money.co.uk suggests that parents like cashless allowance money payments almost as much as their kids. Almost one in three parents (31%) in the U.K. are now paying allowance 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 to pay your child’s weekly allowance, you’ll understand why 24% of parents told money.co.uk that digital payments are more convenient. Even if you’ve remembered to save some loose change, a quick digital transfer is much easier than struggling to find the right amount of change for allowance. But there are other important advantages, too. Unlike cash payments, digital allowance 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 favor digital payments because their child wants to spend money online – and this is much easier when they have their own card.

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 spending makes it harder for children to learn important lessons about money management.

In fact, over a quarter of parents (26%) told money.co.uk that digital allowance 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 K-12 math. 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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