Younger consumers (under 35 years old) favour debit cards and cash as their main method of payment over credit, according to research from the Auriemma Consulting Groups (ACG).
Debit card usage has become an engrained habit in younger consumers, as the recession and tightening of lending standards left them unable to obtain credit that fully meets their needs. 44% of younger consumers said they had no interest in using credit cards as their main method of payment. This poses a significant threat to the business models of many lenders. To change payment behaviour to credit, younger consumers must have the ability to earn rewards and tools to allow them to better control their spending. Surprisingly cash also remains important to all segments, and consumers prefer it because they perceive it to be more convenient than alternatives. Moving this spending to card or mobile based products will be a challenge, as consumers expect these products to be quicker and more convenient than what exists today, which is not yet the case.
Matt Simester, Managing Director at ACG, said, "The younger segment has been trained to think about debit, but not to think about the value of credit. When you compound this with the difficulty younger consumers have had in getting credit, there is a clear need to develop products specifically for the younger segment of the population. To align with consumer needs, these products need to allow younger consumers to build an understanding of the value of credit cards, offer interest free periods, rich rewards programmes and fraud guarantees. Traditional credit card lenders currently appear to be getting outflanked by debit providers and alternative lending sources like payday loans."