It is commonly believed that alternative financial services such as Payza are the “plan B”. The assumption is that the majority of people using non-traditional financial tools (i.e. not banks) are low-income people, who may not be able to use traditional banks due to poor credit, for example. However, Think Finance has just released a report which has smashed that stereotype. The report focuses on the Millennials, the generation currently falling into the 18-35 age bracket, and shows that they are using alternative financial services regularly, regardless of their income.
Millennials, also known as Echo Boomers or Generation Y, are a group roughly defined as anyone born in the 80s or 90s. Instead, I prefer to define the group in terms of culture: the computer generation. This is the first generation that does not know life without computers, i.e. they were still young enough when computers became a necessary component of society, becoming a fact of life rather than something “new”. In other words, this generation, regarding computers, is an expression of the first of the rules below, devised by Douglas Adams to describe our reactions to technologies:
- Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
- Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
- Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Perhaps that’s just another stereotype of the Millennials, of which there are many, just as there are many stereotypes about low-income people, which is why the new report from Think Finance is so valuable. We have long seen practical evidence of it through our work at Payza, but now we have the numbers to back it up: young people in the 18-35 demographic are using alternative financial services regardless of their income bracket. This refers to anything other than traditional banking institutions, which includes, but is certainly not limited to, online payment processors such as Payza.
This conveniently debunks the commonly held idea that alternative payment methods are primarily used by low-income members of society who may be unbankable or otherwise have little access to traditional banking. The numbers are there to back it up: prepaid debit cards are just as commonly-used whether your income is $25,000 or $75,000. Perhaps more surprisingly for the casual observer, alternative money transfer services are significantly more common among higher income users.
The fact is that so-called “alternative” financial services are not a “plan B”, despite the conventional wisdom; it is just a different way of doing things. There a many services you can get through Payza that traditional banks can’t offer you, or if they do offer them, they can be unmanageably expensive.
Payza offers a service for everybody. We are devoted to opening doors in emerging and underserved marketplaces, but there are two sides to that. In order to fully integrate the global marketplace and tear down the barriers within international finance, it’s important to not only serve those that need us, but to address everybody’s needs.
With that in mind, Payza’s goals can be described as follows:
- To provide the world with a truly global payment platform by bringing accessible payment methods to under-serviced markets, and connecting the global marketplace with emerging countries which have little or no access to online payment processing services.
- To offer an online payment processing service with the highest degree of excellence in security, accessibility, versatility, technology, and support.
While it may be the case some in the older generations may still be committed to traditional banking methods and are taking longer to get comfortable with newer, online financial tools, the report from Think Finance suggests that young people generally have no such reservations. No matter what their specific needs, young people see the benefits of Payza and other alternative financial services, the benefits of security, simplicity and affordability.
Think Finance <May 27, 2012). “Millennials Use Alternative Financial Services Regardless of their Income Level.” Retrieved from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120517005789/en/Millennials-Alternative-Financial-Services-Income-Level.