The entire payments and banking industry is paying close attention to Millennials.
It’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve today, seeing how Millennials are next generation of buying power whose demands are shaping the future of money, like the Yuppies of the 80s and the hippies of the 70s.
Staying on trend is also important for small businesses for the same reasons. As the industry races to offer next-level advancements in how we make payments and manage our money, Millennial consumers expect small and local businesses to evolve in the same way. It makes sense for SMEs to keep tabs on the latest developments within the industry to expand their customer reach.
Our teams have researched the Millennial customer base extensively to ensure our solutions meet and exceed their needs. Here’s what we’ve learned that will help your business do the same.
From a product perspective, Millennials are attracted to the community environment where everyone and everything works for the collective benefit. If we take this premise to a payments solution environment, this would impact the ability to share, import and export data across multiple environments and collectively transform that data into insight. For example, Sage has done this by integrating our accounting software with our payments platform, allowing our customers to create, collect, and view data in one place. But, if we want to target Millennials specifically, we have to allow them to choose, rate, and influence who and how has access to their financial “world,” much like social media.
Information transparency and ease of access are also key for Millennials. They rely on their “community” and peer-to peer-information sharing to help them make purchasing decisions. As it relates to the payments and banking industry, it’s very important that information like pricing is easier to find. Where traditional competitors have historically hid this information, Millennials will be more comfortable than any other customer segment to ask, understand, process and share pricing information in open forums. They own and control the messaging in this respect – creating a wedge between the service provider and their customers.
Ease of use is assumed. The biggest factor in that assumption for Millennials is how the latest fraud and data security regulations will impact the ease of use they expect. It’s important for financial service providers to assure customers that the additional security checkpoints are there because data security is a priority. As the industry advances, criminals advance their efforts. Providers need to find the balance between ease of use and compliance.
What that means for SMEs
Small businesses can scale these findings and implement them in a way that creates the community environment Millennials prefer, the convenience and ease of use they expect, and the security they need. Here’s how:
Go mobile. Our research shows 15% of millennials say they make most their purchases using mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and 12% of businesses are offering mobile payment options. Offering their preferred payment method is a solid plan for customer retention and satisfaction.
Create an experience. We know Millennials are social and connected, which means your website should be as well. Are your web pages responsive to mobile devices? Is your business connected and active on social media? How intuitive and easy is your checkout process? Most trouble comes from payment pages. Check out this whitepaper for detailed advice.
Keep your payment offerings versatile. Our research shows 88.7% of millennials still carry cash as a preferred payment method, but still see mobile wallets as being the most popular payment method by 2020, which means this is the perfect time for you to get ahead of the expectation.