If we compare the frugal baby boomer generation to the “treat yourself” millennials, it’s apparent that social, economic and technological advances have lead to significant changes in the UK’s attitudes to spending. This is not just a meme, Millenials spend a whopping fifty four percent of their disposable income on dining out, just for one example. Millenials will also be spending a lot more than BoomersCas on rent, although in that case it is not necessarily their fault but likely due to massive student debt.
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Millennials have been shaped by a revolution that saw technology become central to work and life. A study by KPMG found that they will make up a staggering 50% of the global workforce by 2020, and their spending will have a huge impact on the economic landscape.
So, what does the future hold for payments in the UK? In today's society, making a payment needs to be instant and simple. Research from Sainsbury’s Bank shows that nearly a third of baby boomers carry up to £50 cash daily, whereas around a quarter of millennials only carry loose change. The rise of contactless payments has lead to a shift in spending and prompted reduced inhibitions around spending. It’s clear that the lack of tangible cash has impacted consumer behaviour, with 54% of millennials spending their disposable income on eating out. This is a stark comparison to the habits of Generation X, who prefer to compare prices instore and online before making their final purchase.
A steady decline in cash payments across all generations is paving the way for the UK to become a cashless society in just a few decades. The visual below highlights the key differences in spending habits and looks at what the future may hold for payments as millenialstake over.