Survey: 'Millennials' see future with cashless transactions

Proliferation of mobile devices, electronic payments and Internet to spur greater online shopping and eliminate use of cash in transactions, survey finds.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Millennials believe that new technology will enable the complete dispense of cash in transactions in the future, a Visa survey reveals.

According to the study released Thursday, the transaction behavior of Millennials--defined as those aged between 18 to 28 years old--shows that these young consumers already live the digital life with 63 percent of respondents stating they already transact online using their personal computers or laptops, and 19 percent on their mobile phones. 

8 out of 10 Millennials also believe that one day they will be able to do all their shopping and bill payments online, while 73 percent state this will be possible with a mobile phone.

As consumers become increasingly sophisticated, payment methods must continue to evolve to keep up with, and even lead demand, the report stated, noting that a future where electronic payments will displace cash is already beginning to "take form".

"The ubiquity of the Internet and mobile technology are helping to make electronic payment an intrinsic part of a Millennial's purchasing behavior. [There is] a long future for mobile phone and other device-based payments as more people, especially Millennials, adopt electronic payments around the world," Paul Jung, head of Visa's e-commerce division across Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa observed in a statement.

The survey was conducted between Jun. to Jul. 2011, by research agency Millward Brown on behalf of Visa, on 5,500 males and females in the top 50 percent of the income distribution range across Asia, Russia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The countries included China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the UAE.

Rise of online shopping
It also found that 8 out of 10 Millennials are online shoppers, half of which said they shopped online monthly. Millennials from Korea, Taiwan and mainland China topped the list of online shoppers who shopped once a month--at 76 percent, 53 percent and 84 percent respectively.

15 percent of a Millennial's monthly income goes to online shopping, with the majority spent on general shopping, entertainment, household items, travel and groceries.

The most popular methods of making purchases over the Internet are through credit and debit cards at 40 percent and 37 percent respectively.

"The reality right now however, is that Millennials still use a mix of cards and cash, presenting an opportunity for financial institutions to introduce more people to the convenience and security of using electronic payments," the report said, citing that over half of the payments that Millennials make to pay expenses on tha monthly basis are still done in cash, leaving 44 percent of payments made by cards.

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