Trends among under 25: Life is Digital

BVA Doxa research on how young adults’ make use of digital and online payments revealed that 42% of 18-25 years old integrate digital tools in their everyday life. The research was conducted for VISA and FEduF, the Foundation for the education on finance and savings.

Almost half of the 18-25s use daily apps and/or websites to book restaurants and bars or to order food on delivery apps; smartphones are employed for fitness and sports activities and almost all the students use apps for school tasks (e.g. checking grates and homework on the online register).

These are only a few of the results coming from the research conducted by BVA Doxa in collaboration with FEduF, the Foundation for the education on finance and savings established by the Italian Bank Association. The goal of the research was to investigate the opinion and the value given to cash and online payments by the digital generation, and understand what they consider being benefits or drawbacks of both.

Interesting results stand out from the research: 42% of respondents use digital tools in every aspect and moment of their life. When it comes to payments, 4 in 10 young adults believe cash won’t disappear from our lives, even if they admit online payments made their life easier.

ALL-ROUND DIGITAL — Many different aspects of our lives are being digitalized. For example, to book and pay for public transports online or via apps is becoming more common: 37% of respondents uses app for car or bike-sharing; 42% pays public transports via smartphones and 22% does the same for car parking.

The use of smartphones is shaping the tourism sector as well: 60% of the whole sample book flights, apartments or hotels online. Next to smartphones, the use of voice assistants is growing among young people: they use it mostly to ask for information, to listen to music and, why not, to ask for jokes and have fun. Interestingly enough, having fun with digital tools is also a growing trend: increasingly more, the entertainment sector is welcoming digital innovations that are shaping how we use our free time. Doxa research revealed that 60% of the sample plays with smartphones always or very often; 86% uses smartphones to watch short videos on social media and to listen to music; 66% chose to watch movies and TV series on their mobile phones. Young people between 18 and 25 years old are also very keen to buy online, a method they prefer especially for the convenience both in terms of prices and for home delivery.

HOWEVER, CASH WON’T DIE — The role of digital tools is relevant when it comes to payments too: very common and growing activities include handling online money transfers, using banks’ apps or paying directly with the smartphone. Despite only less than half of the sample owns a personal bank account (47%), 88% uses cards for their payments. Among the most used types of cards, we find pre-paid cards (60%), debit cards (46%) and credit cards (33%). 76% own contactless cards. Only 10% of the sample admit they never use cards because they do not trust them, compared to 51% of the sample that always use them, whenever they can. In general, 40% of payments are handled via cash and the remaining 60% via online or other types of payments, among which we find cards (32%) and apps (12%). Cash is still preferred for payments under 15 euros (75%), to exchange money with friends (56%) and for bar breaks or stops at fast foods (75%). There are a few occasions when cash and cards (debit cards, credit cards and pre-paid) are equally used: for example, for purchases at shops or bars and pubs, at restaurants and for grocery shopping.

TO EACH THEIR OWN PREFERENCECash still represents a source of safety for 35% of young Italians, who admit they like using cash (34%), mostly because it gives the perception to better control one’s own spending. On the other hand, cards bring a sense of maturity and adulthood: respondents admitted they feel more like grown-ups when they use cards, which give also the idea one can buy more things. Cards are also very much appreciated for their convenience and practical benefits (especially because they remove the need for withdrawing money). If we carefully balance pros and cons, pre-paid cards stand out to be among the most appreciated: indeed, 58% of the respondents believe cards bring more benefits than risks, compared to credit cards and apps that, despite very common, are still less appreciated than pre-paid cards.

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