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Evolution of Technology & Payments: Adapting to User Behavior of Different Generations

Pace of living & technology

The pace of living has been speeding up more and more in the past 40 years due to the more efficient and modern technology. As a consequence, when technology sped up certain aspects of people’s lives, immediately the other aspects followed. Therefore, with the new inventions and innovations that simplified life and made some tasks less time-consuming, people’s expectations rose regarding overall life quality.

For example, the 1970s saw the creation of the first mobile phone and the 1980s saw the first PC by IBM, Apple Macintosh, and 3D printing. Keeping up with the technological momentum, the 1990s brought one of the most important inventions – the Internet. This breakthrough was truly revolutionary and fundamentally changed the game.

With these innovations, technology entered every aspect of life. It changed education, communication, businesses, and created new habits. It changed the mindset of generations who were born with this technology.

Whether people like or dislike all these transformations and living life in the fast lane, it can be concluded that these are the most convenient of times in which people’s demand drives the change.

Generations X, Y & Z: Differences in technology requirements

In order to define the differences in the technological requirements of the generations X, Y and Z, their age should be defined first. Generation X presents the people born until the 1980s but after 1965, Generation Y, or Millennials, are those born between 1984 and 1996, and Generation Z are people born after 1997.

All technologies from these periods were born out of purpose.

Even though many think Generation X did not start the technology boom drive, their somewhat forgotten behavior speaks differently. They were the first generation to have video games. Their demand to have more similar entertainment available influenced the mindset of generations to come. Another example is the first home videocassette recorders. From the release of affordable VCRs in the mid-to-late 1970s, suddenly, kids could record their favorite TV programs while they were at school or practice to watch later, and they could rent or buy movies to watch at home. Although the VCR technology is not used anymore, the desire it created to watch what people want when they want has lived on and thrived. Now, the technology upgraded from VCRs to DVRs and made a path for streaming services like Netflix.

Millennials, or so-called the digital natives, account for a quarter of the world’s population and present a significant driving force. Since they were born into a technology-filled environment, they have a better understanding of it and how to best use its advantages which further drove the technology progress. Millennials constantly move to new technologies that suit them the best and make the older tech obsolete. They also prefer on-demand products and services and the ones tailored to their requirements and don’t have time for technology that doesn’t work for them. That’s why marketers and businesses are forced to keep up with them and their needs.

Generation Z was born in an already technologically mature time. Internet and smart devices are part of their DNA, more so than of any other previous generation. It permeates every aspect of their behavior. Influenced by YouTube and Instagram stars, they became a very demanding consumer that wants everything immediately. Although they multi-task all the time, their attention span is limited. That is why businesses will have to adjust their services and marketing even more to Genzer’s mindset.

Payments evolution for each generation & ever-changing demographics

Money is one of the most important aspects of lives, unavoidably. Regardless of the age group, everyone wants to have more simple payment methods so they do more in less time which is increasingly associated with value. Safety and convenience, more than anything, are the leading impetus factors for the decisions people make and are drivers for payment preferences in the current landscape.

Convenience can mean something different to various groups of people. For Generation X convenience came in the form of payment cards. As its usage spread in the 80s and 90s, this generation was just in time for this convenience but later demanded even more. For Millennials convenience was digital payments, mobile payments, contactless payments that were in development in the late 90s. When Genzers came, all of these conveniences were mature enough for using them 24/7/365 along with voice payments and various wearable payment methods, that came more recently.

With safety being the other key driver of change, authentication started evolving. Due to the new trends in digitalization, PINs and passwords have been transforming into fingerprint, face and iris scanning. Furthermore, Artificial intelligence began aiding human efforts to prevent fraud and finally make people’s payments and data safe.

Nevertheless, at its core, convenience and security inspires peace of mind and leads to habits that become second nature. For all generations, making payments quickly but safely are essential in keeping up with their busy lives.

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