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jwt_millennials-paymentsJWT’s ‘The Future of Payments & Currency’ Trend report explores new ways to pay and rise of alternative currencies. The report examines how the concept of currency is evolving as bitcoin and other new forms of value exchange gain steam, and details the array of new ways to pay merchants and peers.

It also includes results of a quantitative survey of consumer attitudes conducted in the U.S. and U.K.

“All friction is being removed from payments so that we’ll almost make transactions without realizing it. We’ll also move beyond contactless mobile payments to paying with our bodies—our iris, our thumbprint, etc.,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWTIntelligence. “Our whole idea of value, exchange and currency is being disrupted with new systems that trade in trust, social currency and other commodities. People are finding new ways to trade, and brands are enabling this by creating alternative payment and currency systems.”

Millennials are driving the new directions in payments, the study reveals: “They’re much less attached to the status quo and much more open to alternative ideas.” Fifty-one percent of consumer age 18-34 agree “With today’s technology, it’ doesn’t make sense that we still rely on cash, debit and credit to pay for things” (compared to 33% for ages 35-49 and 17% 50-65+).


Twenty-six percent of U.S. and British millennials have in the past year used a mobile app to pay for things like Starbucks or Uber (compared to 7% for consumers age 35+). The “mobile wallet” via smartphone is the foremost advance in digital payments, according to the study, with 61 million mobile money accounts opened worldwide as of June 2013.

“The Future of Payments & Currency” covers several broad trends:

New Ways to Pay

Digital technology is opening up new ways to pay, many of them more seamless and secure than traditional methods. Foremost among these is the mobile wallet, but other ideas coming to fruition include wearables (tapping a watch, scanning a ring, etc.), biometric solutions like pay-by-fingerprint, and simple texts or tweets.

New Forms of Value Exchange

Alternative currencies—ranging from cryptocurrencies to local currencies, branded currency and social media currency—are supplementing or even replacing conventional money. Consumers are paying with bitcoin or tweets, and getting paid in mobile airtime.

New Payment Players
Disruption in the payments and currency sphere is opening the way for new players to act as intermediaries between consumers and their money. We’ll see consumer interaction with banks and other traditional financial institutions wane as newcomers offer innovative or compelling solutions.

The report also outlines what’s driving these changes. “The case against cash and physical cards is getting stronger, with Millennials already moving away from the status quo and adopting some alternative ideas,” says trends strategist Nick Ayala, author of the report. JWT’s survey found that Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to express interest in mobile payments and to agree that “With today’s technology, it doesn’t make sense that we mostly still rely on cash, debit and credit cards to pay for things.”

See the Slideshare:

Or visit jwt.com to parse this report and others. Additional knowledge and research on JWTIntelligence.com includes recent reports on the new family, the circular economy, mobile trends and JWT’s 10 Trends for 2014 and 100 Things to Watch in 2014.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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