In this time of instant gratification and faster processes for everything, it is natural to assume that reaching for a credit card to make payments is one of the first instincts for customers. Payline certainly supports the use of credit cards in brick-and-mortar businesses as well as eCommerce, and customers generally comply. This assumption could especially be true for the millennial generation, but as it turns out, it is not. Hard though it may be to believe, a surprising amount of millennials do not use credit cards. Some may have personal reasons why, but it also may come down to millennials not having the details to make an informed decision for themselves. Using credit cards offers many benefits, but millennials tend to steer clear of them anyway, giving into fears over benefits. Businesses that want to know how to accept credit cards from millennials can look at a few reasons why they are afraid to use them in the first place.
One of the biggest reasons millennials are afraid to board the credit card train is because of the big, scary D-word: debt. Business Insider shared that accruing debt is one of the biggest reasons that many millennials do not want to follow in the footsteps of their families by getting caught up in amounting credit card debt. Some, however, don’t even have the chance to accrue debt.
Following the Card Act of 2009, it has become more difficult for college students without a steady income to obtain credit cards. This means that year-by-year since 2009, less and less of the 18-21 age group are getting credit cards, and this decreases the percentage of millennials actually using them. Following a 2013 study, only 30% of college students had credit cards, and as time goes on this number will likely decrease. Actively pursuing and using a credit card as early as possible is beneficial for the future.
Another reason millennials are avoiding major credits cards closely follows their aversion to debt, and that is the availability of mobile payment systems. These methods of how to accept credit cards from millennials only grow in popularity with each passing day. The always convenient and speedy options like Apple Pay and other mobile wallets are hot competitors to physical credit cards. As an extremely digital and mobile generation, not carrying a physical payment method is a big benefit of opting out of credit cards.
The New York Times reported that millennials are also hesitant to use credit cards because they don’t want to add credit card debt to the student loan debt that they are already paying off. Also, the temptation to shop without thinking of a limit is too great. The choice for a millennial to use a debit card for everyday transactions at the moment is certainly preferred over a credit card to be paid later, but are these justifications to avoid plastic negatively impacting them?
The decision to opt out of having a credit card may seem right in the moment but can hurt millennials in the future. Moving forward in life, millennials of 21+ will need to have built good credit for renting apartments and buying a house or a car. Avoiding a credit card can make lodging and cars more challenging to acquire, as a lower credit score or lack thereof could produce higher rates on bigger purchases such as these. This can hurt more in the long run than just building regular debt on a credit card and paying it off each month. Even having only one credit card will be good for your overall finances.
Payline can help you find the best methods for how to accept credit cards from millennials at your business.
This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.