New survey finds millennials are leading the digital finance charge

21 Aug 2017

Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

A new survey released by Bank of America shows some notable differences in how generations have embraced digital technology.

You would be hard-pressed to find a generation as maligned as the poor millennials, with headline after headline disparaging them for not buying property and diamonds, and decrying their enjoyment of avocado toast.

Millennials and online banking

It’s not all bad news and cries of irresponsibility, though, with survey results from Bank of America noting that three-quarters of millennials surveyed regularly use a mobile banking app.

Of those surveyed, 45pc use their app as a tool to save for further education while 34pc use it to plan for buying their first home. In keeping with general mobile-first trends, adoption of mobile banking is up across all generations, with 40pc of senior citizens and 47pc of baby boomers checking in on their finances via phone or tablet.

Older generations are much warier when it comes to giving devices access to their financial data, while millennials are far more comfortable sharing their financial information, with 84pc saying they were happy to have their mobile tracking their daily activity.

Is Generation Z mobile-obsessed?

Stepping away from banking, the survey also revealed some telling stats about Generation Z (in this case, people aged between 13 and 17), as well as millennials.

These generations are far more conscious of their digital footprints, with the majority surveyed regularly Googling themselves. For 10pc of millennials and Gen Zers, a self-search is a daily activity.

The importance of mobile phones in this generation cannot be underestimated. Gen Zers would hypothetically forgo television, tablets and games consoles if it meant they could still have use of their mobile phones. On the extreme end of the scale, almost a third of Gen Zers would go without money or even friends if it meant their phone remained in their pocket.

We live in an increasingly digital world, and this can be a good and bad thing. At times, the flow of information becomes overwhelming, with many of us opting to unplug. The survey noted that 46pc of adults were in favour of a digital detox, with 11pc saying they had intentionally disconnected their devices for more than 24 hours for a bit of a break.

As we become more accustomed to the digital interfaces and products that we use daily, the survey found many participants were nostalgic for the old days of analogue. 76pc surveyed said they used a retro device, with 49pc still giving their CDs a spin and 17pc watching VHS tapes on a VCR.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects