WHOEVER FIRST COINED THE PHRASE "AGE IS JUST A NUMBER" has clearly not met up with Generation Y. As the largest age demographic in the United States, these high-profile Millennials offer up some surprises in their financial behaviors, impacting everything from digital adoption to mortgage management and savings. (Gen Y is defined as those born between 1979-1999 and Millennials as a subgroup born between 1986-1992, although the terms are often interchanged.)
As the September 2013 Western Union[R] Bill Payments Money Mindset Index reveals, this is one consumer group that wants options along with a balanced bottom line.
So, let's take a look at the survey data behind the age group numbers, and see what clues emerge for working with a demographic that looms large on the mortgage origination and servicing landscape.
Gen Y: Digital natives, mobile maturity
With almost one-quarter (21 percent) of Gen Y having never had a paper-check writing experience in their lives, it's smart to plan on delivering plenty of paperless options for payment and other interactions for this digitally defined consumer.
The survey also found Gen Y is planning on increasing its paperless payment behaviors, and in larger percentages than other age groups.
In the six months following the survey:
* 55 percent of Gen Y'ers said they intend to pay more bills online versus 45 percent of all bill payers; and
* 28 percent intend to pay more bills by mobile devices, versus 15 percent of all bill payers.
Mobile adoption: Leading the pack
It's true--Gen Y is planning on more mobile adoption. However, Gen Y'ers certainly aren't slacking now in terms of mobile usage, and are leading the pack as mobile money managers:
* 43 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers use mobile apps and tools to view their transaction history versus 25 percent of all other mobile consumers;
* 38 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers use mobile apps and tools to view their bill statements versus 24 percent of all other mobile consumers;
* 38 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers use mobile apps to make bill payments versus 22 percent of all mobile consumers;
* 24 percent of Gen Y mobile consumers use mobile apps to set up automated recurring payments versus 15 percent of all mobile consumers.
Gen Y'ers are more than mobile. Yes, they lead the way in mobile adoption; but choice and flexibility are important with this age group--39 percent of Gen Y'ers use three or more methods to pay their monthly bills.
In the next six...