In part one of our blog series on the future of money, we looked at the big global trends driving, perhaps the biggest disruption to money in history.
In part two, our national survey uncovered a hidden tipping taking place in Ireland – while our focus has been on Millennials and what they will do, we’ve missed out on the generation coming up behind them, Generation-Z.
And it’s Generation-Z who will shape the mainstream of the future, sooner than later. This first true, digital native generation will bring challenges but also strategic and creative opportunities for brands.
In our third and final part in the series, we ask: what will all this mean for brands?
How can brands take advantage of this disruptive moment?
Plan now or lose out
Led by Generation-Z, the tipping point in the adoption of new payment technologies and behaviours will happen sooner than we think. Things won’t change overnight, but there is a limited window to prepare for the inevitable.
Moving first on new payment technologies will be a strong signal to Generation-Z to take notice, helping brands get an edge over their competition. New benchmarks can be established very quickly, which Generation-Z will expect them to provide as standard. Those who don’t adopt early will be playing catch-up.
Generation-Z’s disloyalty to brands and their different ‘money-mindset’ will force brands to focus on being as useful and ‘frictionless’ as possible – adoption will happen provided Gen-Z’s see real tangible benefits that solve real pain-points or helps make their lives better. Brand solutions will need to focus on what they need, not what brands can give them.
Embrace complexity, but keep it simple
The design and layout of brick-and-mortar stores and payment points will need to continually evolve. We will most likely see a divergence in brick-and-mortar businesses, some prioritising experience and some convenience as more shopping moves online and onto mobile – the ‘omni-channel’ reality will place the emphasis on how online, offline and different payment channels interact. The emphasis will be on making your customers’ experiences seamless and simple, whatever their route to purchase.
See payment channels as a new media channel
The proliferation of media channels is being matched by a proliferation of payment channels, and they are beginning to merge in consumers’ minds and in practice. Brands need to think of these new ‘payment channels’ as a different kind of media channel, not just a revenue channel. Peer-to-peer payments, branded wallets and gamification will have to be seen as indispensible new marketing tools brands can use to communicate with and deepen customer relationships and more powerful customer experiences.
Take privacy and security seriously
This seems a little contradictory – people are increasingly protective of their personal data, yet they are also more willing to share it with brands in return for benefits. Brands will have to work hard to earn and keep consumers’ trust. Businesses will be expected to prove that they take customers’ privacy and security very seriously or else risk losing their trust and business overnight; while Generation-Z and Millennials are the most open generations to sharing data, they are also highly protective of it, preferring to do it on their terms.
The future of money is complex and fast-changing, but filled with opportunity for those who prepare correctly for it.
Read more about our Future of Money study: