There has been a lot of talk about Millennials embracing mobile payment. Last month, Chuck Martin published an article in MediaPost’s MobileShopTalk about consumers being slow to adopt mobile wallet use.
But tech-savvy Millennials are not a uniform group by any stretch, especially when examining trends by ethnicity. I’d like to point out some interesting findings on mobile wallet usage among Hispanic Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, who represent the largest segment of the Hispanic population after Generation Z (aged under 18).
These trends are from the Hispanic Millennial Project, a proprietary research study which explores a variety of topics including financial service usage and new banking methods.
The first insight is that Hispanic Millennials are more likely to use a mobile wallet like Apple Pay when compared to their older cohort, Hispanics ages 35-64. This is not surprising, according to Martin’s article, as it shows Millennials gravitate to all things digital in general.
When examining by income levels, however, the study reveals that Hispanic Millennials with household incomes over $46,000 have a 79% awareness of mobile wallet services vs. 63% by their lower income peers. It is only a matter of time before lower income Hispanic Millennials catch up as they see more outlets accepting mobile payments.
And this could be an even bigger trend beyond Hispanic Millennials, with over 10 million low-income American households unbanked.
Also telling, is that foreign-born Hispanic Millennials have a greater interest than their U.S.-born peers for mobile wallet services – 63% to 43% respectively for Apple Pay and 64% to 53% respectively for Google Wallet. Why? It may be that U.S. born Hispanic Millennials have tried these services or have a favorite already. Foreign-born Hispanic Millennials are acknowledging that mobile wallet services are a good fit for their lifestyle. They likely have a weak banking relationship, avoid banks, or see banks as inconvenient.
This sets up a tremendous opportunity for mobile wallet services to “speak” to foreign-born Hispanic Millennials and convert them to customers. It also shows that banks could be doing a lot more for this segment – being first with their own mobile products that allow these consumers mobile pay, mobile deposit, and many of the other benefits that open the doors to mobile banking. It’s seems as though foreign-born Millennials are just waiting for the invitation.
With instant money becoming the new norm, it will be interesting to see which provider targets these groups first as the mobile wallet category becomes saturated among Millennials in general.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Sept. 2, 2016, in Engage:Millennials.