Catching up with the youngsters: Generation X is the real champion of cashless payment Visa survey
Bangkok–16 Feb–Spark Communications
Latest Visa research reveals that a confluence of technological and demographic shifts are a boon as the Thai economy picks up
“Generation X” (Gen X), whose collective purchasing power accounts for much of electronic payment in Thailand, are the new “emerging market” for new payment methods, translating into growth opportunities for businesses at a time when “Generation Y” (Gen Y) comes of age, according to Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2015. 
A preference for electronic payments among Gen X Thais remains strong, according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2015. The study shows that six out of ten Gen X Thais (59 percent) prefer card payments over cash for safety reasons, compared to four out of ten (42 percent) among Gen Y.
The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study identified and tracked the changing attitudes towards payments among consumers in Southeast Asian markets including Thailand. For this study, Gen X are defined as those between 35-60 years old, while Gen Y fall within 18-34 years old.
“We see a ‘new wine in old bottle’ phenomenon, evident in the widespread adoption of digital payments among high-spending Gen X, particularly through mobile devices. At the same time, we register the growing spending power among Gen Y. These demographic shifts provide ample opportunities for businesses and financial institutions,” said Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa Country Manager for Thailand.
While cash is still the preferred option, the potential of other payment methods has been recognized. In the study, 66 percent of Gen Y surveyed said they are already actively using dedicated mobile applications to shop online – compared to 44 percent among Gen X. But the latter is catching up quickly.
Gen X and Gen Y show a similar level of interest in using mobile payments at 81 percent and 82 percent, respectively. Both cited time saving and faster transactions as the main reason (77 percent). Interestingly Gen X place more emphasis on ease of use (60 percent vs. 56 percent) and the convenience of going cashless (60 percent vs. 55 percent).
For both generations, payments are also increasingly made on mobile devices. Frequent purchase of items such as entertainment tickets and food delivery services has become the new norm for all ages. For example, at least half of Gen X and Gen Y surveyed said they are now buying movie tickets regularly on their mobile devices. The same goes with food delivery and event and concert tickets.
Repeated usage is a good indicator of how mobile payment has won over Gen X: 63 percent for example said they bought beauty and cosmetic products specifically via mobile devices having started using mobile payment only a year ago.
Both Gen X and Gen Y also said they are interested to shop in store and paying with mobile devices (67 percent and 59 percent respectively).
Interest in making payments using wearables is also similar across the two groups with Gen X (80 percent) not far behind from Gen Y (87 percent) with groceries, food and beverage, and movie tickets as the top three categories for using wearables to pay.
Gen X, a generation that brought home the first personal computers and would not mind paying hundreds of thousands of Baht for the first tumbler-size cellphones, are not always the laggards when it comes to adopting new payment technology.
“Given the appetite of Gen X and its spending power, catering solely to the young ‘millennials’ would be too limiting. Visa is working with client banks and merchants to accelerate the speed and scale of financial innovation by utilizing Visa’s innovation assets and global network. So everyone, everywhere can have the best means to pay and get paid,” concluded Mr. Suripong.
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