Younger generations drive UK alternative payment method adoption for online transactions

  • 42% of Millennials and 35% of Generation Z feel confident using alternative payment methods, or have used them previously
  • 81% of consumers agree security of their data and money is the most important aspect when choosing a payment method

As the migration away from traditional payment methods in the UK accelerates, younger generations are leading the adoption of alternative payment methods (APMs) such as Klarna, reveals a new study from PPRO. According to the findings, 42% of Millennials (born between 1980-1993) and 35% of Generation Z (born between 1994-2001) feel confident using, or have used, these methods of payment before.

In the UK, any payment method other than cash and credit or debit cards is viewed as an alternative payment method. However, across the globe, these forms of payment are considered local payment methods due to their broad adoption. In fact, there are over 450 significant local payment methods[1] currently available worldwide, which account for more than 70% of global e-commerce transactions.

Ongoing COVID-19 restrictions have seen a surge in e-commerce in recent months, with many consumers forced to shop online for everyday goods. As a result, UK consumers have been more inclined to try a range of digital payment methods to enable a convenient transaction experience. Currently, 89% of UK consumers are confident using PayPal or have used it in the past, whilst a further 31% express the same confidence / usage in using mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. This form of payment is particularly high for younger generations, with 68% of Generation Z stating they have used mobile wallet technology.

For younger generations, seeing a buzz about new payment methods in the news and on social media has been a key driving force for alternative payment adoption, 31% of Generation Z consider this the biggest motivation to try new payment methods[2]. For Millennials, 37% said that merchant acceptance is their main driver[3].

For the overall UK population, however, security was ranked the top adoption driver, even above reputable brand image, with over half (59%) of UK consumers stating security is the most important influence on their usage of new payment methods. This highlights the growing need for online merchants, Payment Service Providers and FinTechs to address consumer perceptions around trust and assure the security of payment methods at checkout.

“Alternative payment methods, such as direct bank transfers and pay later schemes, are considered new ways to pay in the UK. However, for online merchants that sell to consumers across borders, these alternative methods are the norm and must be offered at the check out to reach international consumers,”

comments James Booth, VP Head of Partnerships, EMEA at PPRO.

“Traditionally, the UK and US alike have stuck to using credit and debit card payments for online transactions. However, for merchants, alternative payment methods (APMs) are much more secure in comparison to card payments, due to chargebacks and being prone to digital theft and fraud. APMs, such as bank transfers, are more secure and a lot cheaper for merchants to process,” adds Booth.

  • PPRO Payment Almanac 2020
  • Respondent base excludes adults who have not used a new or alternative payment method before.
  • Respondent base excludes adults who have not used a new or alternative payment method before.