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Gen Z is changing the payments industry? Find out how

A new survey reveals Gen Z’s mindset towards digital payments in the MENA region.

Gen Z is changing the payments industry? Find out how
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Coming out of a pandemic, crippling economic crisis, and experiencing high inflation, Gen Z understands the repercussions of not planning their life and expenses ahead of the storm.

The generation that grew up in the internet and social media age, unlike their digital immigrant predecessors, makes their view of payments different. To understand these complexities, research conducted by Sixth Factor Consulting, titled Understanding Gen Z, sponsored by Amazon Payment Services, explores Gen Z’s attitudes toward digital payments compared to previous generations in the MENA region and explores this demographic’s preferences and motivations.

“The Gen Z demographic has immense potential to drive future business growth for merchants, making it an important customer segment for businesses to secure,” says Peter George, Managing Director for Amazon Payment Services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

As social media users, Gen Z is exposed to various global issues very early in life with a deep sense of social responsibility in their choice of brands and workplaces. To gain favor with Gen Z, businesses must understand their values and priorities and develop a matching corporate social responsibility strategy.

The study found that more than half of the research respondents lean towards digital forms of payment, including cards and mobile wallets. They prefer the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option as a convenient way to process big-ticket items, with the motivations being zero interest, lack of paperwork, and lighter pressure on their accounts.

Peer-to-peer applications have also gained traction in all three countries, with 92% awareness in Egypt alone. A category of in-app payment called super apps were marked by respondents as convenient as well.

The research has also found that Gen Z is less concerned about sharing their data publicly and on social media. This is because social media applications and websites utilize data to create a personalized experience, which Gen Z considers a priority as it provides them with a better online shopping experience. 

Adapting to a fast-growing environment is not new for Gen Z. In fact, they are quick to jump on and integrate trending practices into their daily lives. This quickness and hyper-awareness make them one of the most entrepreneurial generations. For businesses targeting Gen Z, understanding and implementing financial planning within newer payment methods can be vital for future success. 

The research also points out that Gen Z looks at the authenticity of the brand they purchase from, including their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. 

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