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Gen Z most frequent users of contactless cards, study shows

New survey from Ingenico and FreedomPay reveals half of young adults age 18-24 use tap-and-pay at least twice per week


In a new survey, three-quarters of millennials (age 25-39) and 7 in 10 Generation Z consumers (age 18-24) expressed overall satisfaction with contactless payments. And about half of the latter group (49%) reported making contactless payments at least twice per week.

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Contactless card technology allows you to pay at checkout by holding your phone or wearable device near the payment terminal, or tapping your chip card on the screen.

And three-quarters of U.S. adults say they find the technology to be both easy to use (74%) and convenient (74%).

But not all consumers perceive and use contactless payments equally. As you might expect, the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to view the technology favorably and use it regularly.

The findings come from a recently released survey by Ingenico and FreedomPay, which found that three-quarters of millennials (age 25-39) and 7 in 10 Generation Z consumers (age 18-24) expressed overall satisfaction with contactless payments. In contrast, only about half of baby boomers (age 55-73) reported being satisfied with the technology.

See related: Gas pump upgrades could fuel growth of contactless payments in the U.S.

Though Generation Xers (age 40-54) were most likely to have used contactless payments for more than two years (54%), the younger Gen Z adults are currently using the technology the most frequently. Almost half (49%) report they make a contactless card payment at least twice a week.

The perception of security is relatively the same among Gen Zers and millennials, with 85% and 84%, respectively, saying they consider the transactions secure. About 3 in 4 Gen Z adults trust the security (74%), while only 53% of boomers say the feel the technology is safe.

Perhaps the strongest signal that Generation Z will drive the growing adoption of contactless payments is that roughly 2 in 3 young consumers (65%) said they consider the technology to be a “must-have” payment option.

Ingenico and FreedomPay’s survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2019 by Hanover Research, among 1,350 U.S. adults. The findings were released Jan. 13.

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