Future of Digital Payments: Millennials Making Cards Irrelevant

January 5, 2016

With the introduction of digital payments such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet and social payment apps like Venmo, the future of the plastic credit card looks bleak. Soon, most of us will use our phone, watch or some other digital channel to pay for things, a method that doesn't include swiping a plastic credit card. Who is driving this shift towards digital only payments? Millennials of course. Find out more in this blog about the future of digital payments.

Paypal Survey

Paypal released data from a 2015 survey that has propelled the notion that plastic credit cards are on the way out and entirely digital payments are on their way in. This was obvious in the millennial opinion of credit cards and growing distrust they have for them. Paypal representatives claim that Millennials want a payment method that align with their lifestyle, an ever more digital landscape.

Why Now?

Innovation it is about disrupting traditional methods with more convenient ways of doing things and that is exactly what is happening with credit cards. No one enjoys fiddling around in their wallet to find the credit card they want to use or panicking at the thought of losing their wallet and waiting days for a replacement card to arrive. It is very inconvenient and ripe for a disruptive technology like e-walletts to swoop in and transform the industry.

Examples of Innovations to Date:

Apple Pay is growing in popularity and allows users to pay for items using their smartphone combined with Near Field Communication. This combination allows contactless payments and users can choose from visual versions of their credit cards when choosing payments. This shows that the credit card won't necessarily die, it will just change its form from plastic to virtual.

Google wallet is similar to Apple Pay. Users can store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards and gift cards virtually in the platform. It also facilitates and easy and fast way to pay people efficiently online, in a similar way to the popular app Venmo. Along with efficient payments, each platforms offers helpful analytics to report on spending habits and savings opportunities.

Uber takes out the payment piece all together and allows the user to focus on the experience instead of dealing with payments. It also gives drivers the confidence that the client can pay for their fare. This removes any awkward, uneasy feeling about taking a taxi drive and allows all parties to enjoy the experience. Imagine if you could go to a supermarket and leave without physically having to swipe and pay?


Millennials have lost trust in traditional credit cards according to the Paypal survey and trust technology companies much more. This feeling will drive innovation and it is likely that the Centennials will surface with similar feelings towards digital payments as the Millennials.

How can businesses prepare?

At this point digital payments are in a stage where users need to observe and use new payment methods to keep up to date with changes. E Commerce is the main industry that needs to be considering how to integrate digital payments in the future to help improve the overall user experience with their brand.

Talk to a full-service ecommerce mobile app and website development company today to help you prepare for these types of changes.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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