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Meet Your Next Customer - Gen Z

February 19, 2021

Every generation is unique. Understanding how each group thinks, what they like (or don’t like), and how they want to engage with you is vital to improving customer experience. Although, once you think you’ve got it down, a new generation of customers comes along and shakes everything up! It would be nice if payment preferences, communication options, and spending habits remained static, but that isn’t how things work. In fact, generational shifts play a more important role in determining behavior than socioeconomic differences do. In this blog, we take a deep dive into Gen Z. We focus on their appetite for next-generation payments, their communication preferences and desire for personalized experiences, and the trends most likely to drive significant change in the payments industry today and tomorrow.

Who Is Gen Z?

These individuals were born between 1995 and 2010. They are expected to make up 30% of the U.S. workforce by 2030 and currently have purchasing power worth $143 billion according to Business Insider. This is one tech-savvy generation. Gen Z has never known a world without the internet, has never used a phone with a cord, and has no idea what a floppy disk is.1 Digital solutions are truly second nature to them, having been exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile systems as early as their parents allowed them to be!2 As far as preferences goes, they would rather communicate digitally than have face-to-face interactions. According to a recent study, Gen Z and Millennials were most likely to say they’d pick a chatbot over a human for a customer service interaction if they knew that they could save time.3 They want alerts about billing, payments, service interruptions, and usage sent right to their mobile devices and will choose mobile apps to check on the status of a power outage and pay their bills. On top of providing solutions that meet their needs, billers should focus on finding innovative and genuine ways to engage with this group because their attention span has been clocked at around eight seconds and authenticity is important to them.4

They’re All About Digital Experiences

 Having been raised with the internet and social media, Gen Z moves seamlessly between the physical and digital worlds, with very little distinction between the two. They expect the businesses they engage with to have the solutions in place to allow them to do so. There’s no doubt that this generation values all things digital with 58% of Gen Z respondents stating that they can’t go without internet access and 64% expect the internet to drive daily decisions within five years.5 But not just any digital experience will do. This generation craves personalized experiences, even when it comes to payments. According to Accenture, payments have moved beyond a simple transaction, with customer experience a key differentiator. When it comes to payments, billers should focus on providing AI-enabled tools and digital payment platforms that are mobile friendly and that help manage payments and expenses.

Mobile Payments Are No Longer Optional

  • 55% of Gen Z uses their smartphones for five or more hours a day and 26% of Gen Z uses their smartphones for 10 or more hours a day.
  • Only 30% of Gen Z respondents reported that they never use digital wallets to purchase a product.
  • 79% of Gen Z reported using P2P payment platforms at least once a month.
  • 40% of Gen Z consumers have some usage experience of in-app payments, and 15% make in-app payments regularly.

They Want to Make It Personal

As we touched on above, personalization is really important to Gen Z. They’ve grown up with personalized experiences like Spotifly playlists, Netflix recommendations, and Amazon product suggestions. This is likely why this is an expectation for this generation, rather than a nice to have. But they don’t expect to get these authentic and unique experiences without giving something in return. 44% of Gen Z indicated that they will provide their personal data in order to get a more personalized experience over an anonymous one.6 Billers looking to make these personalized connections should look no further than text messaging. With their cellphones rarely out of reach, SMS text is an effective way to engage with Gen Z. In fact, 7 in 10 Gen Zers prefer to communicate digitally, and predominantly by text message. SMS text also boasts an impressive 99% open rate and an average response time of 90 seconds, making it one of the fastest digital communication channels today.7 In addition to high open rates and fast response times, text messaging is highly flexible. It can be used to pay bills and to receive alerts for billing, payments, service interruptions, usage, and more.

How Billers Can Appeal to Gen Z

  • Offer seamless innovative payment experiences through solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo.
  • Use smart speakers, chatbots, and text messages to both communicate with Gen Z and allow them to pay their bills.
  • Develop products that are social, authentic, and digital-native.
  • Give them solutions that allow for bill splitting as they often live with roommates or need help from their parents.
  • Provide easy access to educational content.

Finding the right customer experience partner ensures billers have the solutions they need to keep all of their customers happy, regardless of age. KUBRA offers the most complete and integrated suite of cloud-based customer experience management solutions available on the market. Our portfolio includes billing and payments, alerts and preference management, mobile apps, and mapping solutions. Visit our website to learn more!


  1. Welcome to Generation Z, Deloitte, 2018.
  2. True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies, McKinsey and Company, 2018.
  3. Zingle. 3 Keys For More Effective Communication With Gen Z Millennials. June 2019.
  4. Welcome to Generation Z, Deloitte, 2018.
  5. Gen Z ushers in a new digital paradigm, resetting expectations for brand experiences, Agility, 2020.
  6. Brown, Eileen, Gen Z willing to provide their personal data for more personalized experiences, ZDNet, March 6, 2019.
  7. Tocci, Meghan, What You Need to Know About for Marketing to Gen Z, SimpleTexting.

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