Gen Z’s Message to Merchants: Meet Us in the Metaverse – New FIS Data Shows Young Consumers Drive Demand for Innovation

  • Millennial and Gen Z consumers are driving demand for embedded finance across a range of existing and emerging touchpoints, according to new FIS research.
  • As technology evolves and the physical, digital and virtual worlds converge, younger generations are inhabiting new channels, such as the metaverse, and creating the need for new ways to transact.
  • Findings show that digitally native consumers expect greater choices and seamless payment experiences at checkout, and retailers who deliver could stand to benefit.

A new study from FIS® (NYSE: FIS), a global leader in financial services technology, shows how the shopping preferences of younger UK consumers have shifted as adoption of embedded finance services reaches mainstream usage among Millennials and Gen Zs, while their older counterparts are less engaged with newer, digitally-oriented financial experiences.

Embedded finance is when consumers have unique, tailored financial services delivered to them at the point of need by non-financial companies. Most commonly, consumers use embedded finance in the form of in-app payments, like on social media platforms where a purchase is completed without leaving the platform, or as Buy Now Pay Later offerings at checkout. There is also growing potential to use embedded finance across loyalty programs, investments, and insurance offerings as consumers become increasingly comfortable with accessing financial services through non-traditional means.

Young consumers want to shop seamlessly via social media:

  • 78% of Gen Z and 70% of Millennials say they are likely to make a purchase directly through a social media platform in the next 12 months, according to the recent survey.
  • Meanwhile, Gen Zs (27%) and Millennials (24%) said they feel social media purchasing encourages more frequent, unplanned spending.

Gen Z consumers expect to inhabit and transact in the metaverse:

  • Across all generations, 43% of consumers say they are likely to access the metaverse in the next 12 months.
  • However, only 21% of Baby Boomers said they plan to use the metaverse over that time while 62% of Gen Z consumers said they would be willing to make a purchase in the metaverse.
  • Those willing to make purchases in the metaverse in the next 12 months said they would be open to buying event tickets (43%), buying games or gaming tokens (42%), and banking services (31%) including investments, insurance and loans within the metaverse.

Embedded loyalty offers convenience and more diverse financial choices:

  • 48% of consumers believe that convenience is the primary advantage of collecting loyalty points digitally, with 44% favouring the ability to use points instantly.
  • Embedding investment options and microdonations into loyalty reward schemes was more popular with Gen Z than other age groups.
  • Conversely, 77% of Baby Boomers said they still expect to collect loyalty points on a physical card in their wallet, such as a coffee shop stamp card, over the next 12 months.

Fast, embedded payments experiences preferred even when shopping in person:

  • 67% of Gen Z and 65% of Millennials said they would like to visit a checkout-free supermarket, compared with 51% of Gen X and only 29% of Baby Boomers.
  • The biggest advantage to checkout-free supermarkets is that they make it faster to shop and pay, according to Gen Z (56%), Millennials (57%), and Gen X (47%).

“Having grown up with almost everything available at the click of a button, young consumers are consummate digital natives who expect a seamless customer journey with advanced options for completing a purchase,” said Silvia Mensdorff-Pouilly, Senior Vice President of Banking & Payments in Europe at FIS. “These customers don’t want to navigate away from the website or app they are using, complete multiple sign ups, or deal with customer service staff – they want minimal friction and a smooth service. FIS has been investing in these capabilities so that businesses of all types can embed the right financial products and services at the right time, across multiple channels, and with instant payment options. These investments support our vision to advance how the world pays, banks and invests across today’s channels and those of the future.”

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