Low cost airlines, apartment rental services like Airbnb and a whole range of app-based transport options, from Uber to electric scooters, mean it’s never been simpler or cheaper to travel – and that suits today’s under 30s perfectly. After all, digging their phones out of their pockets to do whatever they need isn’t just second nature: it’s the only thing they’ve ever known.
Millennials love the freedom to travel, discover new cultures, meet new people and exchange ideas. But there’s one way in which even the most digital of lives can still feel a bit analogue, and that’s when it comes time to pay for something in a foreign country. Even giants like VISA and Mastercard only together account for 23 percent of global transactions, and this figure is set to fall further.
According to a recent report by PPRO in association with Klarna, while life in general is becoming ever more global, payment systems are too often stuck in the past. For businesses, that can mean adopting separate payment systems for every country – while for tourists it means unnecessary fees, friction and hassle that makes purchases slower, less flexible and more expensive. Even when they step off the beaten track, today’s consumers need to know they’re still in control.
With the global e-commerce market worth an estimated USD12bn a year, and mobile e-commerce accounting for 15 percent and rising of total online shopping, pressure is building for an easier, more flexible way to pay based around bank accounts rather than credit. This is especially the case in Europe, where younger people are very likely to have bank accounts and mobile devices.
These payment systems satisfy people’s increasing demand for control, flexibility and transparency. They make it easier for them to buy whatever they need, wherever they need it.
Companies like Klarna and PPRO are leading the way towards truly global payments, and one thing is clear. In a world that is smaller than ever, flexibility isn’t just nice to have: it’s the difference between surviving and being left behind in the digital world.