Consumer Tech Trends – How Finance Teams Reach Customers of All Ages

Born after 1995, GenZ has quickly dominated the digital sphere with a large presence on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. But a recent study shows that for Baby Boomers and Gen X, the smartphone is just as important. 

Whether baby boomers or Gen Z, the smartphone has become an everyday companion

Anyone over 50 today is part of either the so-called Generation X (born 1965-1979) or the Baby Boomer generation (born 1946-1964). Neither generation grew up with smartphones and are not digital natives. Nevertheless, a study by the nonprofit organization Aarp found in a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. Americans that 84% of those over 50 regularly use a smartphone. People in this age group are using smartphones in ever-changing ways to manage everyday life, according to the survey. For example, one in three have ordered food on their cell phones and one in four listen to podcasts on their smartphones. On a weekly basis, smartphone users over 50 primarily use the e-mail app of their installed apps. In 2020 with a share of 79% and in 2021 with a share of 77%, according to the study. That equates to nearly 4 in 5 people in this age group, making email very relevant as a communication tool.

And what about the youngest generation, known as Generation Z, or “Gen Z” for short (born 1996-2010)? A Pew Research Center survey found that 95% of teens in America between the ages of 13 and 17 will have access to a smartphone by 2022. In other words, nearly every teenager. Accordingly, the gap between the two most distant generations (baby boomers vs. Gen Z) in terms of smartphone use as an everyday companion is not as large as one might assume based on the age difference (84 vs. 95%).

The pandemic has increased the use of digital devices

But the smartphone is not the only end device in front of whose screen people spend their time, and much has changed in recent years. Due to contact restrictions and travel bans in the wake of the global Corona pandemic, the year 2020 represented a turning point in the use of technical end devices. According to a representative Bitkom Research survey, people in Germany have been spending more and more time in front of screens of all kinds since Corona – whether in front of their smartphone, laptop or TV. On average, the respondents (of all age groups from 16 years) come to 10 hours of screentime a day and 70 hours a week. At the beginning of the pandemic, the average was still 8 hours a day. In particular, video streaming, video telephony and online shopping are being used more and more. Senior citizens surveyed by Bitkom have also been using digital technologies much more frequently since Corona (2020: 51 percent, 2021: 75 percent).

Here’s how finance teams are reaching all age groups with modern communication channels in collections 

The findings of the latest tech trends also shed light on where finance teams can reach people of different generations as consumers today. Not least when customers fail to meet their payment obligations.

Modern communication channels

PAIR Finance, the innovative fintech for AI-based collections, takes an omnichannel approach to the collections process, enabling a cross-device user experience for consumers of all ages. Our messaging via channels such as email, SMS or Whatsapp is tailored to each recipient and reaches them where they are active. This also applies to the timing and tone of contact. 

Different payment options

Our AI typologizes each person individually: in addition to the ability and willingness to pay, our model even estimates how emotionally or rationally and how financially structured or unstructured someone acts. What’s more, the payment process at PAIR Finance can be chosen by customers* themselves, from Apple Pay to installment payments.

Safeguarding reputation

With the new, customer-oriented collection experience of PAIR Finance, companies secure their reputation despite debt inquiries to their customers*.

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