The days of making payments and reimbursing friends with cash are on the outs. There has been a significant shift in the way college students make payments, and 70% of them believe that payments will continue to drastically change in the coming years. As a soon-to-be University graduate, I’ve been able to witness just how much payment norms on campus have transformed over the last four years. This article will discuss a few key tech players that have been instrumental in these changes.
Yes, I’m going to start by talking about Venmo. I remember back in 2013 (my freshman year) when its name was verbalized. I was a frequent user, taking advantage of Chipotle’s BOGOs that only cost $3.51 of my Venmo balance. Now, Venmo payments are the standard for students and often preferred to a cash exchange. Students are using the request feature to split transactions from restaurant tabs to utility payments. With the social nature of the platform, these payments sometimes aren’t even discussed in person. They’re expected. This service will become even more convenient with the rollout of same-day ACH payments.
Tilt is widely used as a crowdfunding platform to easily collect money from a group. Debit cards are used (with no fees) to contribute to a tilt, which is in line with millennials’ preferrrence for debit over credit. The platform has been used to sell event tickets, collect dues for student organizations, and for more personal efforts like chipping in for a friend’s birthday gift. Tilt has been favored by a large population of college students to simplify the process of collecting cash from members of a larger group. As of last month, there are rumors that Tilt may be acquired by another company popular with millennials, Airbnb.
Mint is a personal financial management software, but it also is a payments tool. Mint’s mobile app plays to trends of millennials going paperless with bills and favoring a mobile experience. Mint Bills makes it easy to track upcoming deadlines and make sure you’re on time for bill payments. This, no doubt, is especially important to college students and millennials as they take on more financial responsibility.
Observing the growth of these applications and their popularity among the millennial generation further supports the overarching trends in global payments and how people are interacting with fintech. Mobile payments will continue to grow, and cash payments are slowly becoming a thing of the past. With the rise of debit card usage and credit card processing fees, we’ve built a solution that lowers costs for merchants and rewards consumers for paying with debit. It’s called Sezzle, and we hope to join the list above very soon.
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