Perhaps it’s not just a stereotype: Millennials really like to use their smartphones—especially for personal finance, according to a recent survey.
As part of the ongoing effort to get inside the heads of everyone’s favorite demographic, consumer insight research group MFour surveyed 1,000 people ages 18 to 36 on their personal finance preferences.
Of the respondents, 61.2 percent said they preferred banking via mobile app, and 82.7 percent said they’d used a mobile banking app in the past month. Only 18.1 percent preferred heading to actual bank branches, but 63.9 percent reported doing so in the past month anyway.
Respondents opted banking on desktop computers even less, with 12.5 percent reporting that they preferred this method. But 71.6 percent said they had used a PC to manage their finances in the past month.
As one might expect, mobile apps dominated in the survey’s list of preferred methods of transferring money to family and friends, with 34.5 percent and 32 percent opting for Paypal and Venmo, respectively, and only 10 percent preferring checks. The preference for handling money electronically came with a strong sense of security: just 9.7 percent had concerns related to hacking, while 62.9 percent reported feeling “confident or very confident” that their funds were safe.
The fact that the survey itself was conducted via a smartphone app may have skewed the results in favor of those whose faces are constantly turned to their cellphone screens. When asked if the survey method might lead to statistical bias, MFour's director of communications acknowledged that the findings may be different if the survey had been conducted via email, but said a mobile app survey was “the optimal way” to reach millennials.
While this study may hint that millennials are as technologically savvy as stereotypes depict them to be, another study this year, by PricewaterhouseCooper, found that they’re not quite as financially literate and on shaky financial ground. Among 5,500 respondents between 23 and 35, only 24 percent understood basic financial concepts, 81 percent had at least one long-term debt and 30 percent were overdrawing their accounts.
If only there was an app for that.