The millennial population (1980-1994) is our first digitally connected generation.  They stay connected by using smartphones, pc tablets, or smartwatches.  This generation uses the internet for shopping, self-help videos, and live stream TV.  Many live-stream their church service and pay their offering online.  Millennials have enthusiastically embraced social media as an essential method of communication.

Among millennials, plastic payment has replaced the use of cash.  Did you know 58% of millennials use debit cards for purchases of $5 or less?  In comparison, only 19% of people over 65 use plastic for small purchases.  

Online shopping allows us to research products, compare prices, search for coupons, and shop at our own convenience.  While the percentage of online shopping by all generations grows yearly, millennials prefer it.  

Digital technology also affects banking and bill paying.  Now more than ever people are benefiting from the convenience of online banking and bill paying, especially among the millennial population.

Does your billing system live up to the expectations of this age group?  Does it live up to the expectations of the times?  Many of our mutual companies have older policyholders and don't realize there is a need for accepting payments through their website.  Some of us still believe our policyholders prefer face-to-face interaction when making decisions or paying their bills.  Unfortunately, we're wrong.  While there are situations when all generations want to speak to or see their agent, a large majority of the younger generation will only buy where online bill paying is an option.  It's just too convenient for them. 

In order to attract younger policyholders, we need to understand that digital technology is necessary.  If your company doesn't have a website, get one.  If your company doesn't offer a bill pay service through your website, you're missing an opportunity to grow your business, reduce late payments, and retain your customers.  It's easy to get started and the benefits will outweigh the costs.  Research the benefits of accepting payments online or talk with mutual managers who accept payments through their website.  The millennial population now outnumbers the baby boomers, time to move forward if you haven't already.

To learn more about the influence of the millennial population, click here.