What millennials really want: The changing face of the retail consumer


Millennials driving use of innovative payment technology

AUCKLAND - The next generation of influential and savvy shoppers want new ways to pay for goods, are particular about where and how they shop, and display little loyalty to brands, according to new research1 from Visa.

The Visa New Zealand Millennial Survey - providing fresh insights around technology, payments and retail from people born from 1980 to 2000 - showed 62 per cent of those surveyed say they would like to use a fingerprint or retina scan, known as biometrics, to pay for things, as they see it as being secure and convenient and having the “cool factor”.

Marty Kerr, Visa Country Manager, New Zealand and South Pacific, says millennial consumers are looking to payment technologies to make their lives easier and retailers need to meet their needs.

“Emerging payment technology like biometrics remove potential pain points for customers. They don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing their cards or wallets, and just need to spend a brief time at the till without having to insert cards or remember a PIN,” he says.

More than three quarters (78 per cent) say their smartphone is their favourite piece of technology that makes their life easier, with 83 per cent of females finding favour with smartphones more than males on 73 per cent. Smartphones blitzed other forms of tech, with laptops (10 per cent), tablets (three per cent) and smartwatches (two per cent) falling well short in the eyes of millennials.

Visa’s research also revealed the following findings:

  • 79 per cent of those surveyed wouldn’t leave home without their phone and 61 per cent say they already use their smartphone to pay for everyday items
  • Half (51 per cent) of those surveyed feel their life will change significantly in the next five-10 years through technology. That's even higher (60 per cent) among 18-24 year olds
  • However, they would love their technology to do even more than it currently does, with extended battery life the biggest wish (10 per cent) along with suggestions such as “read my mind”, “Artificial Intelligence”, “cook meals”, “3D display like Star Wars”, “make me money” and “fix the planet”
  • One in five have no brand affiliations - 20 per cent said they are not loyal to any brand 
  • The top things that will see millennials lose ‘love’ for a brand are failure of the product or service (68 per cent), rising prices and poor customer service (63 per percent respectively)
  • Items they like to spend their money on the most is food (63 per cent), entertainment and going out (47 per cent), travel (44 per cent), clothes (38 per cent) and technology and gadgets (34 per cent)

Visa is working to drive the use of payments technologies that meet the needs of these ‘new generation’ consumers, empowering them to make secure payments with whatever device or payment application they choose.

The launch in the past year of several mobile wallets using contactless technology, including innovations from New Zealand banks, is contributing to the growth in Visa payWave transactions. In December 2016, 19.1 million Visa payWave transactions were made (up on 16 million in October 2016)2

As evidenced in Visa’s current marketing campaign, the research also shows millennials shouldn’t be underestimated: they have ambitious career goals and are instrumental to driving the shift to digital engagement including payments. Two thirds (65 per cent) want to own their own business, have a challenging career or become a CEO, MD or senior manager.

“We can see that this industrious, forward-thinking mindset certainly rings true with two outstanding Kiwi businesses run by entrepreneurial millennials, who we’ve been working with in a recent Visa campaign. Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar and Tiger Burger in Auckland are embracing payment technology to improve customer service,” says Kerr.


1 Visa New Zealand Millennial Survey: Perceptive Research, March 2017

2 VisaNet, December 2016


Survey information
The Visa Kiwi Millennial panel survey and qualitative review, March 2017, surveyed 335 Kiwi millennials. They were asked a series of questions online and 12 of those were questioned further via video to gain deeper insights.

About Visa Inc. 
Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.

We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information visit www.visa.co.nz and @VisaNewsAU.

Media contact
Ivana Tranchini
Visa Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific
02 9253 8841
[email protected]