Millennial Parents Putting Mobile Payments Tools Venmo, Cash App to Unexpected Use

June 14, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Ah, allowance day. The earliest form of payday for the younger set, it’s the day in which the value of a dollar is truly felt. Yet new word from CreditCards.com suggests that the days of Dad cracking open the old brown Buxton to hand over a bill or two may be waning. In fact, according to the report, Dad may whip out the smartphone instead to send a transfer via Venmo or Cash App.

Straight cash is still a popular and generally accepted way to pay an allowance, the reports note, but the mobile payments alternatives are gaining ground. CreditCards.com surveyed 2,694 parents—which is a strange sample size to be sure—and found that 61 percent use cash to cover allowance payments, while 10 percent use mobile payments. Interestingly, 10 percent also use direct bank transfer and 10 percent use a debit card—including prepaid or gift cards—and the remaining nine percent use “other means”.

It’s millennial parents leading the way on mobile payment-based allowances, though; 15 percent of millennials are most likely to pay allowances this way.

Ted Rossman, CreditCards.com industry analyst, noted “I like the idea of paying an allowance digitally because cards and apps are how children will be transacting once they grow up. RoosterMoney, Greenlight, Current and goHenry are good examples of services that have been designed to teach kids about money with appropriate training wheels.”

Rossman’s point is somewhat shaky. We’ve already seen Generation Z start to return to cash over mobile payments in a range of cases, so Rossman’s suggestion about widespread mobile payments use may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Still though, if millennials are paying allowances in mobile payments, it may be a good way to sustain the notion through a whole new generation. It’s worth noting, however, that even the mobile payments-heavy millennials are turning to mobile payments in comparatively small numbers.

We may well be looking at the next great mobile payments trend in the making. In the end, however, the big point here is teaching children about the value of money, a factor that has driven economies for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.