Gen Z: The Future of Spending

Gen Z: The Future of Spending
 

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Gen Z: The Future of Spending

Uncovering How Zoomers Pay

A New Generation
of Paying
The way that every generation pays for
goods and services is changing, all around
the world. But one generation in particular
stands out. Generation Z – young people
born between the late 1990s and the early
2010s – is growing up with a different set
of habits and behaviours to the generations
that came before.
This is why we at Thunes decided to
conduct a research and look into Gen Z’s
payment preferences, financial attitudes
and spending habits. We have identified
13 emerging and developed markets that
cumulatively account for 3.3 billion of the
global population, and surveyed a group of
Gen Z respondents asking them about their
social and payment habits.
We believe that every business needs to
understand how its audience’s preferences
are changing, so that it can cater to those
changing needs. And the growing economic
impact of zoomers makes it imperative
to work out what they want.

to reach $33 trillion by 2030. By then, this
group will hold more than a quarter of global
income, and their spending power will
surpass that of millennials – the generation
that preceded them – in 2031.
That power, by the way, will be concentrated
in certain parts of the world: Nine in 10
zoomers live in emerging markets, Bank of
America’s research reveals. A fifth of this
generation lives in one single country – India.
These trends raise important questions for
every business. What makes Gen Z tick?
How will they decide where to spend their
growing income? Who will have an influence
on those decisions? Join us as we dig deeper
into those questions, based on research
with zoomers in 11 emerging markets,
as well as in the UK and the US.

Peter De Caluwe
Chief Executive Officer
Thunes

Indeed, research from Bank of America
suggests that worldwide, Gen Z’s income
will grow by 400% over the coming years

The 13 emerging and developed markets we studied
BANGLADESH

INDONESIA

NIGERIA

RUSSIA

BRAZIL

KENYA

PAKISTAN

UNITED KINGDOM

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

UNITED STATES

VIETNAM

PART 1

Towards a
New Normal
for Payments
Gen Z embraces digital
technologies to manage
their money
Zoomers are the first generation who,
without exception, have grown up entirely
in the age of the internet. And Gen Z’s
immersion in digital technologies from their
earliest years onwards has shaped the way
they see the world – both how they make
decisions, and how they put those decisions
into practice.

lives online – and they expect the brands
with which they interact to accommodate
that. And while there are subtle differences
between the attitudes and behaviours of
Gen Zs living in emerging markets and their
counterparts in developed economies, both
groups are digital citizens.

The influence of digitalisation is clear in
each of the significant trends identified
in this report. Zoomers are living their

Our Research Identifies
FIVE MAJOR TRENDS.

01

Social Media Determine
When Gen Zs Spend Their
Time and Money
In some countries, more than 9 in 10 Gen Zs say they
now use social media on multiple occasions throughout
the day, and the platforms they log into continue to grow
in number. TikTok, for example, is rapidly catching up to
YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
Social media is particularly all-consuming in emerging
markets, where more than three-quarters of zoomers
check in multiple times over the course of a day. And
inevitably, such high usage rates make social media
hugely influential: more than two-thirds of Gen Zs living
in emerging markets say they have purchased products
they first discovered on social media (their peers in the UK
and the US are also social media-driven purchasers, albeit
in slightly smaller numbers). Moreover, recommendations
from other social media users are very powerful.
Indeed, the “Tik Tok made me buy it” theme has become
a global phenomenon, accelerating throughout the
Covid-19 pandemic when social media users had more
time to consume and create content. TikTok content
showcasing items has repeatedly led to shortages of
these products; #AmazonFinds lists have been a huge
hit, driving purchasing activity.

8in10

Zoomers say they now
use social media at least
once a day

02

Emerging Money
Management Tools are
Gaining Ground
Gen Zs are embracing new types of money management
tools and have relatively little enthusiasm for traditional
products such as bank accounts: 62% do not have one.
Mobile wallets, by contrast, are growing fast – in some
markets, almost half of zoomers now use this type of account.
Moreover, while mobile wallets and similar innovations
have traditionally been associated with emerging
markets, where conventional banking has had less
exposure, it would be a mistake to expect Gen Zs living in
developed economies to follow their parents’ preferences.
The evidence of our research is that zoomers globally are
moving away from banking products. Businesses that do
not adjust accordingly risk being shunned by Gen Z.

62%

of Zoomers
do not have
a bank
account

03

Zoomers Shop as Much as
They Like to Party
This is particularly true in emerging markets, where
Gen Zs currently spend 19% of their money shopping
for clothes and electronic goods. By contrast, going
out to eat, or to entertain, accounts for a slightly lower
proportion of zoomers’ spending.
With much of that shopping taking place online, it is
critical for retailers looking for a slice of this increasingly
important market to offer the payment options that
zoomers prefer. But even when it comes to the physical
retail environment – or indeed at entertainment venues
and in restaurants, cafes and coffee shops – Gen Zs will
expect to be offered a broad range of payment choices.
In developed markets, entertainment and dining out does
account for a slightly higher share of wallet, but shopping
– and online shopping in particular – is nonetheless one
of Gen Z’s favourite activities. Here too, payment options
will need to become more diverse.

HOW GEN Z DIVIDES THEIR SPENDING
18.9%

13.0%
11.6%
10.5%

9.9%

9.6%

9.4%
7.0%

6.9%

2.9%

SHOPPING

ESSENTIALS

DINING
OUT

ONLINE
SUBSCRIPTIONS

GAMING

ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH &
& EVENTS
WELLNESS

TRAVEL

LOCAL
TRANSPORT

OTHER

04

Physical Cash is on
the Decline
Cash is already highly unpopular with many Gen Zs.
In Western markets, for example, around a quarter of
Gen Zs almost never use cash. In emerging markets,
many of which have traditionally been thought of as
cash-based economies, the use of physical currency
to settle transactions is also becoming far less common,
though it remains an important payment method.
In part, this no doubt reflects the changing shape of
the global economy. As more people spend more of
their money online – with zoomers leading the charge
away from physical retail – the use of physical cash will
naturally decline.
But even where both parties are in the same place at the
time of the transaction – say, in a physical retail outlet or
a restaurant – physical cash is becoming a far less popular
way to pay. There are simply more payment options
available, many of which are a more natural fit to the way
in which people now live their lives.

Wallets are
dominating payment
methods in emerging
markets:

05

Zoomers Want Brands
They Trust When It Comes
to Payments
Gen Zs looking for alternatives to cash want payment
methods they can trust and feel safe with. The single
most important driver for zoomers considering which
payments option to use is brand trust and – and that
is true in both developed and developing economies.
In practice, of course, brand trust has several
components. Gen Zs certainly want to use brands they
know and recognise – building brand awareness is
therefore crucial to emerging payments providers.
But that awareness also has to generate the right
associations – above all, payments brands must be
perceived as secure and reliable; innovation and usability
are part of the picture too (indeed, user experience is the
second most popular answer from zoomers when asked
how they choose their primary payment method).
Making the right connection with potential users will
be crucial for any provider seeking to build a customer
base of Gen Zs. By contrast, pricing and parental
recommendation are much less powerful points of
competitive differentiation.

Top 5 Factors that Impact Zoomers’
Payment Choice:

Brand

User
Experience

Instant
Transfers

Features
& Services

Local
Acceptance
& Adoption

PART 2

The Payments
Space in Detail
Gen Z’s preferences
and behaviours uncovered

Gen Z’s Favourite Social
Media Channels Revealed
Gen Zs are voracious consumers of social media,
particularly in emerging economies. In Kenya and Nigeria,
for example, 96% and 92% of Gen Zs respectively say
they use social media on multiple occasions throughout
the day. In almost every emerging market surveyed,
zoomers are at least daily users of social media.
There are exceptions. Russian Gen Zs, for example,
are less likely to be found on social media; usage is also
a little lower in Indonesia. Overall, however, emerging
market Gen Zs are typically much more active users
of social media than their counterparts in Western
countries such as the US and the UK.
In most emerging markets, more established social
media channels enjoy larger market shares in this
research (which looks at the channels zoomers consult
daily) – notably YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
However, TikTok, which arrived on the scene only in
2016, has captured significant numbers of Gen Zs.
In Mexico, for example, TikTok is close to overtaking
both Facebook and Instagram, and is already ahead of
YouTube. Only India, which banned TikTok in June 2020,
has not seen this phenomenon.
Social media is part of zoomers’ daily lives – and not just
for entertainment purposes, though YouTube is ubiquitous
and Facebook remains popular, particularly compared to
the UK and the US, where younger people are moving on
to other social media. Professional social media channels
such as LinkedIn have also gained traction, particularly in
India and Indonesia, as well as in the West.

How often do you use
social media?
Overall, Gen Zs in emerging markets are
more active social media users than their
counterparts in the US and the UK.
Multiple
times a day

Roughly
once a day

2-3 times
a week

Once
a week

5.2
0%

8.00%
7.80%

UK

9.20%

12.20%

Less than
once a week

10.80%

15.80%

12.00%

MX

BR

82.80%

79.20%

0%
6.4

3.00%
%
3.40

2.80%

0%
7.0

10.60%
10.60%

IN

46.80%

6.60%

66.40%

6.4
0%

US

0%
8.8

8.60%

14.40%

9.00%

ID

82.60%
13.20%

52.20%

PK

78.20%

KE

96.40%

13.40%

3.20%
0%
3.4

12.77%
32.93%

NG

15.97%

RU

91.60%

21.16%

%
4.00

0%
5.2

%
20
5.

%
3.80

9.80%

17.17%

10.20%

VN

76.20%

PH

88.40%

BD

88.80%

Research findings are based on a survey of a representative sample of 6,500 people (aged 16-24 years old) in 13 developed and
emerging countries (including US, UK, Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Kenya, Vietnam, the Philippines, and
Bangladesh). Conducted by Thunes via survey platform Pollfish in Q1 2022.

Which social media/
entertainment apps do you use
daily?

15.2%

Launched in 2016, Tik Tok has experienced quick
global adoption and is now one of the most loved
platforms by Gen Z users.

15.1%
14%
12.5%
15.2%
7.5%
6.4%

TikTok

Snapchat

Facebook

Instagram

WeChat

YouTube

Twich

LinkedIn

Discord

Other

16.9%

20.6%

16.4%

20.2%

UK

6.7%
6.5%

15

2%

MX

20

0

5

10

15

20

26.1%

3.8%

16.4%
13.7%
11.0%
3.4%
2.4%

6.1%

2.4%

2.4%

5.9%

IN

1.7%
20

15

ID

5.4%

30

25

5.0%
0

5

10

24.52%

0.9%
0

23.1%
17.7%

12.5%

11.38%

15.8%
9.1%

10.1%

5.4%

9.0%

2.46%

4.6%

7.9%

1.61%

2.3%

7.7%

NG
20

25

0

5

1.3%

RU

7.6%
6.5%

10

15

KE

1.0%
0

26.5%

19.6%

17.1%
9.8%

5.8%

7.9%

6.2%

5.3%

5.4%

2.5%

2.4%

5.2%

1.8%

2.2%

10

15

20

25

2.5%

1.4%

VN

PH

1.3%
0

5

25

24.5%

14.5%

4.7%

2.1%

20

15

22.1%

18.2%

0.9%

10

5

25.9%

22.6%
22.1%
17.1%

30

25

19.8%

10.3%

7.76%

15

20

15

14.6%

17.29%

10

10

5

13.8%

14.60%

0.77%

PK

2.0%

20

15

18.75%

0.85%

25

25.1%

7.6%

2.1%

20

22.8%

7.3%

10

15

15.1%

6.1%

5

10

12.5%

5.2%

0

5

18%

16.5%

5

0

0.7%

17.3%

12.5%

0

BR

1.8%

25

23.6%

5

19.5%

4.9%

1.8%
0.7%

20

19%

2.0%

10

15

20.6%

6.5%

5.6%
4.6%

5

10

20.2%

4.9%

3.6%

5.5%

5

6.7%

11.3%

0

0

19%

7.0%

3.5%

US

5.7%

19.5%

16.1%
15.1%

0

5.7%

10

15

20

25

30

BD

1.7%
1.2%
0

5

10

15

20

25

30

How Gen Zs Decide Where to Spend
Interwoven into their lives, social media
is a powerful influence in the attitudes
of Gen Zs and the choices they make
– including spending decisions. This is
particularly true of Gen Zs living in emerging
economies: across all of these economies
surveyed in this research, 66.4% say they
have purchased products that they first
discovered on social media – a greater
proportion than say the same in either the
US or the UK.
Social media is a particularly powerful
inspiration for product purchases in
Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam; in each case,
more than 80% of Gen Zs report having
made purchases following seeing a product
on social media. By contrast, only 53%
of Gen Zs in Pakistan say they have been
influenced in this way.
Overall, however, the hugely important role
of social media in driving spending activity
is clear. In Mexico and Brazil, for example,
22% and 17% of zoomers respectively say a

66%

of Zoomers say
they have purchased
products that they
first discovered on
social media.

recommendation from someone they
follow on social media could be key.
Moreover, other digital resources are
driving spending too. In particular, Gen Zs
in emerging economies are strikingly likely
to stress the importance of rating and
review sites as influential in their spending
decisions. Indeed, in most countries, Gen
Zs are more likely to look to these sites
for information than to consult friends or
families. In Kenya, 44% of Gen Zs trust
ratings and reviews, more than twice as
many as those who cite friends or families;
in the Philippines, 43% of Gen Zs agree.
The data underlines the extent to which
zoomers are now conducting their lives
online in some way. Social media provides
an ongoing source of inspiration as they
think about how to spend their money. The
verdict of online analysts is considered more
important as Gen Zs ponder those purchase
than the views of their nearest and dearest.

Have you ever made a
purchase after seeing the
product on social media?
Yes

US

44.80%

55.20%

No

16.60%

16.20%

33.80%

MX

UK

BR

66.20%
83.80%

83.40%

33.40%

34.00%

IN

ID

47.40%

PK
52.60%

66.60%

66.00%

29.80%
44.40%

44.11%

NG

RU

55.60%

KE
55.89%
70.20%

19.00%

35.40%

VN

38.00%

PH

BD
62.00%
64.60%

81.00%

When deciding on what to
buy online, which factor is
most imporant for you?
Recommendations
from family and
friends
Ratings and
Reviews

Recommendations
from someone
I follow on social
media

Recommended
products from
marketplaces

Price
(promotion /
discounts)

Digital ads I
saw about this
product

5.8%

25

30

35

40

0

5

5.4%

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

BR

5

10

3.0%

25

30

IN

35

40

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

ID

35

40

4.6%
45

0

5

10

40

0

5

10

15

1.6%

RU

8.8%
45

20

25

30

35

40

45

0

5

10

25

30

5.0%
5.0%

2.0%

VN

2.0%
35

40

0

5

1.6%

PH

1.6%
45

10

45

10.0%

3.6%

4.8%

40

9.6%

5.0%

5.2%

35

34.4%

12.0%

30

20

33.2%

8.0%

25

15

31.0%

14.0%

20

KE

1.2%

36.8%

27.4%

19.0%

45

6.0%

24.6%

3.0%

40

2.0%

9.4%

NG
35

35

17.8%

11.2%

30

30

6.6%

12.0%

5.0%
3.6%

25

25

44.0%

13.4%

20

20

20.8%

12.8%

15

15

18.8%

12.0%

15

PK

2.8%

13.8%

8.0%

45

7.6%

36.8%

1.6%

40

5.0%

7.6%

45

35

12.4%

7.2%

31.0%

2.0%

30

8.2%

8.6%

20

25

30.2%

9.6%

4.8%

15

20

29.2%

13.8%

6.0%

10

15

15.0%

8.4%

10

0

15.4%

14.4%

5

45

22.8%

29.4%

0

1.8%

MX

31.6%

2.4%

45

4.8%

1.4%
45

40

14.6%

1.6%

UK

35

17.4%

22.4%

4.6%
20

US
30

32.4%

8.0%

15

25

20

22.6%

2.6%

10

15

10

12.2%

8.4%

10

5

25.8%

6.2%

5

8.4%

26.0%

17.40%

0

9.2%

8.2%

15.2%

5

13.4%

0

24.%

0

14.6%

8.2%

18.4%

5

17.0%

Other

Offline ads I saw
on TV/billboards

0

21.0%

15

20

25

30

35

40

BD

1.2%
45

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

How Gen Zs Manage Their Money
Gen Zs are finding new ways to manage
their money, eschewing the financial
products that previous generations had
no choice but to rely on. And in emerging
economies, where financial exclusion has
been a longstanding problem, new tools and
technologies are improving access to basic
financial services.
Across all the emerging markets surveyed
in this research, almost two-thirds of Gen
Zs (62%) say they do not have a bank
account – be it a personal bank account or
one opened by their parents. In the past,
most of those young people would have
found it challenging to participate in many
areas of trade and commerce, but today,
mobile wallets are filling the gap.
In several emerging markets, mobile wallets
– often provided by new market entrants,
including non-financial services sector
players such as telecoms companies –
are now the most popular type of money
management tool for zoomers. In the
Philippines, for example, 41% of zoomers
say they have a mobile wallet, compared
to just 24% who have access to a bank
account.

In other emerging economies, bank
accounts do have greater market
penetration amongst Gen Zs, but even in
these cases, mobile wallets are popular too.
In Nigeria, for example, 45% have access
to a bank account – more than in any
other emerging market in the research –
but 20% have a mobile wallet.
In Kenya, 45% of Gen Zs have access to
bank accounts, but 31% have a mobile
wallet
Clearly, even in markets when the
population is less underserved by the
banking sector, zoomers are looking for
other payment options.
Indeed, the lesson here is that mobile wallets
are a crucial tool for Gen Zs living in emerging
economies – more so than in Western
markets where conventional banking
services have traditionally been more widely
available. For some emerging economy
zoomers, mobile wallets from new entrants
to financial services provide a means to
access services they would previously have
been excluded from; but even in countries
with less of an exclusion issue, use of mobile
wallets has become widespread.

62%

say they do not have a bank
account – be it a personal
bank account or one opened
by their parents.

Personal
bank account
opened by me
Debit card

Mobile wallet

Credit card

None of the above

29.35%

US
16.79%

22
.

26
%

28.85%

MX
11.39%

13.99%

2%
.8
22

3.06%

UK

5.20%

%
5.37
8%
.7
12

15
.2
8%

23.04%

16
.25
%

Personal
bank account
opened by my
parents

31.04%

24.49%

7.10%

Do you have any of the
following financial tools?

BR
5.8
4%

6.76%

30.90%

26.16%
13.82%

12.51%

14.93%

%
7.56

5.68%
%
05
9.

6%
9.0

29.21%

22
.5
5%

17.97%

34.39%

IN

19.21%

17.53%

ID
11.34%

35.78%

22.25%

RU

KE

15.53%

5%
4.5

1%
4.8

31.48%
19.12%

17.23%

23
.6
9%
36.58%
3.69%

%
03
12.

3.92%

VN

41.34%

9.3
6%

%
.16
20

9.75%

5.31%

41.83%

6%
7.9

7.18%

4.14%

8%
8.2

NG

17
.2
9%

5%
9.1

25.32%

15
.76
%

20.47%

26.47%

8.4
2%

PH

6.31%
11.36%

BD

1%
8.3

23.82%

8.82%

9.39%

22.27%

20.47%

PK

5.72%

8.56%

8.64%
40.77%

33.16%

Which financial tool do you
use most often?
28.77%
22.95%
16.95%

Personal bank account
opened by me

Mobile wallet

Bank account issued by
one of my parents

Debit card

Credit card

None of the above

11.47%
10.27%
9.59%

24.19%
14.08%
8.84%

10.20%

6.86%

ID

20

10

20

24.65%

35.46%

17.17%

7.24%

11.88%

15.91%

6.03%

14.77%

2.66%

RU

40.34%

12.15%

13.53%

8.80%

11.53%

4.02%

5.66%

7.63%

3.66%
2.19%

VN
30

40

50

0

10

50

21.65%

17.18%

11.16%

20

40

44.42%

23.27%

5.50%

30

50

20

40

30

50

10

30

20

45.60%

KE

0

20

10

40

10

30

0

20

50

10

40

0

0

20

50

50

10

40

40

0

30

30

20

4.26%

9.85%

NG

50

39.72%

17.55%

5.29%

10

40

24.75%

16.02%

3.20%

30

50

10

40

0

30

50

0

40

PK

50

43.59%

30

40

20

30

10

20

50

0

10

50

7.04%

8.31%

0

40

40

30

10

20

0

30

50

50

22.17%

IN

40

38.99%

11.96%

20

30

28.59%

7.52%

50

20

40

10

18.77%

6.75%

40

0

30

20

50

20

10

40

10

0

30

0

20

BR

50

10

40

0

30

50

7.90%

10

3.89%

MX

50

20

40

10

40

30

0

30

6.69%

25.73%

0

30

6.35%

21.02%

0

20

26.40%
23.97%

5.61%

UK

50

10.71%

31.08%

10

10

25.41%

10.56%

40

28.35%

9.31%

7.18%

0

US
30

17.13%

11.69%

20

20

0

26.76%

10

10

36.19%

13.24%

0

50

40

30

20

10

0

50

40

30

20

10

0

30.56%

0

6.70%

PH
20

30

40

50

0

10

BD
20

30

40

50

17.8%

Which local
payment brand
do you use most
often?

14.4%
11.6%

9.6%

ApplePay

9.6%

Debit Cards*

9.4%

Credit Cards*

9.2%

Google Pay

20

Skrill

5.8%

Other

5.6%

Revolut

22.4%

Paypal

14.0%

Bank Transfer (SPEI)

Google Pay

Neteller

3.8%

Much Better

Cash at convenience store
Google Pay

2.6%

Other

1.8%

ApplePay

MX
30

40

48.6% PIX

44.4% PayTM

11.0% Credit Cards*
8.8% PicPay
7.6%

3.2%

PhonePe

3.4%

Other

Boleto

2.6%

Credit Cards*

Google Pay

2.4%

Paypal

2.2%

RuPay card

1.8%

Debit Cards*

Debit Cards*

2.2%

PagBank

1.6%

Other

1.4%

ApplePay

1.4%

Ame Digital

40

50

10

20

30

40

50

50

40

30

20

10

0

0

30

30

20

20

10

10

IN

BR
0

0

29.0% Google Pay
14.2%

Paypal

7.6%
6.0%

50

50

20

40

10

30

0

20

20

50

10

10

40

0

0

30

50

20

40

10

Credit Cards*

ApplePay

30

0

UK

Other

4.4%

Debit Cards*

Paypal

Mercado Pago

7.4%

Cash at convenience store

50

Bank Transfer (SPEI)

12.6%
8.6%

Mercado Pago

4.2%

40

26.2%

Google Pay

6.4%

30

50

20

40

10

30

0

10

7.8%

US

Zelle

0

50

40

30

20

10

0

Debit Cards*
Credit Cards*

6.8%

Other

ApplePay

20.2% Paypal
10.4%

Venmo

11.0%

7.4%

29.0%

Paypal

Cash App

50

40

23.0% Dana
19.0%

49.2% Easy Paisa

GOPAY

37.8% JazzCash

10.8% OVO
10.2% Paypal
8.8%
8.2%

Other

8.0%

Debit Cards*

6.4%
5.6%

0

LinkAja

10

Credit Cards*

ID

Google Pay

20

30

40

50

*Includes Visa, Mastercard and American Express

0

3.0%

Other

2.8%

Credit Cards*

2.2%

Debit Cards*

1.4%

Google Pay

1.2%

Paypal

1.2%

Upaisa

1.0%

Nayapay

10

20

PK
30

40

50

Which local
payment brand
do you use most
often?

Credit Cards*

15.8%

Opay

18.4%

ApplePay

18.4%

MIR Card
Google Pay

16.4%
14.8%

Debit Cards*

11.0%

Paypal

4.6%

Paga

10.8%

Credit Cards*

4.2%

Google Pay

10.4%

Other

Other

11.2%

3.0%

Flutterwave

NG
50

10

20

30

40

50

50

100

80

60

40

20

0

0

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

RU
0

0

50

16.2%

40

Paypal

16.6%

30

20

10

0

50

40

30

20

10

0

Debit Cards*

28.4%

91.0% MPesa
5.4%

42.4% Momo

Paypal

23.0% Paypal

1.6%

Equitel

0.8%

AirtelMoney

0.6%

Credit Cards*

0.4%

Debit Cards*

0.2%

Google Pay

11.0% ViettelPay
8.0% Credit Cards*
7.4%
4.6%

Debit Cards*
Google Pay

2.0%

Other

1.6%

ApplePay

KE
0

20

40

60

80

VN

100

0

10

20

30

40

50

0

73.6% Bkash
12.4%

Nagad

4.2%

Other

4.4%

Paypal

3.2%

PayMaya

3.8%

Rocket

1.4%

Coins.PH

2.6%

Debit Cards*

1.0%

Debit Cards*

1.4%

Credit Cards*

0.8%

Google Pay

1.0%

Other

0.8%

Credit Cards*

0.4%

Google Pay

0.4%

GrabPay

0.4%

Tap

10

20

30

PH
40

50

60

70

80

*Includes Visa, Mastercard and American Express

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

76.4% GCash
11.8% Paypal

0

10

20

BD
30

40

50

60

70

80

How Gen Zs Spend Their Money
Is Gen Z a generation
of shoppers?
The answer is yes –

some countries is higher than others. In
Indonesia, for example, zoomers spend
less than 10% of their money on essentials,
compared to 21% and 19% in Kenya and
the Philippines respectively.

and potentially more so than other
generations. Certainly, in a number of
markets, shopping accounts for the single
biggest share of Gen Z’s spending – ahead
even of entertainment, events and eating out.

Other important elements of Gen Z’s
financial commitments include spending
on eating out, entertainment subscriptions
such as Netflix and Spotify, and going out
to events and other forms of entertainment.
But it would be wrong to think of Gen Z
as purely hedonistic: respondents across
the emerging markets in this survey spend
an average of almost 10% of their money
on health and wellbeing – in Pakistan, the
figure is almost 16%.

On average, Gen Zs in emerging markets
spend around 19% of their money on retail
shopping – more than their counterparts
in Western markets such as the US and the
UK. The figure is highest in the Philippines,
where shopping accounts for almost a
quarter (24%) of spending, followed closely
by Kenya (24%).
The next biggest financial commitment
for zoomers is the essential items they
need to buy, including groceries and
household goods. But the cost of living in

19%

of Zoomers’ money
in emerging markets
is spent on retail
shopping – more than
their counterparts in
the US and the UK.

One thing is certainly true, however. An
increasing proportion of spending is
taking place online. That’s true across all
generations, as online retail and home
entertainment grow at a rapid pace, but
Zoomers’ embrace of digital technologies
puts them at the vanguard of this trend.

What do you mostly spend
your money on?
US

UK

MX

BR

IN

ID

PK

14.07%

12.46%

10.91%

11.68%

11.67%

9.44%

11.99%

11.21%

11.49%

13.56%

13.37%

12.19%

12.14%

12.10%

14.90%

17.91%

19.78%

18.88%

19.60%

18.07%

19.27%

Gaming

10.93%

9.55%

8.47%

10.32%

8.74%

11.05%

11.63%

Online
Subscriptions

11.00%

11.94%

17.00%

14.67%

8.88%

10.53%

5.64%

Entertainment
and events

10.52%

9.40%

10.91%

9.73%

10.79%

10.39%

7.29%

8.36%

7.91%

6.75%

7.92%

11.53%

8.49%

14.22%

Local
transport

6.27%

7.31%

6.02%

7.27%

5.21%

6.73%

6.23%

Travel

7.24%

7.16%

5.75%

5.13%

9.91%

7.90%

7.17%

Other

5.50%

4.85%

0.86%

1.04%

1.47%

5.27%

4.47%

Essentials

(Groceries,
household goods,
pharmacy etc.)

Dining Out

(coffee shops,
fast food restaurants,
cafes, restaurants)

Shopping
(clothing, electronics,
accessories, etc)

(Netflix, Spotify, etc.)

(movies, concerts,
sporting events, etc.)

Health &
Wellness

The 13 emerging and developed markets we studied
BANGLADESH

INDONESIA

NIGERIA

RUSSIA

BRAZIL

KENYA

PAKISTAN

UNITED KINGDOM

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

UNITED STATES

VIETNAM

What do you mostly spend
your money on?
NG

RU

KE

VN

PH

BD

Essentials

(Groceries,
household goods,
pharmacy etc.)

14.83%

11.19%

20.89%

10.36%

19.27%

10.89%

8.85%

9.93%

9.85%

12.81%

11.15%

12.66%

17.87%

12.24%

23.63%

19.82%

24.29%

19.69%

6.61%

10.14%

4.20%

14.07%

12.36%

11.27%

Online
Subscriptions

13.14%

10.42%

7.79%

9.28%

8.04%

8.73%

Entertainment
and events

10.90%

8.74%

9.59%

11.50%

6.31%

8.73%

Health &
Wellness

10.81%

9.51%

8.73%

10.42%

8.64%

9.03%

Local
transport

11.08%

10.70%

9.25%

3.71%

3.89%

6.41%

Travel

3.31%

9.44%

4.79%

7.78%

4.49%

11.43%

Other

2.59%

7.69%

1.28%

0.24%

1.56%

1.16%

Dining Out

(coffee shops,
fast food restaurants,
cafes, restaurants)

Shopping
(clothing, electronics,
accessories, etc)

Gaming

(Netflix, Spotify, etc.)

(movies, concerts,
sporting events, etc.)

The 13 emerging and developed markets we studied
BANGLADESH

INDONESIA

NIGERIA

RUSSIA

BRAZIL

KENYA

PAKISTAN

UNITED KINGDOM

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

UNITED STATES

VIETNAM

How Gen Zs Pay Their Bills
Whatever they spend their money on,
zoomers are increasingly unlikely to pay with
physical cash. In many markets – including
emerging economies, but in particular in the
West – fewer than half of Gen Zs use physical
cash at least once a day. And sizeable
proportions almost never use it.

In the US and the UK, for example,
25% and 28% of zoomers respectively
say they almost never use cash.

This is not to say physical cash is disappearing
altogether – at least for now. It remains an
important payment method that zoomers
in many emerging economies, including
Pakistan, Bangladesh Nigeria, Kenya, and
the Philippines, still use very frequently.

In Brazil and Indonesia, 46% and 45%
respectively say the same.

In Russia, 60% of Gen Zs say they use
cash once or twice a week, or even less
frequently

In India, Pakistan, Vietnam and the
Philippines more than 30% in each case
of zoomers use cash one or twice a
week, or even less often.

Nevertheless, it is crucial for new payments
providers to understand how Gen Zs
decide on their primary payment methods,
as zoomers look beyond physical cash in so
many places. And our research suggests a
variety of factors are importance. The value of
brand is clear – across the emerging markets
in this research, 17% pick out brand trust and
security as their number one factor, rising to
25% in Indonesia. Ease of use is especially
valued by 15% of Gen Zs, who point to the
importance of a good user experience; 19%
of Brazilians cite this driver. The availability
of useful features and services is also a key
deciding factor for many.

The data reflects the evolution of financial
tools and technologies. Traditionally, many
of these countries have been largely-cash
based societies, with significant chunks
of the population operating outside the
banking system. But while bank account
take-up in many economies is still modest,
the growth of options such as mobile
wallets – as well as the ubiquity of mobile
phones – has enabled growing numbers
of Gen Zs to embrace electronic payment
options. Payees in retail, leisure and other
consumer-facing sectors have moved
quickly to facilitate this.

Then there is acceptance: Gen Zs naturally
want to be sure they will be able to use their
chosen payment method in the places they
spend money. In Kenya, 25% of Gen Zs
point to this as a key consideration.

The bottom line is that with the number of
cash-free payment options growing for Gen
Zs around the world, the proportion using
physical cash regularly is likely to continue
decreasing.

The trend away from physical cash is most
established in Western markets.

How often do you use cash?
At least
once a day

3-5 times
a week

1-2 times
a week

Less than
once a week

Almost
never

Never

9.40%

15.80%

16.00%

US

22.00%

15.20%

21.60%

2.00%

0%
8.6

%
5.80

1.40%
2.20%

%
8.40

16.40%

23.00%
19.40%

35.20%

19.00%

UK

BR

MX

20.00%

17.60%

23.20%
18.20%

31.60%

40.20%

ID

9.20%

10
.4
0%

7.00%

9.
20
%

0%
3.4

0%
9.4

IN

14.00%

30.20%

36.40%

3.80%

0%
4.2

8.
60
%

13.00%

PK

13.00%

48.80%

17.40%
29.20%

14.17%

67.00%

19.56%

RU

19.96%

10
.8
0%

4.40%
0%
3.4

2.00%
%
3.00
0%
5.6

12.97%

NG

21.40%

17.40%

23.20%

KE

22.00%

59.20%

16.37%
16.97%

%
7.00

15.80%

11
.0
0%

PH

BD

40.40%

21.60%

30.40%

2.20%
2.20%

VN

37.80%

2.60%
%
3.80

2.00%

0%
8.6

20.20%

14
.0
0%

23.40%

56.00%

25

20

15

10

5

0

What is the most important
factor when choosing your
primary payment method?

12.80%
12.60%
10.60%

Parent’s
choice

Acceptance:
I can use it for
most of my
daily needs

I trust the
brand, and
think that my
money will be
safe

Useful features
and services:
transfers,
savings,
investments etc.

Speed of
transfer

10.40%
10.20%
10.00%
9.20%
8.80%

Good user
experience

Reasonable
fees

Loyalty program
(points or
cashback)

Other

9.20%

13.20%
12.20%
11.80%

13.40%

8.00%

5.80%

7.60%

6.00%

5.80%

7.60%

5.60%

3.80%

6.80%

5

10

15

5

10

15

25.20%

17.80%

17.00%

13.20%

9.60%

16.60%

9.60%

8.60%

14.20%

8.60%

8.20%

8.20%

8.20%

7.40%

7.80%

7.40%

4.20%

6.40%

4.20%

3.00%
2.80%

2.80%

5

10

15

14.60%

24.60%
16.20%

14.60%

14.60%

14.00%

11.40%

11.60%

11.40%

7.20%

9.60%

7.20%

5.20%

4.60%

5.20%

4.60%

1.20%

4.60%

0

5

10

15

20

22.60%

20.60%

17.00%

20.00%

17.40%

14.60%

11.20%

14.20%

12.80%

10.40%

13.40%

12.00%

8.80%

10.80%

9.40%

8.20%

7.00%

5.60%

7.80%

6.00%

4.00%

v6.60%

4.60%

3.80%
1.00%
10

15

VN
20

25

3.60%
2.40%
0

5

25

25

19.80%

KE

25

20

20

15

15

10

10

5

5

0

15

0

1.00%
0.20%

25

10

RU
20

5

25

15

0

20

10

15

5

10

0

5

25

0

4.00%
1.40%

20

NG

25

16.40%

15.80%

14.00%

4.00%

20

25

0

21.80%

15.80%

1.40%

PK

3.60%

25

20

ID

15

20

10

21.80%

15

5

10

0

5

3.80%

25

15

0

20

10

25

15

5

IN

10

0

20

5

15

0

10

5.20%

3.00%

25

5

20

0

25

17.20%

17.80%

13.20%

20

25

0

20

25

0

25.20%

BR

20

25

15

5.20%
1.60%

20

10

15

15

5

10

10

0

5

5

25

MX

1.00%

0

0

20

25

15

20

10

3.20%

UK

6.00%

25

19.00%

15.40%

8.60%

25

17.40%

14.60%

5

20

20.60%

11.60%

0

US

15

20

5

10

15

5

10

0

16.40%

9.60%

5

25

20

15

10

5

0

25

20

15

10

5

0

21.40%
11.60%

0

7.80%
7.60%

0

It was
recommended
by my friends

10

15

PH

20

25

2.80%
1.60%
0

5

10

15

BD
20

25

Conclusion
Our research contains some crucial
lessons for those who hope to count
Gen Zs amongst their customers – both
organisations that are hoping to sell
zoomers products and services, and those
that are driving innovation in payments and
the broader payments space.

even more strongly in emerging markets
than in developed economies – and even
where this is not yet the case, the trend
towards digitalised services is accelerating.
Given the growing concentration of
zoomers in the world’s developing
economies, this should not be overlooked.

Above all, it is clear that this digital native
generation feels completely comfortable
making decisions about what to do with
their money online. Social media influencers
(including friends and family, and strangers)
help shape their choices. Online reviews and
recommendations are hugely powerful.

As for the future, expect the pace to
pick up even more. As new sectors and
monetisation models evolve, such as the
creator economy and the Metaverse, and
as zoomers look for new ways to make
careers and earn income, innovation
and adaptability of payments to their
expectations will become critical. Players
that have ambitions in these new sectors
will require an understanding of the
relationship between zoomers and their
money.

Moreover, Gen Zs are equally happy to
implement those decisions online. They are
spending more on digital purchases, rather
than in physical outlets. They are embracing
a broad range of digital financial tools.
In this new world, zoomers are choosing
service providers with whom they feel
comfortable and local brands play an
important role in their daily lives. Gen Zs are
keeping their spend with brands with whom
they feel secure, confident and welcome;
the user experience is a key battleground.
Notably, many of these takeaways apply

The bottom line? Gen Z’s choices, decisions
and purchasing power will determine the
success – or otherwise – of organisations
in the decades ahead, both in the traditional
economy and in the new spaces now
emerging. The ability to understand how
zoomers make and implement these
decisions, and to adapt accordingly, will be
a crucial point of competitive differentiation
in the years to come.

Research findings are based on a survey of a representative sample of 6,500 people (aged 16-24 years old) in 13 developed and
emerging countries (including US, UK, Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Kenya, Vietnam, the Philippines, and
Bangladesh). Conducted by Thunes via survey platform Pollfish in Q1 2022.