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3 Stats Show How Fintech is Shaping Young Europeans’ Finances

Jul 21 2022

Young Europeans are tech-dependent, and this applies to how they manage their money, too. Here are three stats that show how digital tools are influencing their finances…


TL;DR

  • Young Europeans prefer to manage their finances by using an app on their phone or tablet
  • The vast majority have used peer-to-peer payment services as they seek innovative ways to improve and manage their finances
  • They trust the information they’re getting from financial apps, and they want more educational content

As we know well by now, young Europeans’ finances were heavily impacted by the pandemic, spurring them to seek higher-paying jobs, save money, and prioritize investing. And while there’s evidence that they’re recovering financially, young Europeans (and young Britons, in particular) are facing a huge cost-of-living crisis: a 2021 study found that young Brits pay more than twice as much as older generations for living expenses, including rent, which created a difficult financial situation even before COVID. Now, many young Europeans are focused on becoming financially stable—but they don’t necessarily feel equipped for the task. In fact, our WE Personal Finance & Services report found that three-quarters of 13-39-year-olds are interested in learning how to improve their financial situation, and financial management skills is by far the top thing they wish they were taught in school but weren’t.

At the same time, Gen Z and Millennials don’t think the way previous generations built wealth will work for them anymore—and that means the old ways of learning about and managing their finances no longer apply either. As with everything, these gens expect tech to be fully integrated into their finances, leading them to rewrite money management ”rules” with their tech dependence. Here are three stats from our recent WE Fintech report that show how young Europeans are leaning on tech to improve and maintain their finances:

Nearly half of young Europeans prefer to use an app on their phone or tablet to keep up with their finances

For young Europeans, apps are officially the new banks: 48% say they prefer to keep up with their finances by using an app on their phones or tablets, making it by far their preferred banking method. Using a site on a computer is a distant second, and just 16% say they’d prefer to visit an expert in person, underscoring just how tech-first these gens are when it comes to their finances. This will be even more important for brands to understand as Gen Z ages up into financial responsibility, which many already are: 40% of 13-21-year-olds tell YPulse that they’re in charge of their own finances, and they’re even less inclined to speak to anyone IRL about their finances than Millennials. This has led to a boom in fintech brands aimed at reaching Gen Z with specific features and offerings: French startup Vybe, for instance, is building an online bank alternative for European teens, while U.K.-based fintech platform Twig is letting young Europeans exchange physical clothing for digital ‘fits, tapping Gen Z’s interest in both virtual fashion and digital currencies.

The vast majority have used a peer-to-peer payment service

As young Europeans seek digital financial solutions, peer-to-peer payment services have received their stamp of approval: a full 90% of 13-39-year-olds have used a P2P service. Even more impressive is the fact that virtually all (95%) of Millennials have, meaning P2P apps are fully integrated into their financial lives. PayPal is their top service by far, with 73% saying they’ve used it. But it’s more than just a way to make purchases or send money to friends and family for them, as PayPal is one of the brands they love most. YPulse’s brand tracker data shows that PayPal is the brand with the highest YPulse+ score among young Europeans and one of the brands they consider the coolest. The brand is winning their affinity by driving innovative digital payment solutions, most recently by broadening its digital currency offerings and establishing itself as a pioneer in the crypto space. As fintech brands give banks a run for their money, traditional financial institutions will have to innovate to keep up.

One-third trust financial apps to give good financial advice

While we’ve seen social media emerge as a source of financial information for these gens, they still say they trust the experts the most. When asked who 13-39-year-olds trust to give financial advice, their top answers are financial advisors (47%) and financial apps (33%). Even though human advisors are who they trust most, their reliance on fintech means that they’re seeking easy-to-access digital information first—and that they want more of it. In fact, 87% say they want to see some educational content from investment companies, with some of the top content being explainer videos, investment simulators, online classes, and mobile tools. Many brands are already doing this: London-based startup Zeed, for example, has created a TikTok-like platform to educate young Europeans about investing with verified creators and fact-checked videos, while U.K. brands Tally, Snoop, and Moneybox have gone straight to the source and engaged young consumers with financial advice on TikTok itself. For financial brands, the best way to reach these young consumers now is to develop easily accessible digital tools and content.

YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full WE Fintech behavioral report and data here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.

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