Millennials have become the largest living generation with over 80 million Americans and are already impacting the future of payments. For millennials, using the latest forms of technology is a must. Since millennials grew up with the Internet and instant technology, it is important to them to have quick and easy payments that out-perform older traditional forms. 


Mobile payments are one solution that attracts millennials due to the added convenience features mobile offers. Instead of having to dig through a wallet to get cash or a credit card out, users simply use their smartphone device to make a payment, allowing for a quick checkout. While millennials prefer the accessibility and speed mobile payments offer, their behavior towards mobile security is lacking. 


TransUnion, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S., performed a study and found that although nearly half of the millennials surveyed are worried about cyber crime, their actions speak differently. Around 86% of the millennials who were interviewed store their confidential banking information on their smartphones while 84% of millennials admitted they check their banking accounts on unsecured public Wi-Fi. To make matters worse, 67% do not use a password to protect their smartphone. 


Since millennials tend to be apathetic toward mobile payment security, merchants need to stay alert and aware of potential security threats to safeguard their own business. One of the biggest concerns is an increase of millennials making purchases on unsecured wireless networks, which could put a merchant at risk for malware or a potential breach in security data. 


A 2015 Mobile Payments Security study conducted by ISACA interviewed 900 cyber security experts about their opinions on mobile payment security. From those interviewed, 87% feel mobile payment breaches will increase within the next year. On a similar note, 47% do not believe mobile payments are secure, and just 23% are confident that mobile payments are secure at maintaining personal data. 


However, merchants who do accept mobile payments are attracting more millennials and gaining more revenue. A report by Hanover Research disclosed that 52% of millennials believe in the “buy now, deal with it later,” motto and consider themselves impulsive buyers. Another 56% remarked they would be willing to share their location via their smartphone to receive a discount from a nearby merchant. 


Millennials have made it clear that mobile payments are appealing, as they offer convenient and quick payments. Still, their neglect towards mobile security makes them a risky target. For merchants looking to accept mobile payments, it is important to have secured solutions in place to safeguard your business from potential threats.