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Check scanners, cash counters help businesses as millennials forgo credit cards

Retailers that target young shoppers may want to consider investing in advanced dual purpose cash and check scanners as current consumer trends shift away from electronic payments. Even though people in their 20s and early 30s often have a reputation for spending frivolously, recent data suggests this demographic has become much smarter about managing money.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, millennials have been much more successful shedding credit card debt than previous generations. The impacts of the Great Recession, as well as the rising cost of education, have encouraged many young adults to be especially conservative with their money. In fact, between 2007 and 2010, median household debt among U.S. consumers below the age of 35 fell 29 percent. Among Americans aged 35 and older, median household debt decreased only 8 percent. The number of young consumers holding any kind of debt is currently at its lowest level since 1983.

Why are millennials being more conservative with their money?
A recent article from USA Today said this generation of young Americans was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession. In recent years, millennials have witnessed personal savings rates decline among many households as more people use credit than ever before. Additionally, Social Security pensions will likely be much less in the future than they currently are for older citizens. As a result, millennials are taking it upon themselves to take the necessary measures to avoid financial trouble. The Pew study revealed the number of young households with active credit card balances dropped to 39 percent in 2010 compared to 50 percent in 2001.

Implications for retail businesses
These changes in consumer behavior may have resonating effects on the larger economy. For example, as millennials forgo their credit cards to avoid crippling debt, they may be more inclined to make purchases with checks or cash. Retailers can prepare for developments like this by investing in high-quality check scanners and money counters. Rather than making trips to the bank or manually counting large amounts of cash on a daily basis, store owners increase the speed at which they're able to count currency and deposit funds. These tools also allow employees to devote more time to other essential tasks, such as customer service and marketing. As millennials become increasingly conservative with their spending habits, retailers may need all the time they can to develop effective and highly targeted marketing efforts to get people through the door in the first place.

November 15, 2013