NMI Payment Playbook Podcast

Episode 20: How Consumers Influence Payments Technology

In the latest episode of NMI Payment Playbook, host Greg Myers and Vijay Sondhi, CEO of NMI, discuss how Gen Z and Millennials are influencing payments technology. 

With over two decades of experience in financial technology, Sondhi highlights the stark contrast between these groups. Millennials, aged 28 to 43, remember a pre-smartphone era, while Gen Z, aged 12 to 27, grew up with digital devices, shaping their expectation for frictionless digital payments.

Sondhi explains that Gen Zers often default to using their mobile phones to pay, preferring digital wallets like PayPal, Venmo and Apple Wallet over physical credit cards or cash. He shares a personal anecdote illustrating this shift, describing a trip where he managed without his physical wallet, relying solely on his phone for payments and identification.

The conversation then shifts to the popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) among Gen Z, who favor it over traditional credit lines due to perceived transparency and better interest rates, despite often being misled by perceptions. 

Sondhi also notes that this generation is highly sensitive to friction in the payment process. Gen Zers lack brand loyalty and are often happy to switch providers for a smoother, more convenient experience.

Next, Myers and Sondhi turn their attention to biometrics. Sondhi sees great potential in this technology, especially due to its security and convenience. However, privacy concerns remain a hurdle, especially among younger consumers wary of sharing biometric data with big corporations. To solve this issue, Sondhi advocates for biometric solutions integrated into trusted devices like smartphones.

Sondhi views AI as an evolving technology with immense potential for payments and financial management. While current applications include fraud detection and marketing, he envisions AI driving a shift towards more meaningful use of money, aligning with Gen Z's values.

Sondhi concludes by emphasizing the need for adaptability in the fast-changing payment landscape. He urges professionals to consider open-loop solutions for broader scalability. To stay relevant in the industry, providers will need to prioritize the preferences of younger generations.

Listen to the full episode to learn more!

1:17 About Vijay Sondhi

1:54 Characteristics of Gen Zers & Millennials

2:44 How Gen Zers & Millennials Pay

6:46 BNPL

8:02 Biometrics

10:57 AI

12:44 Episode Summary