Boomers Lead Trend Toward Paying for Necessities With Subscriptions

When you think of subscriptions, an array of products and services likely come to mind. 

From streaming services to pet foods to coffee pods to yoga classes, consumers of all ages have embraced subscription payment plans to cover the costs of the items they enjoy on a recurring basis. Three in 10 financially-challenged consumers splurge on subscriptions despite their financial hardships.)    

In PYMNTS Intelligence’s “Consumer Sentiment About Open Banking Payments” report, a collaboration with Trustly, we asked consumers about their use of subscriptions to pay for goods and better manage their bills. Although these findings weren’t included in the final report, they offer important insights.

subscription, bill payments

As the chart above illustrates, 80% of all consumer respondents paid for monthly bills in a subscription format in the last year. Grocery subscriptions are especially popular, with nearly 75% of consumers covering the costs of their food and beverages in this way. However, the percentage of subscription plans for goods and services (52%), retail purchases (46%) and ride-shares and deliveries (29%) have all picked up steam. 

And although it’s common that newer payment methodologies predominantly capture the attention of younger consumers, the popularity of subscriptions shows almost no sign of age preferences. Ninety-two percent of baby boomers and seniors have embraced subscriptions; so have 89% of Gen X consumers. Bridge millennials (83.5%), millennials (82%) and Gen Z consumers (83%) share the enthusiasm.  

The lesson here for merchants is this: once consumers see how easy and secure it is to manage recurring payments through subscription services, most appear to be happy turning their backs on traditional payment methods.