Platform Payments

Platforms Dance To The Gen Z Tune

young adults with cell phones

By the end of 2020 four in 10 shoppers worldwide will belong to Gen Z, the consumer group born more or less between 1996 and 2010. A bit younger than their millennial siblings and cousins, they’ve grown up totally mobile, and have idiosyncrasies that make them unique.

Perhaps more than millennial cohorts, Gen Z is having a hot love affair with eCommerce and sharing platforms that specialize in and cater to their digital lifestyles. As reported in the latest Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, a PYMNTS and Yapstone collaboration, platforms and exchanges are customizing offerings for this group more now. Generally more adventurous and less cautious than their slightly older peers, Gen Z is making big players from eBay to Uber to online travel agencies (OTAs) rethink services and fees for their cresting wave.

Flexibility and Choice

Of all the economic sectors being reimagined by and for Gen Z consumers, travel and tourism is likely seeing the most activity. Airbnb may grab more mainstream headlines, but travel platform Splitty, profiled in the new Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, does sharing one better, with personalization. Splitty gives travelers finer controls over what hotel and airline amenities they do and don’t want to utilize, affecting price. It’s also better for suppliers, offering superior inventory/sales command of parking, fitness facilities, and F&B. The platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) creates dynamically generates offers based on searches, optimizing conversions.

Like many of the platforms and exchanges geared to Gen Z consumers, Splitty’s twin cornerstones are flexibility and choice. Well-delivered, these can turn browsers into bookers. The platform has also supercharged the authentication process and opened up to a number of alternative payment methods. This has a two-pronged effect of making the site more visible and accessible, while reducing vetting and onboarding hassles and, along with them, fraud.

“I think enabling the big payment providers — like major credit cards and PayPal and other kinds of payment options … gives us the trust that these payment processes [have], and [these providers] can help us determine if [bookings are] legitimate customers,” Splitty Co-Founder and CEO Eran Shust told PYMNTS. “If not, we have certain procedures that can take care of that.”

The latest playbook is packed with similar examples, from eBay cutting seller fees on designer sneakers to the launch of the Uber Works platform for gig economy workers.

Know Your Customer’s Preferences

Along with Gen Z-centric innovations in platforms and exchanges come the usual problems of friction and fraud. According to previous PYMNTS research only about a quarter of sharing economy platforms require strong identity verifications online. Email is the most common means (71.5 percent of respondents), but these forms of authentication are increasingly seen as unreliable. Platform operators are upgrading furiously to get past the credentials barrier.

Supporting multiple payment types and attendant security features requires the most robust platforms and API environments. Assuming integrations go well, the last frontier (and really the first consideration in these matters) is the consumer, in this case, the Gen Z consumer.

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