Millennials Abandon Cash for Mobile Payment Apps

Venmo gives competitors a run for their money

If trends among millennials are any indication, cash, checks and credit cards could all be going the way of the passenger pigeon.

As Bloomberg points out, mobile payment apps like eBay's Venmo are increasingly being used by young adults to handle everything from dining tabs to living expenses. Usage of the app jumped 62 percent during this year's first quarter, with a total of $312 million in processed transactions.

Payment apps, which link to a user's checking and credit accounts, can be downloaded for iOS and Android phones and accessed with Wi-Fi at restaurants and bars. The technology has spawned a slew of competing Venmo-like apps, including Popmoney, Google Wallet and Square Cash, though no single app has come to dominate the new market.

According to July figures from Nielsen, 55 percent of mobile payments are made by smartphone users in the 18 to 34 age bracket. Commenting on the trend to Bloomberg, Venmo's CEO William Ready told Bloomberg, "The early adopters [are people who have grown] up with mobile social media."

With millennials comprising 27 percent of the U.S. population, app makers are largely gearing products towards that technologically-inclined demographic, 66 percent of who follow brands on social media and 90 percent of who are active on Facebook.

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