Cash No Longer King as Gen Z Ditch in Favour of Digital

New research from digital identity security specialists ID Crypt Global, reveals that cash is no longer King as members of Generation Z choose to rely on their digital wallet and digital identity instead of older, outdated formats.

ID Crypt has commissioned a survey of 1,000 members of Gen Z (under-25 years old) to gain insight into the future of payment and identity verification. The results demonstrate a strong rejection of physical ID and money, usurped by the rise of digital alternatives.

When asked how often they use a physical ID to prove their identity every week, more than 70% responded either “never” or “occasionally”, with just 30% saying “often” or “always”.

The move away from physical formats was once again made clear when the question was posed about how often Gen Z uses a physical bank card to make weekly purchases.

Close to 60% said “never” or “occasionally”, while 40% said “often” or “always”.

The results are even more stark when it comes to cold, hard cash, in which 84% say they “never” or only “occasionally” use cash, leaving just 16% saying “often” or “always”.

Compare this to the prominence of digital ID and payments among Gen Z, and it’s clear where the future is heading.

94% say they use their digital ID to prove their identity “always” or “often”.

At the same time, 74% confirm that they use their digital wallet, such as that found on a smartphone, to make weekly payments and purchases.

Such is the rising preference for digital formats that over 40% say they would like to see important documents such as birth certificates, passports, and driving licences moved onto a fully digital format.

Despite this desire, people still have worries about the security of their digital identities and monies, with 85% saying they are concerned about who has access to the information stored within their digital ID.

The root of this concern could be that, as it stands, most of our digital identity and personal information is stored in one place, which means if this one place is breached or hacked, all of our vital information can be accessed, stolen, or misused.

82% of Gen Z report having concerns about this, led by the 19% who say they are “very” concerned and 35% who are “somewhat” concerned.

CEO and founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith, commented: “It’s clear that digital ID and digital wallets are the future and Gen Z’s preference for these modern formats is going to drive more and more innovation over the coming years.

“Security and data protection must remain central concerns among this innovation and excitement. One big concern for us at the moment is the push that is being made to store all of our digital identity information in one central location – one platform owned or operated by one party, be that the government or an appointed proxy.

“We believe this would be a terrible mistake. A singular storage location, and therefore single gatekeeper, for everything from our digital passports and tax records to our bank accounts and credit cards is the equivalent of keeping all of our valuable objects in one “safe” place – a place that is susceptible to criminals who, should they manage to break in, can then steal absolutely everything that matters to us as people in one go.

“Our security systems need to be more sophisticated than that. Our identity cannot be protected, and therefore essentially owned, by one party in one place.”