Study: Millennials love smartphones

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If there’s one piece of technology that’s most strongly identified with the millennial generation, it’s the smartphone. At any gathering of 20-somethings, you’re likely to see faces buried in phones, or arms extended to take a selfie or Instagram video.

New research conducted by Zogby and commissioned by Mitek Systems, a mobile technology company that specializes in financial services, bears that out.

Among millennials:

  • 87 percent say their phone never leaves their side.
  • 80 percent say the first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smart phone.
  • 78 percent spend more than 2 hours each day using their smart phone

As you’d expect, millennials’ love for smartphones extends to their preferences on managing their money. They like using their phones to conduct banking and other types of transactions, and get annoyed when they can’t because of businesses’ inability to keep up with the times.

  • 88 percent have used their smartphone’s camera to deposit checks or say they’re willing to do so.
  • 58 percent have tried to enroll for a new service or account using their mobile device, and 75% of those were able to complete the process.
  • Nearly half, or 47 percent, say they access business via a mobile website at least once per day.
  • 71 percent say the fact that lots of companies don’t offer mobile apps is a drawback.

Security concerns

Like consumers across all age groups, millennials do have some reservations about security on mobile devices. Of those surveyed, 51 percent said using a PC is safer than using a mobile device.

Still, that hasn’t stopped them from being early adopters in doing business over their phones, says Scott Carter, chief marketing officer at Mitek.

“Younger consumers — particularly the youngest segment of the millennial generation — have grown up with smartphones,” Carter says. “They’ve grown up being very comfortable with this technology; they’re very secure in their usage of it. And we see over and over again that convenience will trump any concerns of privacy.”

Younger consumers ahead of the curve?

While millennials are more enthusiastic about using their phones for financial chores than others, older consumers may eventually catch up, Carter says.

“This isn’t a new thing. Millennials aren’t the first generation of young consumers to be early adopters of technology. What we’ve seen time and time again is that they kind of start the trend but older consumers will follow,” Carter says. “Think about social — all the parents are on Facebook and their kids have migrated to other forms of social media.”

What do you think? Will phones ever have a starring role our financial lives, or will they continue to be mostly a bit player?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.