Apple Pay Is Favored Payment App for Teens, Study Shows

payment app teens

Teenagers can be a good indicator of where culture is going, in technology and in other arenas. A recent study showed not only the iPhone being most favored by teens for choice of smartphone, but also for sending money. Apple Pay ranked top in payment apps among teens.

We Knew They Loved Their iPhones, but Apple Pay, Too?

It’s hardly surprising to learn teenagers prefer the iPhone over other smartphones. The reports of teenagers ostracizing, or at least ridiculing, their peers for not having the “blue bubbles” in group messaging made that clear. However, a recent study has shown the demographic also favors Apple Pay over competitors PayPal, Venmo, and even CashApp.

Piper Sandler surveyed 7,100 teens in the U.S. The research firm’s 43rd semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey was conducted between February 16 and March 22. Of the respondents, 45% were in the South, 22% in the West. Another 21% live in the Midwest and 12% in the Northeast. Just shy of half the teens (39%) reported holding a part-time job.

Apple Pay ranked first as a payment app among the teens, in part probably because 87% of the respondents had an iPhone. PayPal’s Venmo service ranked second, while Square’s CashApp came in third. PayPal itself ranked 4th among Gen Z.

What isn’t fully transparent about these rankings is whether the teenagers are using Apple Pay in retail stores, or to send money to one another. Most use the other three ranked services more for person-to-person money transfers, so we would hope Piper Sandler isn’t comparing apples to oranges.

Beyond Preferred Payment Apps for Teens, Other Interesting Facts From the Survey

Cash is still teens favorite way to pay, and it’s gotten more so. In 2021’s spring study, 83% of teens reported using cash within the last month. The most recent figures show that increasing to 89%, interestingly enough.

Looking at technology, 26% of the teens reported owning a VR device, but only 5% use it regularly. Almost half the respondents (48%) reported being unsure or not interested in the Metaverse.

Finally, 87% percent of the teens own an iPhone, and the same percent expect their next smartphone to be another iPhone. Fully 72% of the respondents say they already own AirPods.

7 thoughts on “Apple Pay Is Favored Payment App for Teens, Study Shows

  • Jeff:

    I have a hard time keeping cash in my wallet, despite the fact that I practically never use it (between the Mrs and my daughter, cash in my wallet has a short-life measured in minutes…but at least it’s always consented). 

    Like all paper, bearer paper is insecure. I left my passport wallet (with some travelling money) on an inbound flight to the States once. I got a call from the airport the next day saying they had retrieved it, and they’d meet me at curb-side for the handover. They asked me to check it. Everything, including the foreign currency, was there – minus the only US currency, a $50 bill. Finder’s fee, I presume. 

    I pay my loved ones with Apple Cash, and use Apple Pay whenever and wherever possible. Failing that, I’ll use other third party electronic systems. Plastic, which is far less secure than either Apple or other electronic options, is a least-evil last resort.

    Indeed, the only place/occasions where I keep and use cash is when I’m abroad. Much of the world still relies heavily on cash, and many local merchants will cut you a discount for cash vs card payment. 

    I look forward to the day when the convenience and security of electronic payment, like Apple Pay, is the rewarded standard. 

    1. I do like to carry some cash. If the electronic cash registers and or the digital payment system goes down then you can usually make a purchase. Yesterday as I was going into the grocery a worker stopped me and said that the cash registers were down, nationwide for that store. I went back a few hours later and it was fine.

      1. I only wish (sometimes) I was still a teen. However, while a bit younger than you, I’m still of a generation that played outside until the street lights came on and grew up sans Internet.

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