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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Fintech Gains Favor Among Teens

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The vast majority of American teenagers still rely on cash when receiving money from their parents or guardians and when making purchases, according to a recent survey.

However, the findings also show that financial technology is making inroads in young people’s lives, Junior Achievement USA and Alliance Data, which provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, reported Monday.

The study’s release comes two days before National Financial Awareness Day.

Wakefield Research conducted the online survey in mid-July among 1,000 U.S. teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18.

Twenty-six percent of the teenage respondents who said they received money from parents or guardians reported that it was wired into their bank account. Twenty-three percent said they used their parent’s or caregiver’s credit card to make online purchases.

Only one in 10 used financial apps, such as Apple Pay or Venmo, to receive money or purchase items.

Despite cash’s continued dominance in teen lives, 48% of those surveyed reported that they used mobile or online apps to manage their money, including for budgeting and planning purposes.

The survey found that 17% of teens had never been inside a physical bank, and 34% did not have a bank account. Of those who did have one, 35% said they had gotten it at age 12 or younger.

In addition, 62% of those with a bank account had a debit card, but only 18% used a checkbook.

Seventy-one percent of surveyed teenagers expressed concern about their credit score, while 44% were concerned about future student loan debt — with good reason.

“These survey results show that today’s teens are very much aware of the need to effectively manage money and that for many, technology is being used as a tool to achieve that, even when teens are working with cash,” Jack Kosakowski, president and chief executive of Junior Achievement USA.

“It’s encouraging to see that today’s young people are being proactive in how they view money and are using resources at their disposal to become better stewards of their financial futures.”