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Americans Adopting New Financial Behaviors Faster Than Ever: Study

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What You Need to Know

  • Major changes include increased use of payment apps, P2P payments and buy now, pay later options, Logica Research found.
  • Americans have been able to save more and are likely to invest more, including in the stock market.
  • More are turning to financial professionals for advice on meeting their goals.

Americans are making significant shifts in their work and retirement plans, in their payment and purchasing behaviors, and in their saving and investing, according to a new study released Wednesday by Logica Research.

Some of the biggest changes have to do with increased use of payment apps, peer-to-peer payments and buy now, pay later options, the study found.

“We’ve conducted many waves of this study over the past few years, and never before have we seen this level of acceleration when it comes to changing financial behaviors,” Logica Research’s founder and chief executive, Lilah Raynor, said in a statement. 

“During the height of COVID-19, we found distinct and critical shifts in how people are working, spending, saving and investing, and this latest wave shows that many of those shifts are here to stay.”

The message to financial brands and fintech companies, Raynor said: Adapt to meet customers where they are now. 

The online study was conducted in April among 1,000 general population U.S. adults and an augment of 200 older Generation Zers, those 16 to 23. KNow Research conducted in-depth interviews to give qualitative depth to the quantitative findings. 

Shifts From Spring 2020

The survey found that 36% of respondents still in the workforce were working more hours this spring than a year ago. In addition, 9% of respondents planned to retire early, up from 3% a year ago, and 33% said they would postpone leaving the workforce, up from 26%.

More Americans are using their mobile devices for online purchases, including 70% of millennials and 57% of women in the survey. And 32% of respondents reported using P2P now, compared with 27% last spring.

Buy now, pay later and installment plans have also grown significantly over the past year:

  • Gen Z: 22% vs. 15% last spring.
  • Millennials: 27% vs. 12%.
  • Gen X: 24% vs. 9%.
  • Baby boomers: 6% vs. 5%.

Logica Research found that Americans have been able to save more over the past year, and are likely to invest more. Sixteen percent of respondents said they are putting money into the stock market, compared with 10% a year ago. 

Digital assets are also capturing Americans’ attention. Thirteen percent of respondents said they own cryptocurrency, with 47% planning to own it in the next five years. 

Many Americans are turning to financial institutions for support and speaking with financial advisors more often, according to the findings. 

Thirty-nine percent of survey participants said they wanted to talk to a person, 28% preferred to get advice via digital tools, and 33% wanted a combination of digital and in-person advice.

Respondents said they were looking to professionals mainly for best investing practices for their situation  and advice on how to save as much money as possible to achieve their financial goals.