Valentine’s Day is upon us; time to pull out all the heart-melting stops.
While this annual celebration of affection is full of anticipation for candlelight dinners, boxes chock full of chocolate, and flowers galore, it also can also create financial anxiety for consumers, especially if they’re using credit cards to make purchases.
According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend a heart-pounding $19.6 billion showering their loved ones this Valentine’s Day, up from $18.2 billion in 2017. That amounts to the average customer spending almost $140.
Millennials – the biggest generation in U.S. history – are on pace to spend more on their ‘furry loved ones,’ their pets, compared to older shoppers. And while 69 percent of younger consumers aged 18 to 25 are expected to gift candy this year, 18-24 year olds (which includes Generation Zers) will contribute to the Valentine’s Day tally by treating themselves or celebrating with friends.
The bottom line: Millennials and Generation Z consumers are spending, but do they understand the fundamentals of their finances, especially credit card spending, and debt repayment?
A recent PwC study estimates that only 24 percent of Millennials understand financial basics. Plus, in 2016, Experian’s Millennial Credit & Finance Survey found that 50 percent of Millennials lack an understanding of credit score basics, and nearly 70 percent considered credit cards dangerous, even though 2 in 3 had at least one credit card.
Consumers are facing the most complex credit landscape ever, and they’re looking for information and trusted answers. Businesses have an opportunity to not only meet this need with value-added financial wellness and credit education tools, but drive lasting customer relationships.
From understanding credit scores and credit utilization to credit reports and the importance of paying bills on time, credit education can help bridge the gap between the spending power of these groups, and their lack of financial confidence and confusion.
The sweet news: As businesses continue to shift their attention to the spending power and future economic trends of Millennials and their demographic heir apparent, Generation Z, the opportunities to develop long-term customer relationships will become inextricably linked to the bottom-line, customer retention, and growth.
Experian Partner Solutions empowers its partners by providing customizable and value-added protection, education, and lead generation products designed to engage, retain and monetize their customers.