Financial technology (Fintech) is helping consumers streamline the way they manage their money and banking activities as well as how they shop. Yet, just how Americans navigate the growing digital options in this sector can vary by age and experience, new AARP research shows.
More than 90% of adults have smart phones, including three-quarters of those over age 65, and most say they are extremely or very comfortable using the internet. While the majority use online banking, AARP finds just 43% of those age 65-plus have adopted mobile banking compared to 83% of those ages 25–49.
When adults use online or mobile banking, they are most likely reviewing account balances or making bill payments. The survey reveals about 67% of adults over age 25 currently shop online, 39% make electronic payments, and 34% file or pay income taxes.
There remains, however, room for expanded awareness and usage. More than half of respondents were not aware of fintech apps that could help them manage debt, do estate planning, or co-manage someone's finances. Adults most often learn about fintech from family and friends, with younger consumers more tuned in to fintech on social media.
More than younger adults, older consumer are often skeptical about a new app, concerned that it could be a scam or not have enough security, according to the survey. Those age 65-plus and women expressed a preference for traditional banks over fintech apps, citing better customer service and safety.
While paying bills on time was the most commonly cited benefit of using fintech, respondents were mostly neutral about it raising their credit score, helping manage debt, or building savings.
Younger adults say they are more apt to use fintech in the future than older adults. Paying bills and sending money to friends and loved ones are the most likely reasons both younger and older adults will use fintech in the future.
The report is based on an online and telephone survey of 1,630 Americans age 25 and over. Gender, age, education, and other factors were weighted so the sample is nationally representative. The research was conducted in February 2023.