When it comes to purchases, women are often the decision-makers in the household. That's because they typically do many of the tasks that require making a purchase. This includes groceries, gifts, school clothes and supplies, and more. The research provides insights into the differences in how women choose to pay for what they buy. Knowing these differences can help you improve customer experiences and know what type of payment methods to offer.
The Impact of Women on the Economy
To prove the economic power of women, there are some staggering statistics about these purchase decision-makers. Research shows that female income around the world will total $18 trillion by this year, according to EY. The same research found that women are behind nearly 80% of all consumer purchases.
In fact, even if she is not the one actually paying for the goods or services, the woman is still influencing what gets purchased. This includes how much is spent and what payment method is used. Additionally, women are actually making the purchases for many others in their household or extended household, including spouses, children, parents, other family members and friends.
More Millennial Women are Using Reward Credit Cards
A study released in February by Aite Group found that more millennial women are interested in using reward credit cards. This is despite being credit card shy in prior years. Although this payment method has been around for a while, millennial women were more focused on not carrying debt.
According to the same research, many millennials prefer credit cards that do not have an annual fee. Instead, they would rather use their debit card or cash than pay for that fee. Also, millennials account for 78% of those who have applied for a rewards credit card in the last two years.
Paying Bills Online
Since so many more women have joined the workforce either in a full-time or part-time position, they have even less time to handle all the home responsibilities that fall in their laps. That's led many women to find ways to automate and shortcut their way to finishing some of these tasks.
One way is to pay all bills online either through their bank or automated bill pay that is now offered by so many companies, including utilities, mortgage companies, and credit cards. Women are also using online grocery ordering and automatic delivery of regular items they use through virtual assistant devices or online scheduling. These services are typically paid by automatic bank withdrawal or credit card, if the female consumer chooses that option.
Differences Between Male and Female Payment Behavior
Credit Donkey noted that there are distinct differences between men and women around what they choose to buy with their credit cards. For example, women are more focused on using credit cards for retail-related purchases, while men use it for basics like gas and dining. And, despite making more of the purchases each month, women use their credit cards less frequently than men.
Instead, they rely on cash and their debit cards. Some women even still write checks to pay for everything from home services, like the gardener or pool professional, to groceries and other retail purchases. Very few women are using digital wallets or new types of payment methods, like peer-to-peer payments, social media messaging payments, or digital currencies. On the other hand, men are more willing, especially millennials and Gen Zers, to try these alternative ways to pay.
Holidays Capture Women's Payment Behavior
The holidays is an ideal time to study women's payment preferences. A Credit.com survey noted that women often use cash or debit cards more during the holiday period than men do when visiting retail stores and shopping centers. They tend to stay away from credit cards during this time to stay on budget and not create debt issues entering the new year. This indicated some growing caution about the level of debt incurred by a family with the female purchase decision maker opting to spend less on the holidays to avoid living beyond their means. However, they do enjoy using mobile payment methods to speed through holiday shopping checkout.
Address These Preferences
If you want their business, make sure you give women convenient options to pay. Also, as they get to know you, consider sharing more about some the latest payment methods to help them learn and trust other convenient ways to pay that improve their shopping experiences.