Digital Transactions, Remittances: US Consumer Survey Explores Future Growth Drivers in Global Payments Industry

MoneyGram International, Inc., a global financial technology company that connects the world’s communities, released the findings of a new consumer survey, which explores key trending factors and future growth drivers in the global payments industry, taking into account economic impact, digital adoption and demographic behaviors.

“State of Remittances – U.S. Consumer Survey 2023,” which includes insights “from a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers who have sent money abroad in the past year, was created and conducted in conjunction with leading independent research firm 8 Acre Perspective.”

Remittance consumers remain resilient amidst fear of economic downturn

The overwhelming majority of respondents (9 in 10) “expressed concern over inflation or an impending recession potentially affecting the amount of money they’ll be able to send abroad this year.”

However, over 75% expect “to still send the same or an even higher amount of money in 2023, compared to 2022.” Reinforcing this sentiment, 42% claim “that in the event of an explicit economic downturn, they would likely increase the amount they send to help alleviate financial pressure on family and friends abroad.”

Survey results “highlighted that consumers continue to send money around the world to support the needs of loved ones back home, with ongoing support being the largest reason for sending funds abroad (63%), followed by supporting family and friends with an unexpected situation (52%).”

Approximately half of all respondents “said the needs of their loved ones abroad have increased compared to a year ago, while 44% said their needs stayed the same.”

Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This latest survey further solidifies the idea that through thick and thin, consumers who send money to family and friends abroad are resilient and dependable. We saw this in action during the pandemic – undoubtedly the deepest economic and health crisis in decades – and we continue to be inspired that consumers still plan to prioritize supporting their communities abroad even despite recent economic turmoil.”

Demand for digital capabilities remains high, and consumers are interested in additional products and services within their money transfer apps

Across all age groups, the survey found “that consumers share a high affinity for digital money transfer platforms (via mobile apps and websites), and their migration to digital is only increasing. 85% of respondents said they primarily use digital methods to send money abroad (over in-person transfers), and nearly half (43%) said they increased their digital money transfer volume in 2022.”

However, generations differ on their preferred method “for sending digital remittances.”

The survey showed “a clear line drawn between younger (Gen Z, Millennial) and older (Gen X, Boomer) generations around apps and website use.” About half of younger consumers prefer apps “as their primary way to send money abroad, compared to 40% of Gen X and 33% of Boomers.”

The majority of respondents would be “interested in a digital app that addresses a broader range of financial needs to complement an existing core remittance offering.”

Millennials show “the most interest in the expansion of app capabilities, as 97% say they would value an app that addresses a range of needs.”

Lastly, another strong unifier “across all demographics is the appeal of blockchain within the global payments industry.”

Among those surveyed who were familiar “with the technology (which included over half of respondents), an overwhelming 91% said they would be interested in seeing blockchain technology leveraged in the money transfer space.”

Seth Ross, MoneyGram Chief Digital Officer, said:

“Remittance consumers are increasingly forward-thinking regarding the technology available to them. We’re finding that a strong majority of our current and potential customers are interested in these advanced solutions, especially in an increasingly uncertain economic environment. Our strategic vision to offer consumers expanded capabilities will better equip them to manage not only their finances, but also the financial health of their loved ones overseas.”

As Millennials age into a larger share of the primary-earner role in their families, it is clear that they are “relying more heavily on international money transfers.”

In fact, Millennials are “the most likely generation to increase their sends abroad in 2023.”

This is “not only due to their own financial standing but the increased needs of their loved ones, as 55% of Millennials said their family and friends needed additional financial support over the past year (compared to 48% of Gen X, 39% of Boomers, and 38% of Gen Z).”

While Millennials continue “to increase their volume of transfers, their tech preferences are especially notable.”

According to the survey, 53% of Millennials “who send money abroad have increased their use of digital send methods in the past year, the most of any generation. In contrast, Gen X, Gen Z and Boomers also report increasing their use of digital money transfers as well but by smaller percentages (37%, 34% and 19%, respectively).”

Survey Methodology

This survey was “conducted in Q1 2023, among a group of 1,000 respondents based in the United States who sent money abroad in the past year via an international money transfer service or international wire transfer.”

The survey was “created and conducted by MoneyGram in partnership with independent research firm 8 Acre Perspective.”

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