Connect with us

People 'n' Issues

Phone, computer before TV for SA youth



A Connecting with the Millennials survey conducted by Visa has shown that the South Africa’s youth see gadgets as an important part of their lives. 89 percent said it would be ‚’impossible’ to live without a computer, eighty percent saying they could not live without smartphones and while TV lagged at 50 percent.

Millennials, typically born between 1982 and 1995, make up 25 percent of the world’s population and grew up with the Internet making them tech savvy.

According to the Visa study that features interviews with over 5 500 people aged between 18 and 28,68 percent of Millennials said a cashless society was on the way.

And close on 80 percent said they expected that soon it would be possible to conduct all their shopping and pay all their bills online.

Seventy three percent believe this will be possible with a mobile phone.

‚”The ubiquity of the Internet and mobile technology are helping to make electronic payment an intrinsic part of a Millennial’s purchasing behaviour,‚” said Paul Jung, Head of Visa’s eCommerce division for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

‚”We see a long future for mobile phone and other device-based payments as more people, especially Millennials, adopt electronic payments around the world.‚”

South Africans, along with Koreans, are the top cards over cash adopters in the world with 61 percent of Millennials in both countries preferring to use their cards instead of cash.

Those with debit cards, 61 percent of their monthly expenses are made with debit so they do not have to carry cash and recognise it’s convenience for everyday purchases. All things being equal, debit is preferred (60%) versus (20%) cash.

Gadget dependence

South Africa’s Millennials see gadgets as an important part of their lives: 89 percent said it would be ‚’impossible’ to live without a computer. Eighty percent said they could not live without smartphones and while TV lagged at 50 percent.

‚”The research also found that while South African Millennials are ardent users of technology, they are also security conscious. Ninety percent said card security is an important aspect to consider when venturing online,‚” said Jung.

Online habits

Eight out of 10 Millennials are online shoppers, half of which shop online monthly. Millennials from Korea (76 percent), Taiwan (53 percent) and mainland China (84 percent) top the list of online shoppers who shop at least once a month.

Shopping less than once every six months were Filipinos (36 percent), South Africans (32 percent) and UAE (44 percent).

Forty percent of young online shoppers say they usually use a credit card, and 37 percent a debit card, to make a purchase over the Internet.

South African Millennials use the internet for various activities: including e-mailing, searching for information and internet banking. Groceries, transport and rent/mortgage are the top three areas where South Africa’s Millennials funnel their online cash payments.

The propensity to save among South African Millennials is lower than average, with only 68 percent setting aside a part of their income each month for saving and a lower proportion (21 percent) of their total disposable income. Shopping is the main activity they save for, followed by retirement and a home purchase.


Millennials may spend a lot of their time online but they hold family value values in high regard. They’re ambitious and dreaming big keeps them driven. This trait is especially widespread among Indian, South African and UAE Millennials.

Although the survey sample was spread across a geographically wide sample, eighty two percent of Millennials said they enjoy the simple things in life and see themselves as independent thinkers who like to carve their own path in life.