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Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Transact study examines payment habits of high school, college students

Andrew Hudson   ||   May 19, 2023  ||   

Mobile credential and payment solutions provider, Transact Campus has published the results from its most recent study on the technology and payment habits of college students. The study seeks to characterize how emerging generations are driving payment and technology expectations on college campuses.

The research study was conducted in partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK), and included a total of 1,376 U.S. participants ages 16-30, including 1,099 between the ages of 18 and 30 who are currently attending any type of college — four-year college, two-year college, in-person, or online. In addition, the study included an oversample of 277 Gen Z participants aged 16-18 who are currently enrolled in high school.

The research study was conducted online between October 31 and November 11, 2022 and seeks to paint a national snapshot of the Gen Z and young Millennial generations — the ages where emerging technology expectations and higher education meet.

The study covers a broad range of target areas, including campus recruitment and retention, student experience, as well as payment preferences, frustrations and expectations.

Data acquired in the study suggests that there are trends, behaviors, expectations, and interactions that high school and college-aged individuals consider to be campus essentials. The study also offers strategies and initiatives that campus administrators can implement to meet these expectations.

“At Transact, we believe a better campus experience is created through a better technology experience — from campus recruiting and retention, to payments and security,” says Nancy Langer, CEO, Transact. “Implementing what students want demonstrates innovation and commitment, and we are thrilled that our study is showing what campus administrators can do to improve the student interactions across campus.”

Some of the study's findings include:

  • 72% of student respondents say ease of payment should be one of the ways colleges are rated on student experience.
  • Over 66% of student respondents say that having mobile-centric payment solutions would create fewer stressful purchase interactions on-campus.
  • 70% of traditional college-aged Gen Z respondents (18 to 22) and 72% of the full study sample size think the availability of Digital IDs is an important factor when deciding on which college they want to attend.

“Emerging generations are rapidly reshaping interactions and transactions on campuses. This is particularly true with Gen Z, the fastest growing and most influential generation of current higher education students,” says Jason Dorsey, President, CGK. “They want mobile, real-time options. This creates challenges for institutions that can’t meet their needs. All universities need to listen to new and potential students and provide them with the options that are important to them.”

For more information on the study or to view the full findings, visit:

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