Despite what you might have thought about credit cards, they’re not as popular as they used to be. And no, you don’t have to get a credit card to “prove that you’re an adult”. In fact, about 6 in 10 millennials do not have a credit card at all!
The reason for this may be varied, from distrust of banking institutions to the rise of better technological solutions to cashless payments, but what’s clear is that there are several alternatives to credit cards that you could be making use of if you don’t want to get one. Here are 3 of the most popular options available to you right now:
Cold. Hard. Cash.
Regardless of what technology comes up and what new options of alternative credit banks keep offering, the use of real cash seems to be one of the most popular options that remain even today.
In fact, using only cash in your day-to-day lives can be one of the best strategies to cut down on spending and increase your savings. It’s been inherently proven that people find it more difficult to part with actual cash than they are with spending through other mediums. It also limits you to only spend as much as you have on hand, ensuring you don’t buy unnecessary things. This is why a significant portion of the world’s population deals with only cash in their daily lives.
2. Debit Cards
Debit Cards can be a close second to saving money/limiting purchases to actual cash. A debit card only allows you to use the money that is already yours, unlike credit cards which offer you credit that you then have to pay back (which is essentially a loan). By using debit cards, you eliminate the risk of racking up bills that you cannot pay, which then increase in size as they accrue interest month after month.
This is why most millennials prefer to have checking accounts that are linked with a debit card. It allows for flexibility since you can use it for emergencies when you need more money than you expected. And it seems to be the safer option as you don’t have to be carrying around large amounts of money all the time.
3. Online Payment Apps
The technology of today’s modern world is advancing quickly and efficiently. One of the biggest technological advances that have come up in the past five years or so, especially relating to a person’s day-to-day life, is the rise of online payment apps. Taking the concept of a debit card one step further, these apps work with just one tap of the finger. And since everybody owns a smartphone these days, there’s no extra equipment (and barely any effort) needed either!
Similar to a debit card, these apps only utilize the money that you already have in your name. Most apps only require you to register your mobile number, link your bank account (even multiple accounts can be linked to a single number) and then you’re good to go! You can then send, receive, and spend money with the tap of a finger using only your mobile number – how convenient is that? Every country has it’s own set of online payment apps, but a few globally recognized names include Google Pay and PayPal.