Fintech Adoption Across Generations: Financial Fitness in the Information Age
44 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 2017
This paper analyzes how better access to financial information via new technology changes use of consumer credit and affects financial fitness. We exploit the introduction of a smartphone application for personal financial management as a source of exogenous variation. FinTech adoption reduces financial fee payments and penalties, but differs cross-sectionally in the population. After adopting the new technology, Millennials and members of Generation X incur fewer financial fees and penalties, whereas Baby Boomers do not benefit from the technological advance. Millennials and Gen Xers save fees by using their credit cards rather than overdrafts to manage short-term liabilities. Moreover, Millennials shift some of their spending to discretionary entertainment, whereas members of Generation X remain more austere. Finally, while men tend to adopt new technology and access information at a higher rate, the economic impact of access is larger for women.
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