christmas giftsEarly Warning Services, LLC, the network operator behind Zelle, today released the results of its Holiday Survey. Scrooges and humbugs beware: the national survey found that nearly 50% of those surveyed plan to give money this holiday season, while the majority (58%) prefer to receive money as a gift. With Zelle, you can send and receive money with people you know and trust – right from your banking app.

“This year, don’t blow your budget on gifts that are probably going to end up re-gifted or in a landfill – give the gift everyone wants – money,” said personal finance expert and New York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin. “If you think of something a friend or loved one would truly appreciate receiving, but can’t swing the cost on your own, split it with friends and family using Zelle and include a sweet personalized note.

When it comes to how people will use the money, 63% of individuals surveyed stated they’d prefer to use gifted money to pay for experiences, bills, or personal spending. If you’re trading gifts this holiday season, keep generations in mind. Millennials are more likely to prefer receiving an experience as a gift (or the money to buy them), while 35% of Boomers surveyed and 27% of Generation X report they prefer to receive money for personal spending.

“Americans prefer the gift of money this holiday season,” said Ravi Loganathan, Chief Data Officer at Early Warning Services. “Zelle makes it easy to gift money thoughtfully by adding a special note about how to use the money – whether that’s a fun experience, a clothing item, or even just splitting costs for holiday related events, such as meals, group gifts and travel.”

The survey found that when giving money as a gift, a paper check may not be the best vehicle. More than one in five consumers surveyed report having received a check as a gift and not cashing it – and almost half say the top reason is that they lost or forgot about the check. For Millennials in particular, one in four reported having received a check as a gift and never cashing it. Among their top reasons, taking a paper check to the bank to deposit it is just too much of a hassle – so ditch the checks and send money with Zelle instead this holiday season.

Early Warning’s Market Monitor provides continuing measurement of consumers’ interactions with, and usage of, payment solutions and related emerging technologies across the broad digital landscape. A twenty-minute self-contained digital survey was administered to a representative sample of more than 500 U.S. online consumers in October 2018. Participants, ages 18 – 72 with a high school degree or higher, who own a smartphone and a checking and/or savings account. They are employed individuals, homemakers, students and retirees.

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