Using a wallet makes you ‘old’, according to Gen Z

It’s a total fashion don’t.

Carrying cash, identification and debit cards in a wallet has become akin to carrying around old butterscotch candies at the bottom of your purse as teens and early 20-somethings have officially declared wallets atrociously antiquated — or, as Gen Z would say, “cheugy”.

“Millennials, apparently there’s a new way that we can age ourselves and it’s by having a wallet,” said Liz June, an expectant Miami mum in her 30s, on TikTok.

“Gen Z uses their phone as their wallet,” she continued. “So they have all their (money and) their IDs in their (digital) wallets.”

June’s video announcing the anti-wallet trend to fellow over-the-hill folks has more than 387,000 views, the New York Post reports.

“How do you have your ID in your (digital) wallet?” asked the genuinely mystified Millennial. “Is this a thing? Did I miss the memo?”

Yes, you did.

It is official, wallets have now joined the growing list of Gen Z-sanctioned hot-turned-not commodities.

The once stylishly acceptable accessory is now going the way of leggings, ankle-cut socks and other wardrobe dinosaurs as members of the rising demographic are making a hard turn toward its hi-tech alternative.

A February 2024 report by PYMNTS, an online payments and commerce hub, and Amazon Web Services, found that 79 per cent of Generation Z consumers use digital wallets.

The study also determined that a whopping 51 per cent of those cool kids not only trust their cellular devices to store money but also their driver’s licenses, medical cards and event tickets, all to be accessed in one simple click.

“Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal, provide convenient and secure ways to complete online purchases,” noted research authors.

“These wallets remove the cumbersome process of entering credit or debit card details at checkout.”

And hapless Millennials who aren’t hip to the pro-digital boom are fast becoming the butt of every joke on social media.

“Stuff it in your skinny jeans, Millennial,” said a disapproving Gen Zer when an older pal Trey Kennedy reached for his trifold wallet in a parody TikTok post.

“Is there origami in there?” teased the shady adolescent. “It’s giving cheugy.”

Kelsi Mack, a cosmetologist and mum of three, recalled getting laughed out of the room by her 17-year-old sister, who informed her that even sticky wallets, which can be attached to the backs of smartphones, are absolute no-no’s.

“She was like, ‘That’s so bulky,’” recalled a noticeably embarrassed Mack, who admitted to using the external card holder and a pop socket adhesive to aid her in stabilising the phone.

“She was like, ‘No one uses pop-sockets anymore,’” to which the shaken brunette and her mother both replied, “I do.”

But the older gals were gagged when Mack’s little sister said, “‘Yeah, well, you’re both over (age) 18.”

Although the unsightliness of physical wallets has become an unforgivable fashion faux pas, one money-wise millennial is advising trendy youngsters against ditching the pocket-sized accessories altogether.

“I watched (using a digital wallet) backfire spectacularly on one of my Gen Z students today,” said a Millennial educator known on TikTok as @YourFavoriteEl.

She noted that, in order to use Apple Cash to send and receive money via your phone, you must be at least 18.

“They will make you verify it by sending a picture of your ID,” she said.

“One of my kids got sent $25 via Apple Pay and she was flabbergasted because she could not get this money … because she is not 18.”

The teacher then offered some sage wisdom to the younger generation.

“If you are a younger Gen Z, take a tip from the oldies (and use debit cards and wallets) for at least a few more years,” she said.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission.

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