We Don’t Talk About…Money. And It’s Impacting Gen Z

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
young male professional using corporate card

No one likes to talk about money. But we found the workers getting hit the hardest by the cost of living crisis were the same ones who would prefer to use corporate cards over personal cards, despite not always having access to one.

No matter how well you may think you know your colleagues, there’s one question that’s still pretty taboo to talk about: money. Finances. Whatever you want to call it. And now that we’ve been in an ongoing cost of living crisis here in the UK, it can feel even more uncomfortable. 

For young coworkers, in particular, the pinch feels tighter than ever. Not only have prices risen across the board, but record-high interest rates mean credit card balances have become pretty costly. To keep up with expenses, some are dipping into savings or retirement accounts, while others have been leaning on credit, said Charlie Wise of the consumer credit agency TransUnion.

With all of this in mind, we set out to uncover how workers felt about putting business expenses on their personal credit cards. Did they still want the ease and benefits of using their own cards, or was it just too stressful worrying about making their payments on time?

By no surprise, we found that the workers getting hit the hardest by the cost of living crisis were the same ones who would prefer to use corporate cards over personal cards – those aged 16-34. In this group, 94% of young workers wanted to use a corporate card because it takes too long for expenses to be processed, they risked late fees, had a preference for not mixing personal and business spend, and preferred the ease of expenses post-trip.

Though the appetite is there, only 38% of employees reported that their company provided corporate cards. This was most common in medium-sized businesses (100-249), compared to just 25% of 500+ enterprises. 

We also know it’s not just employees monitoring their funds right now. Businesses are carefully watching their balance sheets and demanding better visibility into their spend. But despite this, we found that only one in 10 workers said they were required to use a company card.

When companies can’t see what employees are expensing in real-time, while employees are making charges to their personal cards and potentially risking their own financial health, it opens the door to fraud. It’s already been predicted that 2023 would reach unprecedented levels of fraud in the UK due to the soaring cost of living crisis.

With the financial tools and resources available to your business, like digital corporate cards, there’s no reason any employee should be stressing about paying off company expenses. Your business can also benefit by ensuring expenses are reimbursed in a timely manner and comply with business policy, minimising the risk of wasteful spend and potentially fraudulent expense claims. What’s more, your finance arm can gain deeper insight into spend to help streamline revenue and inform business strategy to better navigate the current economic storm and best position your company for recovery and growth.

If you’d like to learn more about how Emburse Spend can help your organisation, get in touch and schedule a demo today.

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