"side eye"

A Milennial Finds Out From Her Gen Z Coworkers That Debit Cards Are The New Checkbook

Wallets are the next to go, for sure.

A viral TikTok shows a millennial chatting with her Gen Z coworkers about how debit cards are a way ...
TikTok / @elysereneau

I worked at a grocery store in my teen years for a part time job. I remember when older people would come into my line with $300 worth of groceries and then pull out their checkbook, I would internally groan.

Not only would writing out the check take forever, but then I had to run it through this weird machine and go through such a longer processes to get to the next customer in my ever-growing line. Even today, when I need to write a check for something, I have to dig into a folder that sits in my closet with my family’s birth certificates and social security cards. Carrying around a checkbook to pay for everyday shopping habits is definitely a way of the past.

Now, a TikTok is going viral hinting that, soon enough, debit cards will also be ancient artifacts.

Elyse Reneau — Executive Director Global Beauty at Too Faced and popular TikTok content creator — posted a TikTok alongside her Gen Z coworkers who swear that they never use debit cards when paying for things.

“I've just discovered that Gen Z does not carry debit cards, like at all,” she begins while speaking to the camera. “No debit cards, they only use their phone.”

She then pans over to her Gen Z friends and says, “So like, debit cards to you guys is like what a checkbook is to me, and that is really making me feel old.”

One Gen Z chimes in and says, “It's called Apple Pay.”

Another young coworker remarks (in the most Gen Z way ever), “Side eye.”

Reneau defends herself, noting that she is up to date on all the newest tech when it comes to digital payment but keeps her actual cards with her as well. “I mean, I have Apple Pay too, but I have a debit card just in case.”

She also wrote a very tongue in cheek caption for the video: “Gather round ye children, and I will tell you the tale of the pager.”

Unsurprisingly, after the video went viral — garnering over 228k views and 17k likes — TikTok users had a lot to say in Reneau’s comment section about the generational divide.

One millennial chimed in, “I’m a millennial and I have no idea how to use Apple Pay 😂 Also I use a credit card for everything bc I get those points 💅”

“Same! I need my travel points!” Reneau replied.

Others were a bit confused about how Gen Z could even get away with not having a debit card on hand. “So many places don’t take Apple Pay or tap to pay...,” one user wrote

Someone else questioned, “But how do they get cash?”

To which Reneau replied, “They don’t use cash.”

According to a 2020 article published by Wired, a little under half the iPhone users are paying with their phone. Google and Samsung Pay transactions are also growing for Android users.

In 2020, Apple Pay accounted for 10 percent of all global card transactions.

While some may worry that having their card information on their phone is a safety risk, it’s actually very safe.

“In some ways, Apple and Google Pay are actually more secure than their plastic counterparts. Both services use tokenization, creating a unique code whenever you make a purchase—the merchant never sees your credit card number, and even if a thief were to somehow steal that code, they wouldn't be able to use it to make more purchases. This is the same enhanced security your credit card's chip uses,” Wired explained.

Apple and Google Pay are also locked behind a fingerprint sensor or face recognition on person’s device which adds an extra layer of security that credit cards don't have. Also, if you lose your phone, you can turn your digital wallet off remotely with Find My iPhone and Google's Find My Device.

While most of us will most likely still carry around our debit cards as backup, Gen Z might actually be onto something by ditching the plastic payment for digital dollars.