Gen Y Views Direct Deposit as Way to Be Environmentally Friendly

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New data about employees' attitudes toward direct deposit released on Wednesday found that Gen Y is more likely than other generations to use direct deposit as a means to reduce their impact on the environment.

The 2011 PayItGreen survey revealed that 27% of Gen Y respondents (those born in 1979 or later) said they use direct deposit to help the environment compared to 19% for other generations. NACHA, the electronic payments association that released the results, said in a press release that this attitude seems to match other data, citing a separate survey that concluded that 89% of Gen Y is likely to switch brands if the second brand supports a cause when price and quality are equal. Additionally, the PayItGreen survey found that 32% of Gen Y said they use direct deposit to reduce clutter compared to 21% for other generations.

Despite the desire to be environmentally friendly, the survey found that employees cited convenience as the driving force behind direct deposit for all generations with 70% for Gen Y and 72% for other generations giving this as a reason for using the service.

Finally, the survey found that 38% of "laggards" (respondents who only try new technology after it's been available for awhile and others are already using it) said they use direct deposit because their employers require it.

By contrast, last year's PayItGreen survey, released in June 2010, found that 27% of employees still received paper paychecks, primarily because their employers did not offer direct deposit. The NACHA has found that this affects employees of small businesses more than those of mid-sized to large businesses. NACHA released data in April that showed that two-thirds of small businesses did not offer direct deposit to their employees because they did not think they had enough employees to justify it and because they think it would be too expensive.

Javelin Strategy & Research conducted the 2011 PayItGreen survey for NACHA, polling 3,500 adults online in March. PayItGreen is a coalition led by NACHA focusing on the environmental impacts of choosing electronic payments, bills and statements instead of paper ones.

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