Now is a really good time for digital businesses leaders to step off the “next hot payment” hamster wheel. Payment methods don’t matter. How so? Retailers and consumer-facing brands have been so busy chasing the next hot payment method to add to their checkout pages that they’ve missed what customers really want when they make a payment. Those retailers that adopted Venmo five years ago to encourage Gen Z spending might have regrets now, because the anticipated Venmo-related sales growth hasn’t materialized — or at the very least, they may have whiplash as they consider younger consumers’ use of Cash App now for commerce. And the engines are just now cooling on the “buy now, pay later” frenzy of the past few years.

The average US online adult uses more than four internet-connected devices, over four platforms, and more than five channels in their digitally connected lives. A whopping 96% of US online adults shop online at least once per year, including 27% who shop online at least weekly. And even though US online adults across most age groups shop online at similar frequencies, we know that younger consumers adopt and use digital payments more than their older counterparts, but their reasons for using digital payments don’t differ dramatically from older consumers who do use digital payments.

So what is different, then? Younger US online adults: 1) trust a more varied set of companies to provide digital payments services and 2) are more comfortable than older adults transacting in emerging commerce touchpoints or interaction modes (for example, through voice assistants and online chat).

What does it mean for merchants? Quite simply: Payment experiences matter more to your customers than payment methods. Don’t build a payments strategy around a collection of payment methods. Rather, analyze your unique digital presence — the devices, channels, platforms, and interaction modes that your customers are using to engage with you — and use diligent customer journey mapping to determine the payments experiences you need to support and/or improve those touchpoints and journeys.

To dive into more analysis and see the details, see our latest report on building payment experiences. Forrester clients can also connect with us via inquiry or guidance sessions.