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What affects consumer behaviour

A beloved beautician or hairdresser is quitting their job. What are you doing? Are you giving up and looking for a new expert, are you going to travel across town, because only she or he will do their job best?

A car mechanic who, since you have a driver’s license, has taken care of every car you own, suddenly moves abroad. Are you asking him to recommend a trusted mate, or are you switching to a bike?

You get married, your first child is born. Do you still spend a fortune on drinks when you go out on Friday, or make your purchasing decisions change drastically?

What else determines our behaviours and decisions, including our purchasing decisions?

Anthropologist Paul Atkinson, based on his research, claims that:

“Consumer behaviour is often the result of unconscious motives that can be decoded by psychological and anthropological techniques”.

Our behaviour is shaped by our personality, age, education, culture, the need for self-fulfilment, as well as experience and – mentioned by behaviourists as a key factor – our environment.

Behaviourism is mainly associated with working with dogs. But the same factors that work on our pets, work on us. In a behavioural approach, it is the environment that is considered to be the key factor influencing – and some even claim controlling – the behaviour of organisms.

The creator of behaviourism, Professor John Watson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, clearly stated:

“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select — doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief”.

Current strong impact trends

The ever-changing environment affects people with varying degrees of intensity, and recently it has had an impact in several key areas: safety, ecology, convenience, and – although we are one global village –, the locality.


We care more and more about our security – both the data we store on computers or phones and ourselves. Recent events that have affected the entire globe have changed (and continue to change) our existing consumer behaviour, including in the area of payments. Already today we can see a downward trend with the use of cash for contactless payments. What happens next? We will certainly see the shaping of a new reality.


The ecological trend, which has been going on for several years, is becoming increasingly larger. It is most visible in two sectors: cosmetics and food. The number of companies preparing eco-products in Poland in 2019 increased by 12.8%. And Poland in the region of Central and Eastern Europe has the most land in conversion to organic farming – 108.6 thousand ha. According to Polaków portfel własny: kochamy okazje (Poles’ wallet: we love bargains) report prepared for Santander Consumer Bank, as early as in 2018, one in five Polish women declared that they were trying to buy goods of natural origin (about 17% of the total number of Poles). Today, it is simply necessary to have at least some eco-products on offer.


We want the simplest, most everyday activities to be as short and simple as possible and we – humans – don’t want to adjust the car seat and mirrors every time our wife uses our car; we want to know what the weather is going to be like in the place we’re going in a week’s time in a split second; we don’t have to measure our heart rate and distance by hand while running.

Comfort has come to our daily lives for good. We buy, we order, we also pay in real time. We often even expect an immediate payment transaction, delivery of goods or order processing in the shop. According to Dr Przemysław Barbrich of the Polish Bank Association:

“The largest number of supporters of instant transfers is among Generation Z, i.e. those born after 2000, and 42% of this age group believe that instant transfers should be the standard”.


As being loyal customers of global brands, we can notice and more and more often appreciate ideas and products created right next to us, food products “from a neighbourhood”, handicrafts made by friends, hand made clothing, and an Easter cake baked by an artisan confectioner.

We want to know, and it becomes important to us – who prepared the food for us and from what products, who packed our gift book at Empik and where the food comes from for our birthday party. Today, not only our grandmothers but all generations will be happy to eat tasty and healthy food. More and more consciously.

The environment affects both individuals, and individuals strongly influence the formation of social groups. We, Poles, are such a social group in terms of payment behaviour. We are one of the most open societies to new forms of payment. We are looking for the most convenient and fast payment methods. The survey entitled Płatności bezgotówkowe oczami Polaków 2019 (Non-cash payments in the eyes of Poles 2019) prepared by KIR shows that 20% of respondents declared payment in cash. This method is most often chosen by people between 35 and 54 years of age. 66% of those surveyed declared payments with the payment card, the largest part of them being over 55 years of age. Phone payments are the most popular among young people (18-34 years old) – 23% of all those using phone, watch or other devices.

„Soon, not only cash payments but even card payments may be a thing of the past”4

This is the main conclusion of the EY survey conducted with representatives of financial institutions, regulators, technology providers and experts from around the world at Sibos (https://www.sibos.com). What is to replace it? 59% of those surveyed expect mobile devices and wearable devices (watches, bracelets or glasses) to dominate the payments market in the next ten years. One-third of those surveyed expect payments to be made using biometric tools in 2030. Only 4% of the respondents indicated that the payment cards would remain in use. Cash was not mentioned by the respondents.

Not only such a specialised group of people focuses on new ways of payment and is prepared for them, or even expects it.

As many as 47% of survey participants surveyed by Mastercard in mid-2019 declared their willingness and readiness to use biometric methods as a form of transaction authentication. They consider biometric forms to be safe, each one – fingerprint, facial features recognition or other types of biometrics – has positive feedback from a group of over 50%.

We can be tempted to say that a large part of us are ready for new forms of payment. Ideally, these forms should meet all our requirements, i.e. be even safer, more comfortable and faster. In such a case, paying with one look – offered by the Wrocław company PayEye – i.e.. confirmation of payment without using unnecessary accessories becomes a perfect solution.

A mobile, on-line… PayEye time!


20 May 2020
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