• Parents ‘down with the kids’ as text speak sweeps their generation
  • LOL and FYI most used acronyms across all generations
  • Yet only one in three Brits know what the financial acronym ‘APR’ means
  • PayYOURway.org.uk launches Payments Glossary to help raise awareness of useful financial terms

Long gone are the days when text speak like LOL and OMG was used just by Britain’s youth – with new research showing two thirds of Brits across all age groups now use these abbreviations in their day to day life.

PayYOURway.org.uk, the campaign which aims to help people make better informed choices about their payment options, undertook some light-hearted research* contrasting the nation’s use of text speak with their understanding of payments acronyms.

The research showed that whilst text speak is still most popular with the younger generations (four in five of 18 – 34 year olds admit to using it), the older generations are getting in on the act, regularly using the lingo.

The older generation is ‘down with the kids’ as almost half of the over 55s admit to using acronyms while communicating and over two thirds (69%) of 35-54 years olds use acronyms when communicating via text, email and instant messaging.

When it comes to the nation’s favourite acronyms, LOL comes out as the firm favourite, with over two thirds (68%) of the nation naming it as the one they use most frequently, while LOL also comes out on top for the list of most widely used acronyms, followed by OMG and BTW.

Most widely used text and email acronyms

All 18 – 34 35 – 54 55+
LOL 54% 68% 59% 37%
OMG 36% 49% 41% 21%
BTW 28% 47% 27% 14%
FYI 27% 38% 28% 16%
ROFL 15% 38% 28% 16%
IMHO 9% 12% 11% 5%
PDQ 6% 4% 8% 8%
CUL8ER 5% 6% 5% 3%

APRs, ATMs and PINs

Whilst text speak is fast being adopted into everyday language, the research shows that some people still aren’t aware of some the most commonly used payment terms.  The stats reveal that only a third (36%) of people know that APR represents a payment related acronym. Payments knowledge seems to be particularly lacking among the younger generation with less that a third (31%) knowing APR was related to payments.

Sandra Quinn from the PayYOURWay.org.uk campaign comments: ‘’Text speak has become a way of life and it’s possible to have a whole conversation just using acronyms and abbreviations! And no matter what age you are, you’re likely to being using text speak to some extent.”

“However, it is a concern to see just how little we as a nation know about the acronyms that really matter to us – the APRs, ATMs and PINs. We are coming across these payment abbreviations every day, yet levels of awareness of what these terms actually mean is not as high as it could be! In order to help the nation up their payments knowledge, we’ve launched the Payments Glossary on PayYOURway.org.uk to help people get a grip of some key financial terms.”

Pay YOUR Way reveals the Payments Glossary

PayYOURway.org.uk has created a definitive guide to payments terms to boost people’s payment literacy.  The hyperlinked glossary contains words and abbreviations to payment terminology, helping consumers to make sense of terms they see everywhere, but may not understand.

Sandra Quinn continues ‘’Payment acronyms crop up more regularly than you think, and knowing what they mean can help you feel more confident with your money – which is particularly important as technology develops and new ways to pay become part of everyday life.’’

The Payments Council is urging people who want to understand more about their payment options, or to test how much they think they know, to visit www.PayYOURway.org.uk, or to follow the campaign at twitter.com/PayYOURwayUK The website’s educational content will be regularly updated and leaflets will also be available.

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