How Financial Institutions Can Engage Millennials and Gen Z Account Holders

Posted on

December 2, 2021


Angela Applebee

Millennials and Generation Z are leading a huge change in societal norms. They grew up in a world of change and have embraced its endless digital opportunities. Relying on a flexible and nimble lifestyle, they prefer renting to owning and focus on the environment. In essence, they are not as responsive to most traditional financial services and solutions. So, what can you, as a financial institution (FI), do to engage with these demographics? Start with online checking, push notifications and other digital services.

What do millennials and Gen Z account holders want from their financial institutions?

These demographics are busy and prefer to do as many things as they can through apps. To attract them, you need to make your financial institution as digitally accessible as possible to account holders for account openings, deposits, transfers, online checking and other routine transactions.

These people have spent their entire lives with a device in their hands, texting rather than talking. They are more than comfortable communicating with you digitally rather than in person - or even by phone. They communicate with their world through the keyboard, and your institution needs to respond.

Practicality, usability and the quality of the overall account holder experience are extremely important to these demographics. If you can't provide a convenient and easily usable app for your services, as well as one that offers an experience that is comfortable and satisfying, then these groups will not engage with you for the long haul. Make it easy and enjoyable, and they will stick with you.

Communicating with millennials and Gen Z

Although they have their similarities, these demographics do have differences that can impact how you engage with them. Here are some of the minute variations to take note of:

  • Improved account holder experience - Millennials are generally more willing than Gen Z to pay up for a better experience. More than three out of four (76%) millennials indicated that willingness to pay in a survey by Salesforce. On the other hand, Gen Z came in at 71%. So, enhanced account holder experience, even with an additional cost, is a more valuable option for millennials, but it will be beneficial for engaging with both demographics.
  • Innovation - Both groups are always on the outlook for product and service innovation, but Gen Z especially desires the transformation of traditional products into the digital world. Think online checking, web push notifications and other digital-first services.
  • Focus on value versus saving - Gen Zers focus more on saving than millennials did at the same age. They look for purchases that maximize value. Millennials, on the other hand, are more interested in the total buying experience. They're all about the journey.
  • Digital privacy - Both demographics are wary of companies who have access to their personal financial information. Both believe that they have lost control over how companies use their personal information. Not only that, but they won't trust you that easily. Gen Z in particular considers companies untrustworthy, and it takes an extraordinary effort to earn their loyalty.

How to make millennials and Gen Zers welcome

Upon identifying what these demographics want from their FIs, you can approach them with more confidence and make them feel at home with your institution. Here are a few considerations to help you offer services that will attract these groups:

  • Make your communications personal - While these demographics want everything digital and fast, they also want it to be personal. They want to feel welcome at your FI and want to believe that you are talking to them, not just to an amorphous mass of potential clients. Make sure your communications are targeted and relevant to their needs. Timely, on-point information goes a long way toward engaging these groups.
  • Keep them informed - These demographics want information that is keyed to them and concentrated on what they are looking for now. Consider offering web push notifications at the right time and right place to educate them on their opportunities and assist them in making the timely financial decisions they want to make.
  • Focus on what they need and want - Don't waste time marketing for services that these groups aren't interested in. For example, they prefer renting, so don't focus on offering mortgage loans to them. Instead, consider their needs and wants - the desire to shop conveniently online and do online checking. Make sure you offer tailored solutions if you want to compete for these demographics with larger financial institutions.
  • Be flexible - Gen Z and millennials don't want to be tied down to doing things any one way. Offer them options and make them easily available. Bring in third-party digital applications that you can seamlessly integrate into your own digital platforms. These broader, more sophisticated offerings will be welcomed, allowing you to focus on providing services, not reinventing digital wheels.

Engage your account holders with push notifications

The Larky nudge® platform engages your account holders with tailored push notifications that deliver the right message to the right account holder at the right time.  Integrating seamlessly with your existing platform and other third-party services, Larky nudge® enables you to give your account holders unique, focused and trustworthy digital financial services that millennials and Get Zers seek.

Contact Larky today to see how we can help you engage these demographics as your newest account holder group.

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