Banking services, say hello to Generation Z.

Generation Z is made up of anyone born from 1995-2000+. They are digital nativists – never not knowing a world unconnected. As they represent the consumers of the future, it’s time to start focusing on them now. And while many in Gen Z are still young, they will set the pace for how banks will continue to evolve in the years to come.

To convert new audiences and drive business, financial brands must rise to the challenge of engaging with these younger consumers through new approaches to marketing. The COVID-19 pandemic forced most financial institutions to shut down much of their face-to-face interactions with customers, making it even more challenging to reach younger generations. Financial institutions knew they had to find innovative ways to meet their customers where they were.  This sparked a new wave of digital disruption.

How Generation Z Prefers to Bank

Younger generations have completely changed the way they interact with their bank. Relying heavily on digital solutions, young consumers of financial services are using mobile apps to make deposits, transfer money, and check their transactions. They are completing their financial needs in a fully digital way.

What does this mean for you?

Your financial brand needs to offer, improve, and enhance digital capabilities. This means providing the ability to carry out banking activities with minimal fuss. After all, Gen-Z grown up with convenience and mobile-first technology all of their life. They expect seamless connectivity — and their banking apps are no exception. Financial brands must start acting more like the digital giants –  Google, Amazon, and Facebook – before these digital giants start acting like banks.

Pro Tip

Artificial Intelligence to better adapt your services to your customer preferences. AI allows for streamlined interactions and essential touchpoints. Read our past blog on Understanding Artificial Intelligence as a Financial Brand to learn more.

Visuals, Visuals, and more Visuals

Gen Z marketing requires more than just a product. With mass amounts of information right at their fingertips, they spend more time doing their own research and shopping around for the best offering. “77% of Gen Z browse social media to look for ideas on what products to purchase.” Virtually everyone in this generation uses social media at least once a week. They care more about visuals than words. According to Vision Critical, one of the top factors that draw Gen Z’s attention to items is an aesthetically pleasing product shot. This requires financial marketers to take a content-based, visual approach to their social media marketing efforts.

A content-based, visual approach is a compelling and effective way to tell your brand story through images and infographics. Our brains process visual information almost instantly. Our recent webinar: Leveraging Content to Build Relationships, explains more in depth why relevant and engaging content is a critical component of your marketing process, and what type of content activates meaningful conversation with your customers. Ultimately, visual content gets your message across faster, starts conversation, and captures this generation of users.

Pro Tip

Ensure your social media is visually appealing by using the correct image sizing requirements. View THIS handout for the most up to date social media best practices.

Financial Education is Part of The Journey

Banks can no longer create satisfied customers by simply just holding their money; they need to support their customers in achieving financial goals.

Gen Z wants to learn about money – but not always in a classroom lecture style. Your financial brand should offer financial literacy courses to help younger generations learn basic budgeting, fraud protection, and setting savings goals. Gen Z is on track to have the most student debt out of any other prior generation; a fact they are keenly aware and wary of. Helping to educate them on a firm financial future through debt reduction and addressing long-term goals is a grounded strategy that could help you break into this market. By becoming the brand that younger consumers can look toward for assistance, you position yourself as a premier destination for a demographic that will soon dominate this industry.

Pro Tip

Include Financial Education topics somewhere on your website or mobile device so that they are accessible to younger bank customers. Provide free educational resources like a Cyber Security Awareness Kit. We provide an example of one HERE.

Credit unions and banks can’t afford to ignore the needs and opportunities presented by this demographic.  The impact of younger generations on financial services is just beginning to be felt.

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Author: Sydney Long

Sydney Long is a Content and Campaigns contributor for Social Assurance. When she’s not helping develop strategic content, she loves to go on runs, drink coffee, and travel.

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