Understanding millennials’ lifestyles, goals, and behaviors is crucial given their status as a key financial services market. In the last two decades, millennials have matured in terms of their size, economic strength, and socio-cultural influence but are distinct from the surrounding generations based on unique formative experiences such as world events and pronounced technological, economic, and social shifts.
Millennials constitute the most educated, most informed, and most interconnected generation in history. And while younger people have always had a stronger propensity to live in cities, millennials have emerged as the most urbanized cohort of young adults ever due to the broad socio-demographic trend of urban living in general. This has significant implications for earning power, social patterns, and the economic pressures they are subject to: none of which are unique to millennials but which are more pronounced or accentuated.
Millennials (and Generation Z) are more active banking customers overall, and are more likely to conduct common banking-related activities via digital channels than other surveyed age demographics. Arguably the strongest defining characteristic of millennials (given that they are rarely classified consistently from an age perspective) is that they are the first generational cohort to come of age in the digital era. This creates a distinct mindset and way of interacting with the world around them, but this does not necessarily mean they are drastically different human beings.
A reliance on digital is why millennials are credited with fundamentally disrupting the way business-to-consumer providers do commerce, irrespective of industry and geography. On the other hand, millennials are far from digital-only customers. Omni-channel is a way of life, meaning they seek a seamless customer experience from financial services providers across both physical and digital channels.
"Targeting Millennials in Financial Services", report explores the attitudes and behaviors millennials have with regards to their financial services, using our extensive surveying of consumers in 20 key banking markets around the world. It identifies those aspects of the customer experience that financial services providers need to address to effectively engage with millennials and highlights successful providers, products, services, and campaigns. Best practice examples and studies presented are drawn from around the world and across the economy, encompassing banks, insurers, investment managers, consumer brands, and retailers.
- Millennial are digital-first but not digital-only. They are high-touch customers looking for engagement across channels.
- Traditional strengths such as a good reputation in the market and a branch network are still important to millennials.
- Millennials value speed, simplicity, and ease of use in a bank. Their tolerance for friction in their life is lower and their lack of financial knowledge makes them more anxious about their finances.
- Personalized or tailored services and rewards are valued by millennials.
Reasons to buy
- Gain insight into relevant millennial attitudes and behaviors.
- Gain insight into the components of a successful millennial outreach program.
- Review successful case studies of millennial engagement from leading brands.
Table of Contents1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. Banks must tailor their offerings with millennials in mind
1.2. Key findings
1.3. Critical success factors
2. MILLENNIALS ARE A KEY AUDIENCE FOR RETAIL BANKING
2.1. Defining the demographic opportunity as a cohort
2.1.1. Millennials were born between 1983 and 1996
2.1.2. Millennials have emerged as the largest living generation in many (but not all) nations
2.1.3. Millennials are highly urbanized and a more diverse generation than their predecessors
3. MILLENNIAL ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS WARRANT SPECIAL FOCUS
3.1. Millennials’ digital focus should not preclude engagement via other channels
3.1.1. A digital strategy is key - but not to the exclusion of other channels
3.1.2. Millennials are omni-channel customers who drive industry change
3.1.3. Millennials are high-touch customers who embrace both traditional and emerging retail banking channels
3.1.4. An established reputation and branch presence remain important to millennials
3.1.5. Millennials express a greater willingness to embrace digital-only banking
3.1.6. Ease, simplicity, and mobile phone dependency are all common themes for millennials
3.1.7. Mobile banking is particularly pronounced in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US
3.1.8. Mobile-dependent millennials show a strong preference for checking balances, transferring money, and making payments via mobile
3.1.9. Millennials still rely on banks and traditional communication methods when making investments
3.1.10. Millennials appreciate rewards - especially if they are personalized
4. BEST PRACTICE FOR TARGETING MILLENNIALS
4.1. Cultivate a meaningful purpose to underpin your business
4.1.1. Make financial brands an authentic champion of something target customers care about
4.1.2. Sustain and nurture purpose-led brands like any other
4.2. Utilize digital innovation to elevate the user experience and engagement
4.2.1. Streamline investment and banking processes with digital-forward offerings
4.2.2. Pure digital banking is not confined to just millennials, but they are shaping it
4.2.3. Providers should embrace AR for both utility and entertainment
4.3. Create multi-channel content that matters
4.3.1. Create and curate educational content around specific milestones
4.3.2. Reward loyalty with unique experiences and exclusive access
5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
5.2.1. Retail Banking Insight Survey
5.3. Secondary sources
5.4. Further reading
List of Tables
Table 1: Millennials globally represent a 1 billion+ demographic cohort
List of Figures
Figure 1: Demographics view millennials as born between 1983 and 1996
Figure 2: Millennials have come of age in the last 20 years to assume greater size, economic strength, and socio-cultural influence
Figure 3: Millennials are using the full spectrum of banking channels
Figure 4: Branch visits underpin the research undertaken by both millennials and the general market
Figure 5: Millennials are the core demographic for neobanks across the world
Figure 6: While ambivalent overall, millennials express a greater willingness to use digital-only banking than other generations
Figure 7: Like other generations, millennials value the importance of traditional criteria like familiarity and credibility
Figure 8: Millennials are more inclined towards companies with a proven track record
Figure 9: Millennials generally show a greater willingness to embrace new products
Figure 10: Higher expectations of immediate gratification are underpinned by heightened frustration with complexity and perceived time scarcity
Figure 11: Younger consumers admit to angst in the absence of their mobile phone
Figure 12: Millennials are driving mobile banking, especially in Western markets
Figure 13: A preference for mobile banking is notably more pronounced among Generation Z and millennials
Figure 14: A financial planner connected to the customer’s main bank remains the most used source when making investments
Figure 15: Millennials most commonly seek face-to-face interaction when securing investment assistance
Figure 16: Younger consumers are more likely to have used robo-advisors
Figure 17: Publisher recommends focusing millennial targeting efforts around three key pillars
Figure 18: Brand positioning and purpose take on additional importance when targeting millennials
Figure 19: Toms rose to prominence by explicitly branding itself as a social enterprise
Figure 20: Bank of America’s Friends Again campaign tackled an awkward tension point for customers while effectively showcasing new capabilities
Figure 21: The emergence of digital-only banks like Xinja threatens to shake up the Australian banking sector
Figure 22: Up Bank combines a major bank partnership with non-bank innovation in design and user experience
Figure 23: UK neobanks like Atom and Monzo promise a more customer-centric approach
Figure 24: UOB’s TMRW symbolizes the changing banking landscape in Asian markets
Figure 25: Finn by Chase is a mobile-only bank designed by millennials for millennials
Figure 26: Marcus resonates due to its simplicity, the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns, and its market-leading rates
Figure 27: Alpha i promises to execute anytime, anywhere trades
Figure 28: Stash provides the convenience benefits that digital-native millennials are accustomed to
Figure 29: Fintech innovations like Zuper are honing in on ever-more specific issues
Figure 30: AR promotes a more interactive customer experience, delivering utility and entertainment value
Figure 31: TWE successfully elevated engagement via AR activation
Figure 32: Constantly evolving pack designs have propelled PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR brand
Figure 33: FRANK by OCBC highlights the merits of a millennial-specific sub-brand
Figure 34: StashLearn insight ranges from home ownership to retirement
Figure 35: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community taps into millennials’ trust in peer-generated endorsements
Figure 36: Gamification can help millennials learn about investing and keep them engaged with their portfolio
Figure 37: Kasikornbank’s Kelly Monthly Rescue provided access to a range of perks and demonstrated strong customer empathy
Figure 38: Markets covered in the 2018 Retail Banking Insight Survey
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Alley Financial
- Up Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- Atom bank
- Monzo Starling
- Bank of America