There are nearly 2.5 billion people in Gen Z. And, while that demographic (1996-2012) is still largely underage, nearly all of them are already thinking about the future of their finances. They’ve seen what the debt and bad financial decisions have done to Gen X and Millennials. These older groups face delayed milestones and are often facing the possibility of delayed or non-existent retirement.
Gen Z is understandably concerned. What are they supposed to do to avoid making the same mistakes – in an arguably extremely volatile financial market?
Give them a way to have an in-person conversation.
According to a study from CivicScience, people who feel uncertain about their financial situation are more likely to visit their financial institution’s branch – sometimes twice as often. Gen Z is definitely playing this out. Over half (64%) have started researching and talking about financial planning.
Recent research from BNP Paribas notes Gen Z accounts for more meetings at the branch than any other generational group. It’s similar to how younger consumers are flocking to brick-and-mortar retailers, despite prior speculation that these “digital natives” would kill in-person retail.
But this isn’t to say technology isn’t still important for helping Gen Z understand their finances.
Mobile user experience is important.
Young consumers check their phones in the store before they make a purchase. They change their mind at a checkout line based on reviews. They use their phones to find what they are looking for in the aisles. They comparison shop for quality and pricing while they are standing in the store.
So, why wouldn’t they transfer similar behaviors to their financial decisions?
Banks and credit unions need to make the entirety of their banking experience easy to navigate. Consumers who are purchasing a home, looking at investing, or making other large financial decisions are more likely to want to talk to someone. Making it easy to choose a connection option – such as chat, video, or an in-person appointment – is critical to reassure them they are making the right decision.
And don’t stop there.
Education is essential.
There is only so much reviews and personal reassurance can do to help Gen Z realize they are doing what is right for their financial future. What they really want is the knowledge and understanding to help them reach true financial stability.
This is why it is becoming increasingly important for banks and credit unions to make sure they are providing a range of educational resources for their current and potential account holders. Bite-sized video education, infographics, podcasts, books, and in-person training are all excellent ways of providing the information Gen Z craves.
Offering education in a variety of formats will help account holders access information in a way that fits their style, time, and needs. But, as always, providing easy access to directly connect with real people is a must – as new information is sure to raise more questions.
Of course, one of the best and easiest ways to allow account holders a way to find and get in touch with your institution’s branches, ATMs, and ITMs is by integrating a tool like Wave 2’s branch and ATM locator. Our system is fully customized to easily provide locations, navigation, hours of operation, helpful photos, important notifications, and links to set up appointments or get in touch.
Discover all the ways an integrated, interactive, customized Branch and ATM locator can help your institution’s account holders “feel good” about their finances. Contact Wave2 today!
Jason Green, Co-Founder
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