Financial Technology Driven by Generation Z and Millennial’s Preferences
Technology has filled every aspect of life in the 21st century. The last half a decade has seen the state of affairs in almost every country grow increasingly controversial and complicated. COVID-19 has undoubtedly contributed to the current tumultuous climate. In this context, two groups of people are making waves, socially and economically. Aged 25-40, Millennials’ attention is riveted on attaining their professional goals against all odds. Generation Z is younger than Millennials – aged 18-24 years old – and have strong bonds with technology that powerfully shape their personal narratives.
Both generations have adapted admirably to the New Normal, and in doing so, have had a positive influence on some of the operations of the financial services industry. Their coping mechanisms have had a positive influence on some of the financial service industry’s operations. Also, Gen Z and Millennial behaviour has affected investor activity in the fintech sector.
Forward-looking companies stand to gain from paying careful attention to what occupies these two age groups.
Gen Z and Millennial Response to Economic Volatility
Societies around the globe are growing progressively more high-tech. Increased reliance on technology – coupled with an unmooring from traditional forms of making a living – has resulted in unpredictable circumstances for Millennials and Gen Z’ers. They live in a world where they must make the best of a bad situation.
Growing demand for socially savvy and tech-proficient employees has led to the recognition that ‘upskilling’ is no longer an option or a luxury; it is a must. In the gig economy, work seekers can learn and improve skills and talents, thus furthering their career prospects. Some turn these gigs into side hustles. By working on multiple projects, the diligent can stack the odds of financial security in their favour and enhance their (sometimes) insufficient salaries.
However, working in this way also has its downsides. For example, making consistent pension contributions becomes a challenge. No doubt, this has fueled the rise of consultations regarding algorithm-generated investment portfolios in recent times. Millennials lead the way in terms of seeking virtual support for their investment queries. People in the Gen Z category are less likely to make robo-advisors their first port of call, in money management matters.
Fintech, Gen Z’ers, and Millennials
As COVID-19 rages on globally, American Millennials and Gen Z’ers are forcing substantial changes in the financial arena, specifically when it comes to payments. Millennials spent their formative years in an age of advanced technology. Because of this, their expectations regarding financial services are sophisticated. What they value are prompt payments and swift transfers.
For Generation Z, a pre-technological world almost seems fanciful and legendary. An unsurprising fact since they are younger than their predecessors. They grew up as screenagers, with what appears at first blush to be an innate ability to operate most electronic media. This particular trait makes them at home with digital financial service features such as online banking.
Both groups demonstrate a facility with digital consultations. As aforementioned, Millennials are more likely to seek advice in this way, particularly for investments. The lives of Gen Z’ers tend to revolve around their mobile devices. Gen Z’ers choose virtual advice modalities because they are simpler to navigate. Almost three-quarters of this cohort, when asked, indicated a preference for mobile apps over traditional banking institutions.
The attributes of these demographics have also impacted trends in investment. New fintech ventures have reaped the benefits of increased use of online financial services. According to Crunchbase, in 2020, investors provided as much as $344 million for apps geared towards finance. Risk-averse individuals seeking to make prudent investments would do well to look to the category of financial applications.
Companies can also learn a thing or two from these generations and their financial characteristics. Businesses specializing in finance can benefit in specific ways from Gen Z and Millennial fiscal preferences.
How Companies Can Reach Both Generations
Though Gen Z shares many similarities with their Millennial elders, there are still significant differences between the generations. Shrewd purveyors of financial services would do well to study what makes each group tick. Millennials enjoy a good finance app. Three-quarters of them, stated they would change service providers if a superior app were in the offing.
Social media plays a significant role in the lives of Gen Z’ers. So much so that it has gone a long way towards normalizing human-corporate relationships for this generation. As companies target the younger demographic, they should pay close attention to when Gen Z’ers make life-changing purchases such as real estate and automobiles. These acquisitions are watershed moments for which sensible businesses want to be present. Cultivating financial relationships with Gen Z’ers – before they make such tremendous life changes – will stand banks and other financial service institutions in good stead.
The young ones have notoriously limited attention, being constantly distracted throughout their day by various social media platforms, work, and myriad other events that take up their priceless time. Companies need to bear this in mind when crafting messages and products that target Generation Z.
Despite their youth and the many challenges wrought by living in the 21st century, Gen Z is determined to make something of themselves. Millennials are equally focused on hitting their personal and professional targets. What this leads to is increased demand for financial services that are swifter, slicker, and more sophisticated.
Any financial institution paying careful attention to what these two groups are doing can readily meet their desire for streamlined services and well-made digital products.