Millennials are currently the largest and fastest-growing generation of consumers in any industry, particularly in the banking industry. Aged 19 to 35, this generation is starting to make serious financial decisions, such as getting married or buying a house. However, they also show an aversion to trusting in banks perhaps due to coming of age during financial crises, high student loan debt, and recent government bailouts. Because of those damning reasons, banks are less seen as an option to this generation than ones before.
If banks want to attract millennials, they will have to build trust which is no small feat. Banks have to start focusing on lowering student loan interest rates, offering finance-planning education, and exhibiting a plan towards creating a global difference – something very important to Gen Y.
Growing up during a time of financial volatility in the markets, millennials need banks to go further then they did with the Baby Boomers:
Lower student loan interest rates
With the norm being huge amounts of student debt, banks have to start catering to these large debts like fintech startups SoFi and CommonBond. If banks offered debt solutions, more millennials may turn to them as their financial institution of choice.
Offer finance counseling
This generation wants to avoid financial issues themselves. This is why banks should give easily accessible financial education to Generation Y. Banks have to improve their customer’s understanding of finances through innovative education techniques that can be accessed from any mobile device.
Millennials want to be engaged with someone they can trust. This doesn’t necessarily mean they want to have a conversation, but they want to be heard. Banks should analyze data and take innovative steps toward millennial-friendly goals.
Make Access Easy and Mobile
Banks also have to make access to everything easy. Transferring money shouldn’t take four steps. It should be able to happen on one mobile screen in just a few seconds. If banks want to attract millennials, their mobile sites have to allow transfers, bill pay and check deposits, and those sites have to respond quickly. The sites and apps should look good, be responsive and most and foremost: be simple to navigate.
Make a Difference
While millennials do want financial institutions to do a lot for them, it is also important that banks are making a difference in the world. Companies in any industry should be using their sizable resources to invest in sustainability, philanthropy, and global awareness. Corporate social responsibility is becoming more important as millennials take center stage.
If banks want to attract millennials, these financial institutions have to start catering to the unique needs of Generation Y which is what many fintech startups offer. Friendly service is less important than immediate, online access. Home loans are less important than reducing student debt. Banks have to start listening to what this generation wants and taking appropriate steps to address these requests.