What matters most to each generation of banking customers?
What matters most to each generation of banking customers?’

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July 6, 2023

A question we’ve talked a lot about with bank marketers is what matters most to different generations when it comes to their banking needs? It’s a good question so in this article we’ve decided to explore the financial habits of both older and younger generations and highlight the value they bring to financial institutions. By recognizing the unique characteristics of each generation, banks can provide tailored solutions and improve customer satisfaction.  In fact, research shows that 47% of GenZers and 32% of millennials said they planned to change their primary financial institution within the next two years.

Financial Habits of Older Generations

Older generations have distinct financial habits that significantly impact their banking preferences. What is an “older generation”? While there is no hard line on this we’ve found you can typically break it out to anyone who was born before 1990 as in the older generation group.

Listed here are the two most significant financial characteristics of the older generations.

  1. Long-Term Financial Planning: One important aspect for older generations is long-term financial planning. They prioritize saving for retirement, managing investments, and creating a financial legacy. Financial institutions can support these goals by offering retirement accounts, investment advisory services, and estate planning assistance.
  2. Risk-Averse Approach: Compared to younger generations, older customers tend to be more risk-averse. They value stability and security in their financial decisions. Banks can provide options such as low-risk savings accounts, conservative investment strategies, and insurance products to meet the risk tolerance of older customers.

Financial Habits of Younger Generations

Younger generations also have unique financial habits that shape their banking preferences. For this group we’re talking about those born on or after 1990.

Here are the two most significant financial & banking characteristics of younger generations.

  1. Digital Banking and Technology: Younger customers are highly tech-savvy and prefer convenient digital banking solutions. They value seamless online and mobile banking experiences, quick transactions, and easy access to financial information. Financial institutions must prioritize digital innovation to cater to these preferences and offer user-friendly apps, digital payment options, and personalized financial management tools.
  2. Financial Education and Guidance: Younger generations often seek financial education and guidance to navigate complex financial decisions. They value transparency and personalized advice. Banks can provide educational resources, online financial planning tools, and dedicated advisors to empower and support younger customers in achieving their financial goals.

The Value of Older Generations for Financial Institutions

Targeting older generations brings several benefits to financial institutions.

Higher Net Worth

Older customers often possess higher net worth due to accumulated assets and long-standing financial stability. By catering to their needs, financial institutions can access a customer base with substantial purchasing power and investment potential.

Responsible Financial Behavior

Older generations typically exhibit responsible financial behavior, including lower debt-to-income ratios, established credit histories, and a higher likelihood of meeting financial obligations. This responsible behavior reduces the risk for financial institutions, enabling them to offer more favorable terms and conditions on loans and credit products.

The Value of Younger Generations for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions also know there is massive value to targeting younger generations.

Long-Term Customer Relationships

Attracting younger customers allows financial institutions to build long-term relationships that can endure throughout their financial journey. By earning their trust early on, banks can become their go-to financial partner as their needs evolve over time.

Technological Adoption

Younger generations are early adopters of new technologies. By catering to their preferences for digital banking solutions, financial institutions can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in an increasingly digital landscape.

Understanding the financial habits and preferences of different generations is vital for financial institutions to provide tailored solutions and enhance customer satisfaction. By recognizing the distinct characteristics of older and younger generations, banks can adapt their offerings to meet their diverse needs. Whether it’s long-term financial planning and risk management for older customers or digital innovation and financial education for younger customers, banks can foster valuable relationships and achieve desired outcomes by addressing the unique requirements of each generation.

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