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What financial institutions can learn from the financial literacy of Gen Z

Generational targeting is an important marketing initiative for banks and credit unions who want to deliver great, personalized experiences to consumers. Recognizing certain patterns of behavior that are driven from generational differences enables financial institutes to create custom communications for Baby BoomersGen XMillennials and Gen Z.

One generation that has shown the financial services industry some interesting insights is Gen Z, also called Zoomers, which includes those born between 1997 and 2012. Zoomers follow the Millennial generation, and are usually the children of Gen X. This generation aged with the internet and are extremely tech savvy, usually at a very young age. This group relies heavily on reviews and testimonials from previous user experiences. Messaging directed towards Zoomers must be quantitative, authentic and to-the-point content that captures their attention and proves the value added. Their familiarity with digital devices, social media platforms and search engines have shaped a curious generation who uses the internet as a tool to connect and learn.

Zoomers and Financial Literacy

Generation Z is known to worry about their finances, especially large bills like college tuition and student loan debt. Using the vast amounts of data and information available, Zoomers seek to combat falling into the same financial mistakes made by the generations before them. No classroom is needed to educate this group about financial matters, this tech-savvy generation utilizes multiple digital channels for recreational online research. In actuality, 56% of Gen Z say they intentionally seek out information or advice about personal finance through social media platforms. These young adults are taking advantage of computer and smartphone access to learn all about making wise choices – saving, investing and preventing debt. Gen Z is learning about finance quite differently from previous generations.

Why it Matters to Financial Institutions

Paying attention to Zoomer preferences enables FIs to position themselves for success with this population segment by providing a digital-first presence that offers financial education and a high level of customization. These elements will attract and retain Zoomers as they become a driving force for the future of banking services and fintech. The oldest members of this generation are 24 years old, just entering the workforce and just starting their individual financial journeys. This MX whitepaper indicated that only 47% of Gen Z have an account with a traditional bank or credit union, meaning this demographic is still up for grabs amongst financial institutions.

Banks and credit unions that cater to Gen Z preferences also benefit from creating memorable connections across this generation. Automated options that assist the customer journey and promote financial education are very attractive from Zoomers to Boomers. Financial institutions need to prioritize the fintech partnerships, products and services that will meet their clients’ expectations, especially since consumer expectations are shifted by brands that thrive at tailoring experiences to their customers.

While Zoomers may be the generation laying the foundation for self-taught financial literacy via internet sources, they are not the only ones doing so. The number of tech-savvy users with high expectations for their digital experiences and interactions continue to grow as consumer skills and preferences evolve each year. Banks and credit unions that advance their digital marketing approaches to create significant connections with account holders, young and old, will remain relevant to their customers.

Preetha Pulusani is the CEO of DeepTarget, a FinTech company that helps financial institutions grow by simplifying digital marketing to deliver amazing consumer experiences that result in up to 10X more sales and lasting relationships with their digital users. For more information, visit www.deeptarget.com 

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