Financial services providers' focus on millennials is limiting their ability to reach Gen Zers before they form brand loyalties. There are 68 million Gen Zers in the US, holding up to $143 million in buying power — and they're just beginning to adopt a broader range of financial services. But many of these consumers begin to develop brand loyalty by age 21, meaning both banks and payments players must act now to capture the audience and revenue opportunities Gen Z represents.
Appealing to Gen Z requires banks and payments firms to cater to the attributes that set these consumers apart from older generations. Gen Zers aren't identical to their older counterparts: In addition to having low financial services adoption, they're more receptive to influence from family and peers than traditional advertising and don't remember life before the internet. For marketers, strategists, and developers, understanding Gen Z's unique needs — and creating and marketing products accordingly — will be critical to reaping their value.
Business Insider Intelligence has developed a six-point framework that highlights Gen Z's core traits, which banks and payments firms can use to attract, engage, and retain Gen Zers. We've found that in order to appeal to Gen Z, financial services products must be social, authentic, digital-native, and educational, offer value, and evolve over time. Our framework was developed based on industry research and conversations, and can serve as a guide for firms looking to develop relationships with this generation.
To attract Gen Zers, firms must tap into social networks and be authentic in their messaging.
Banks can take a two-pronged strategy to target parents, who influence users' choice in providers, while also communicating with Gen Z directly on social platforms to reach these users without a middleman.
Payments firms can leverage network effect to attract entire groups of Gen Zers at once and emphasize how their products are the cheapest, easiest, or most convenient to bring them on board.
Financial services firms can engage Gen Zers by offering digital-native services that teach users financial habits.
Banks can design a user experience that emulates the social media apps that users love, while building in long-term goal-setting and financial literacy tools.
And payments firms can develop a streamlined, cohesive payment experience that incorporates discounts and savings incentives.