Key Points

  • Financial services providers’ focus on millennials is concealing a time-sensitive opportunity as Generation Z ages into the financial mainstream. Defined as those born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z includes roughly 68 million people in the US alone; and these consumers hold up to $143 billion in buying power, per INC. With the oldest members of Gen Z now 23 years old, it’s time for banking and payments providers to define a strategy to reach the generation.
  • If financial services providers can earn Gen Z’s loyalty while they’re young, they stand to benefit from providing a lifetime of lucrative products and services. But the window of opportunity is limited: Many of these consumers tend to develop brand loyalty by age 21, per IBM. Firms should act quickly to reach the generation before they pursue higher education, enter the workforce, and buy their first homes — all points in which their payments, lending, banking, and wealth management needs broaden.
  • In order to reach Gen Z, financial providers must understand how the generation differs from other cohorts. Unlike baby boomers, Gen Zers are influenced more by their family and peers than by traditional advertising. And their financial services needs are just beginning to evolve, while Gen Xers' preferences are established. Further, unlike millennials, Gen Zers aren't just digitally savvy — they're digital-native consumers who are unable to remember a time before the internet. It's important for marketers, strategists, and developers to leverage these core traits to build products targeted directly at Gen Z and capitalize on the opportunity they represent early on.
  • Business Insider Intelligence has developed a six-point framework identifying key traits that brands need to emphasize to attract, engage, and retain Gen Z. This framework is based on industry research and conversations and highlights the hallmarks of Gen Z, offering providers a guide to understand how to establish a sustainable relationship with the generation.
    • To attract Gen Zers, brands need to play into their social networks and come across as authentic in their messaging.
    • To engage these tech-savvy consumers who are eager to learn how to save, manage, and spend money, brands need to be digitally fluent and educational in their offerings.
    • And to retain Gen Zers as their needs and preferences change throughout their lifecycle, brands must offer [...]