Changing Financial Industry: The Millennial Saga


The consumer group everyone is courting these days is the Millennial – and the banking industry is no exception. By 2020 one in every three adults will be in this unique group. They are already 74 million strong in the US and considered the largest generation in American history.

Millennials are tech savvy digital natives, and as they enter adulthood, the reaches of their influence will be felt in every sector of our economy. According to a recent Scratch poll, the industry most likely to be disrupted and transformed by Millennials is the financial industry.  Although most financial institutions have accepted the challenge of winning over the Millennial, the task is proving to be a difficult one since Millennials prefer to steer clear of traditional banking experiences.  In fact, 71% of Millennials say they would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks have to say.

The key to reaching Millennials rests in understanding their influences, traits and values, just as it does for each generational group. Understanding that Millennials are all about innovation, efficiency, and choice, banks are stepping up with better online banking and mobile platforms, pop-up branches, and new services.  This appeals to the Millennials who have let it be known they don’t want to bank like their parents.  They are moving too fast to wait in line to conduct transactions with a teller.  Control over when and where they bank is of utmost importance to the Millennial and banks that are responding to this are gaining customers.

On the other hand, Baby Boomers distrust the security of online banking.   And they are a pretty big group too.  They may not be ready to say goodbye to the neighborhood banker that has been with them at every significant financial touchpoint throughout their lives.  So what’s the oak paneled institution on Main Street now supposed to do?

The answer lies in understanding how each generational segment prefers to communicate and conduct their lives.  Generational differences are a challenge, but can be managed as long as the message remains consistent even when services are offered across a multitude of channels.

Whether it’s approaching Boomers in a formal one-on-one relationship, giving Gen X-ers the transparency they crave to build trust and credibility, or collaborating digitally with the Millennials, smart financial institutions are embracing innovation. And they are also realizing the common ground among all of the generations is customer service – regardless of how it is delivered.

Contact us to learn more about Boxman Studio’s work with the Financial Industry.