As financial services companies invest in improving their digital offering, it is vital that they appeal to millennials who grew up as digital natives. Having a killer digital offering is no longer a luxury as millennials are set to overtake baby boomers in 2019 as the largest living adult generation, according to U.S. Census Bureau forecasts, making them the most crucial audience for any financial services firm.
That’s no easy task: Millennials can be a tough bunch to please — 71% would rather go to the dentist than hear a message from a bank — but following these five steps will help engage these important customers.
Build a great app
Having a great mobile app helps financial services firms, from banks to wealth managers, to connect with millennials. A FICO Survey reveals that 30% of millennials use their bank’s mobile app daily, and 66% use it several times each week. However, when millennials don’t like your app, they go elsewhere — one-quarter of them have switched their primary checking account to access a better banking app. Experian Data Analytics writes, “Millennials were raised in the digital age; therefore, mobile devices are the hubs of their digital lives. They expect real-time access to their accounts for peer-to-peer payments, deposits, paying bills and customer service. Millennials have proven most likely to switch financial services providers to gain access to more robust mobile banking services.” Bank of America reports that among its customers, millennial households are twice as likely as others to use their mobile devices to do such things as pay bills and deposit checks.
Visa reports that 78% of millennials prioritize safety and security features and that they appreciate such features as account alerts and two-way text fraud alerts. Robust security is considered essential to the trust that millennials want in their financial institutions.
Millennials love tools that help them budget, plan their finances, save for the future, gain financial education and exert greater control over their financial wellbeing. The popularity of apps such as Venmo, Digit and Robinhood highlight the type of innovative features that financial services firms should try to include in their offerings to delight millennials who like such things as budgeting tools and commission-free stock trades.
Any digital offering should include ways to resolve the critical problems that frustrate customers. The Financial Brand writes that the four biggest problems millennials have with their banks are difficulty resolving problems, (57%) standing in long lines, (37%) technology failures (33%), and the inability to carry out a transaction online (29%.) All those problems can be resolved with a great digital experience.
Even when a financial services firm has a great digital experience, millennials respond best to firms that have an authentic marketing message. Experian writes, “Millennials hold businesses, especially banks, to a high standard. They want to see a path to their hopes and dreams in the conversations banks start, whether on social media, via email, or through paid advertising. Marketing messages should sound less like marketing and more like a guide to help them achieve their financial dreams.” Indeed, 70% of millennials will spend more on brands that support the causes they care about, according to Omnicom Group’s Cone Communications.