You are currently viewing Mind the (generation) gap: Digital banking preferences by age group

Mind the (generation) gap: Digital banking preferences by age group

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Millennials and Gen Z? They are certainly not just trendsetters when it comes to fashion and the latest fads. According to Forbes, younger age groups are all driving massive shifts in consumer behaviour, technology, and the workplace. You’ll often spot them glued to their mobile phones and most can’t even imagine a world with no internet. They chat online, share experiences online, shop online, pay bills online and even track their exercise routine and water consumption online. Simply put, they are used to fast experiences and speedy results at the tap of a button. Interestingly, this generation is also shaping the banking revolution. While baby boomers are happy to walk to their closest bank branch, Gen Z and Millennials want solutions at their fingertips. Hardly surprising, traditional banks are losing ground as younger generations are happy to wave goodbye to cash and wallets filled with cards and cash, secure in the knowledge almost everything can now be done virtually. It’s clear that consumer preferences are fast-evolving and digital banking has become more popular than ever. Let’s examine how attitudes vary by generation.  Baby boomers  Often just named ‘boomers’, this generation is usually defined as individuals born between 1946 to 1964. And it’s this generation that tends to prefer tradition. According to a  by Cornerstone Advisors, baby boomers seem more connected to their bank branch and bank personnel than other younger generations. In the study, a significant 75% of baby boomers stipulated they interacted with branch personnel, compared to only half the respondents in other generations. Only 17% of baby boomers had no personal interaction when opening an account. But that’s not to say that they won’t embrace new technology at all. In some cases, they are open to embracing digital trends, aware of the fact that technology simplifies what used to be time-consuming procedures. What they need is assurance, knowledge, and professional guidance to give them digital banking confidence.  Generation X This generation, born between 1965 and 1980, has adapted more to digital technology and digital banking than baby boomers. Aware of a world before the internet and years before the introduction of digital tools and smartphones, this generation is cautious when it comes to change, but people in this age bracket seem to be keen learners. Security is of utmost importance, and they generally take time to ensure that their banking transactions are carried out safely and securely. According to the BAI Banking Outlook Special Report 2021, Gen X is comfortable with digital devices, but is more similar to Boomers in their preference for traditional banks. They actually trust their primary financial services provider more than any other generation. However, the special report highlights that they are still keen on adopting new ways in many respects looking for online account opening for deposits and loans, low banking fees, and faster payments.  Generation Y (otherwise known as Millennials) 

Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2012, may be incredibly young, but they are by in large, leading the way when it comes to change and new habits. They have been exposed to tech from the start of their lives and the world of technology is one that they know inside out. And while some of them may just be getting started with their personal banking, they want to know about the latest solutions and what’s available to make things easier. Fundamentally, they care about how it can improve their lifestyle. And they are looking for services that can be seamlessly adapted to their personal needs. According to research by W1TTY, 64% of Gen Z are looking for a personalised banking experience with products and services fine-tuned to their individual banking situation

Stepping into a new era…

Older generations may still feel the need to go down to a traditional bank branch. But consumers as a whole these days are far more tech-savvy and demand fast solutions at their fingertips. And for any banking or financial institution to evolve and grow today, innovation has to be at the core of every new service and offering.  In line with recent shifts and consumer preferences, Sepaga will soon be launching a new user-friendly faster online portal for clients, and a mobile app. Both will be PSD2 compliant, ensuring secure transactions, and will offer multiple wallets and solutions.