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How Banks Can Delight and Retain Millennials

Millennials demand a better mobile experience than they're typically getting from their financial institution. If banks don't improve their mobile offerings, Millennials will look elsewhere. Here's what banks can do.


Millennials — Mobile Natives

Increasingly, Millennials own a smartphone before they even think about owning a PC. The smartphone is their computer. This group wants to do what they need on a mobile device, and they get frustrated when the user experience isn’t optimized for the device they own.

This chart from Luke Wroblewski shows how quickly mobile devices are eclipsing Microsoft's Wintel PC platform, all in the past few years:



What This Means for Banks

Many financial institutions now recognize that the shift to mobile has been dramatic, and they know that mobile natives crave a banking experience that fits in their pocket. It’s why mobile banking has shot to the top of the priority list for so many banks. Mobile is the future. Nothing is more convenient.

A recent BBVA report scopes out the situation by analyzing these mobile natives at length. “[Mobile natives] have never experienced a world without social media or smartphones and are not prone to do business inside a branch,” the report says. “Thus, their relationship with financial services has to be built upon these tools from the beginning.”

Millennials demand mobile first. 

Customizable and Personal

Developing for a mobile-first mindset is key to winning mobile natives, but it’s not enough in itself. As the report from BBVA shows, mobile natives are also looking for customizable, empathetic solutions that can understand their personal needs and provide them with financial guidance. If banks don’t provide such services, mobile natives will go elsewhere.

As the report says, “the risk of neglecting Millennials’ demand for empathy and customized services is that other companies will take the lead at the expense of bank revenues, which is already happening in the payment systems and the peer-to-peer space.”

It adds, “roughly 70% of Millennials below 30 years old embrace new entrants in the financial industry and want help with managing their finances.”

In short, it’s time for financial institutions to take the lead on providing mobile solutions that delight users.

What a Better Mobile Experience Looks Like

After reading the report from BBVA, it’s clear why BBVA bought Simple last year. A digital banking platform with a heavy emphasis on user design and financial management features, Simple offers a customized, mobile-first solution to BBVA’s mobile natives.

There are few key features in Simple worth considering:

  1. Integrated financial management — Simple integrates financial management tools (budgeting, goals, etc.) directly into the same interface that allows users to transfer money and make remote deposits.

  2. Top-rate user interface — Simple’s design is fantastic by any standard. Everything is clean, contemporary, and optimized for mobile devices.

  3. Account aggregation —  Simple allows users to see all their finances in one place, a feature that’s ranked as “highly valuable” in a mobile app more frequently than any other (including remote deposit capture and in-store payments).

Obviously, financial institutions can’t use Simple’s solution since BBVA acquired it. But these features should be top of mind when deciding on a new solution for account holders.

BBVA has outlined a strategy for other banks and credit unions to follow to meet the demands of mobile natives. It’s a strategy that’s certain to help financial institutions delight and retain Millennials.

See the full BBVA report here.

Topics: Millennials