Today's financial industry is facing significant competition from rival banks, online banking options, and credit unions. What sets one apart from the next, from the Millennials' standpoint, may not be what you think. Today's Millennial is more than willing to switch banks, as they are far less loyal to using the same one they've had or the one their parents had. But, to get them to switch, financial insinuations need to offer cutting-edge technology, connectivity, and a high level of innovation. In other words, Millennials want banks that make banking easy, connected, and seamless.
What Do Millennials Want?
To get the average Millennial, or younger American, to switch banks, financial institutions need to provide them with more of the tools and resources they need. This generation wants things to be connected. They don't remember a time without the internet and asking them to balance a paper checkbook may leave them scrambling for an online tool to do it for them.
To make them switch, financial institutions need to offer more of the features this generation needs – not just wants – to better manage their finances. Let's take a closer look at a few of the must-have solutions for this group from a recent survey from Kasasa.
One key reason Millennials will make the switch – 8 times out of 10 – is to obtain better rewards for completing specific goals. If a bank offered more rewards, such as cashback on credit cards or rewards for depositing funds into their account. No fees are a fantastic motivating factor for financial institutions as well. These rewards are not necessarily out of reach for financial institutions to offer. What makes them "difficult" is implementing tools to make it possible. Yet, this, too, doesn't have to be complex today.
Connectivity Is Critical
Another key area for Millennials is being connected. There's almost never a time that this generation is without their smartphone. It is their connection to the world and that's evident in banking, too. Providing mobile services is critical. This includes offering a mobile app and providing a mobile check deposit, for example. Again, these are not financially out of reach for financial institutions, but rather just require the implementation of the proper software and tracking tools to make it possible.
They Need Answers Faster
Millennials are very used to going online, typing in a question, and getting an answer. A key concern here is with providing this type of instant access to information and solutions in the financial industry. In short, the banking industry still works on the 9 to 5 schedule quite heavily. Providing information about banking transactions or inquiries about an account balance are not often easy to do over the phone. Many people also become frustrated trying to make sense of financial statements online. And, when they find a problem, they cannot wait until the next day for a solution.
One way around this is by offering chatbots. Chatbots are a form of artificial intelligence that some of the leading financial institutions are beginning to implement. They can respond in near immediate time to answer customer questions and provide specific guidance. Some forms even greet customers by name and remember previous inquiries from that customer. They provide service nearly as good as speaking to a customer service representative. This provides Millennials with instant access to the information they need at any time.
Customized Offers that Speak to Their Needs
Millennials are very much information seekers. They will gather information about products or services for some time before making a decision. At the same time, they really appreciate having information at their fingertips to do so. Many people in this generation are already buying homes, making investment decisions, and growing their portfolios. By providing an avenue for these individuals to gather information specific to them, financial institutions can provide a better level of service.
For example, artificial intelligence solutions can help automate a great deal of the process of marketing to this group. Information pulled in from various datasets can provide for better understanding of what that particular customer wants and needs. Ultimately, this leads to providing customers with offers in near real time to what their specific goals are. Imagine offering a customized loan package, for example, to a consumer who is searching for mortgages or learning about buying a home.
This type of real-time response and connectivity is what drives the Millennial's decision making. The more connected and versatile the financial institution can be, the more likely it is that this customer will switch banks, engage in more services, and be left with a positive experience every time.