Recently, Fast Company published an article titled “Sorry Banks, Millennials Hate You.” The article highlights a three-year study from Scratch about disruptive and transformative industries, with a primary focus on the financial services industry. The subjects in the research were described as millennials, a term used to define those born between 1981 and 2000. What’s most interesting is the one word Fast Company used to sum up how millennials feel about banks — hate.
To be more specific, the research concluded that millennials don’t see many differentiating features between competing banks. They are looking for third party innovators like Google and Amazon to innovate the industry, and admitted to preferring a visit to the dentist before listening to what their banks had to say. With all four leading banks present in the ten least loved brands it isn’t too much of a stretch to see there is room for improvement in the financial services industry.
So what are banks and credit unions to do when they hear these and similar complaints? Here on Money Summit our suggestion is to look at these comments and see them as problems that actually have real solutions. Cheesy as it may sound, we encourage financial institutions to be the change they want to see in the industry.
- If potential customers and members can’t tell your organization apart from the competition implement programs and services not found anywhere else.
- If you discover an innovative tech startup, partner with them and carve out your place in the industry’s future.
- If you learn that account holders don't enjoy hearing from you, create value by providing information and tools that help them meet their personal financial goals.
The research from Scratch suggests a future without banks and with yet undiscovered ways of spending and accessing money — they suggest "the change will be seismic." But just because there is a possibility for a bank-free future doesn’t mean there will be. If financial institutions can learn from these growing concerns and find ways to adapt, there is no reason for banks and credit unions to go the way of Blockbuster or Borders.
Our take on this research (and this we strongly believe is shared among account holders) focuses less on pain points and more on targeting the expectation for change. When changes, improvements and innovations are expected or demanded by the public, there is loyalty and business to be won just by delivering on those expectations.
Account holders have spoken, and now it’s time for the financial institutions of the world to respond. How will you make good on the expectation for change and win back the haters?