A recent Forbes article discusses Generation Z, comparing this cohort to the Millennials. Members of Gen Z were born between 1997 and 2012 and are now between 6 and 21 years old. As the article points out, Generation Z’ers will have, “an unparalleled buying power in the vicinity of 150 billion dollars.” This prospect represents a giant opportunity for merchants and financial institutions. But capturing the opportunity will require understanding this generation’s needs and wants. What distinguishes Gen Z, even from the Millennials, is that members of Gen Z have never known a world without unlimited digital access.
As financial institutions consider ways to capture this generation’s attention and market share, having a digital Innovation strategy needs to be foremost. In a recent podcast on payments journal.com Aaron McPherson from Mercator Advisory Group and Ashley Alpine and Amanda Acheson from Co-op Financial Services discussed key strategies for financial institutions to begin their digital transformation and execute it successfully. Some of the key takeaways from that discussion included:
- Be member/client-centric.
- Capture and efficiently utilize data from your client/members to provide better overall customer service.
- Foster trust of the financial institution by keeping data secure.
- Utilize AI and machine learning tools to be able to digest and recognize trends.
- Realize that digital innovation is a marathon and needs to be worked on and improved daily.
The Forbes article also points out that, “Millennials have just been the opening act.” Being a millennial and a father myself, I can see firsthand how this next generation is even more digital savvy and reliant then my own generation. This underscores the warning that any financial institution that is not thinking about its digital strategy may soon find itself irrelevant.
Overview by Ryan McEndarfer, Editor-in-chief at PaymentsJournal.com