MILLENNIALS: FINANCIAL INSIGHTS (Oct 2015)

Product and Channel Mix

Education and Guidance

Provider Competition

Key Finding from a Previous SYNERGISTICS Research Survey:

Results from a 2011 SYNERGISTICS study found that Millennials were more likely than Gen X and Baby Boomers to have performed some type of banking activity with their mobile phone.  To what extent has usage of mobile banking grown among these generational segments?

F236 Prop Graphic

Highlights of the Study

This study examines the financial services profile of Millennials (Gen Y). Their attitudes and involvement with depository accounts, investments, and financial providers are explored.

This is a follow up to two previous SYNERGISTICS surveys – Maximizing Financial Relationships with Gen Y (2011) and Developing Relationships with Gen Y (2008). Where possible, comparisons with previous surveys will be made to provide an historical perspective.

National Internet Survey – The survey will include 1,000 Internet interviews comprised of 700 with those ages 18 to 34, 150 with those ages 35 to 50, and 150 with those ages 51 to 69.

Key Dates

July 31, 2015 — Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.
July 31, 2015 — Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.
October 2015 — Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • Do Millennial consumers have particular attitudes, opinions, and concerns that impact and shape their usage of financial services? Specifically, will providers have to address “unconventional” attitudes toward account relationship longevity, career expectations, taking on debt, and the trustworthiness of large financial institutions in communicating with this market?
  • What are the financial information and advice needs of millennial households? Are they receptive to financial education on topics such as budgeting, managing credit, understanding investments, and buying a home? Do PFM programs and online planning tools represent an effective channel to meet these needs?
  • What are the savings and investment needs of Millennial households? Are these consumers participating in retirement plans and accounts? What is their approach to investment information and advice?
  • What factors or features do Millennial consumers consider important in choosing a financial institution? Are innovations in channel and access technology, such as online account management and mobile banking, more important to this segment than “traditional” criteria such as branch locations and competitive pricing?
  • What are the behavior and preferences among Millennial consumers in terms of payment options and preferences – including debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, cash, and checks? Is this segment moving more too innovative payment and transaction technologies – such as remote deposit capture, mobile contactless payments, and P2P services?
  • What are the marketing channel preferences for Millennial households for obtaining information on accounts and services? How do they prefer to apply for or open an account? Is there a role for social media in marketing financial services to Millennial households?
  • Is the Millennial market primarily defined by age? Can these consumers be further segmented in terms of behavioral traits, financial goals and needs, and attitudinal factors?

Research Issues

  • It goes without saying that the Millennial segment is one of the most talked about segments in financial services marketing today. Also called Generation or Gen Y, Echo Boomers, and Generation Facebook, this segment is large with an estimated 80 million consumers. It has been labeled by some as the most influential generation ever. Millennials have witnessed a number of dramatic events – the dot.Com bust, September 11th, the banking and housing crisis and the continuing turmoil in the mid-East. These profound experiences may have impacted them in a number of ways.
  • Millennials are heavy users and the early adopters of technological innovations. Smartphones are this group’s lifeline. Financial services providers recognize that Millennials are unique and that marketing strategies will need to be aligned to their attitudes, values and expectations. Authenticity and transparency need to be demonstrated when dealing with Millennials. Provider loyalty is questionable, particularly with the wide range of competitors competing for their share of the market.
  • Usage patterns of financial products and services need to be evaluated along with the mix of traditional and innovative channels. Educational materials and information about products and services will need to be designed to assist Millennials in making informed decisions. Engaging Millennials will be critical to the future growth and profitability of any organization. [F236]