Writing about Gen Z is always an interesting topic to cover, especially if you’re classified as what they call “Millennials” like me, just to remind you that Gen Z people are no longer those young people who you look at and be “Omg how cute”, no, some of them are actually 25 years old and I can tell you they’re changing the world we are living.
What is Gen Z?
On paper, they are people born between 1997 and 2012 (10-25 years old now), digital natives, tech savvies and social media influencers. They simply don’t know life without a smartphone and internet connectivity.
Gen Z and banking
Gen Z’s relationship with banks is very weak compared to previous generations, their financial literacy is something similar to my familiarity with the Chinese language. You can say they’re not interested in real estate investments for example but very keen on buying cryptocurrencies. Their behaviour in spending is totally different, their preferences will always be to their smartphone and the internet no matter what they are doing from ordering their rides, food, booking their cinema tickets to even taking a course to help them with their careers. To them the more you’re available and accessible through my phone the more I’ll be willing to use your services. That’s why you can easily observe the way companies, banks and even governments turn everything they provide to be accessible through phone, definitely to save costs and be “smarter” but also because if they never do, they simply won’t be able to reach such a big segment and won’t be able to keep up with the generations coming next.
Gen Z and financial literacy
For someone who was born and lived his/her entire life reading comments on a Facebook or Instagram post, getting knowledge from that Youtuber and even dating and making friends online, banks should start providing services and education through online channels otherwise they won’t be able to sell their services or even create the need in the targeted markets. Gen Z people prefer automated tools “I use this app to schedule my payments” “I use this app to automatically pay my rent monthly” “I use this app to remind me of my sleep hours” “I use this app to collect cashback and rewards”, they literally do everything through apps and if you’re someone who offers a banking product or a service, believe me, you can’t handle the risk of not reaching them through their phones. You can’t also depend on only physical meetings to build relationships with them (remember the dating online thing), they won’t be available and they won’t give you the chance unless it’s through their phones.
Experience over anything else
For me when I was a kid a super Mario arcade game was something out of this world so when smartphones were introduced it was a big deal to all the Millennials, just imagine someone who was raised on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch!
Gen Zers are experts when it comes to app and user experiences, they know what’s a good app by heart, it’s something embedded in them since their very early days. That’s why you can find yourself providing great value but with a bad experience making your product not successful enough, unlike your competitor who provides lesser value but with a great user experience which goes trendy in seconds. They simply love having a good experience over anything else.
It is a new world, a digital-only world
If we claim as “Millennials” that we are the digital pioneers, Gen Zers are the digital natives. The impact of social media, the internet and smartphones on our lives now brought up new aspects to all industries, especially the banking industry, aspects like gamification, UX, humanised experiences, AI and automation all together became essential to build your banking app to serve the very soon future CEOs.