5 Ways to Improve Banking for Millennials

by Noah Benezra, Copywriter, 15º

Sept 1

71% of Millennials would rather have a root canal than listen to what their bank is saying. This is according to a 3-year study recently conducted by Scratch on behalf of Viacom Media. What’s more, 73% said that they would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from their own bank. Millennials are projected to command $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020. These biting statistics should be a wake up call for banks that want to win their business.

So, how can banks change minds and connect with this desirable demographic? It’s going to take more than a competitive interest rate on annuities, that’s for sure. Below are five tips for banks that are looking to compete with the negative emotions Millennials feel toward financial institutions.

1.) Keep it fresh

Millennials have a lot of preconceived notions about banks, many of them unflattering. The best way to change their expectations is to do something unexpected. Instead of ads with charts and graphs focus on the emotional benefits of banking, find humor in the financial or execute a stunt that will become a trending topic on Twitter. Novelty is crucial when it comes to capturing the imagination of a Millennial audience.

2.) Be in the right place at the right time

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that the media landscape is changing. Social media is big, but it’s unlikely that a few sponsored Facebook posts will make much of a dent. Millennials respond to robust advertising experiences that live across several media channels. This means a smart mix of traditional media and new media is your best bet for reaching this elusive demographic.

3.) Step up your tech

Now banks aren’t just competing with other banks, they’re competing with the digital expertise of tech brands. Companies like Venmo and Mint are making big waves with their digital products. This technology is setting a new standard in the financial services category. To attract Millennials, excellent design and intuitive UX are a must. It’s up to banks to rise to the occasion.

4.) Change your in-branch ambiance

Nothing changes millennial minds like in-person experiences. To win new customers, some banks have reimagined their branches as comfortable lounges where visitors can get financial advice along with a complimentary espresso. The reason for this transformation is that tech-centric finance companies simply can’t offer this kind of service. Creating a hospitable environment is a great way to highlight a bank’s unique style of face-to-face courtesy.

5.) Share knowledge

Financial literacy is still a hurdle for many Millennials. This knowledge deficit creates an interesting opportunity for banks to display their expertise. Helping Millennials increase their financial IQ can go a long way toward winning trust. It’s also a great way to create content that can be shared across digital channels.

The task of winning Millennial customers is not an easy one. But this market will prove to be lucrative for banks willing to take on the challenge.