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The Perfect Combination: Gen Z’s Emergence and the Dominance of Mobile Banking

GenZ, or the iGeneration or Post-Millennials, refers to the demographic cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s. As digital natives, GenZ has grown up in a world dominated by technology and has unique expectations when it comes to mobile banking. 

In 2022, Business Insider estimated Gen Z’s spending power to be over $360 billion in disposable income, a sizeable amount that will only increase in the years ahead. 

This article aims to understand the attitudes, wants, and triggers that drive GenZ users and how they impact mobile banking platforms.

Brand Values

GenZ users hold high regard for social justice. They care about the world’s issues, be it environmental or social, and are willing to put their money where their hearts are. In a survey by Publicis Sapient, 67% of Gen Z consumers said they were interested in investing in sustainability organizations, and 35% were willing to invest in those organizations – even at the cost of lower returns.

Concerned about the ethical practices of brands, they are well-educated about the realities behind them and know how to access information quickly. If a brand advertises diversity but lacks diversity within its own ranks, for example, Gen Z is likely to notice and may choose to walk away from that brand. 

What does this mean for banks and the mobile apps? Well, banks offer services to a wide variety of people. They need to ensure that their messaging, policies, and practices are in line with the changing times. Be it focusing on vernacular languages to accommodate diverse cultures, voice assistance, low-data usage modes, or even ensuring their marketing banners and push notifications are sanitized with empathetic content.

User Experience

With the luxury of growing up in a technologically advanced world compared to the early years of Millenials or Boomers, GenZ is quick to understand and use new tech products. Exposed to content with high-quality visuals early on, they expect a user-friendly interface and seamlessly crafted digital journeys.

Mantra Labs recently proposed improving the mobile buyer journeys for a leading travel and hospitality firm, where we saw that modern designs supported with clarity and convenience helped boost user retention.

Hyper-personalization is another customer-centric trend that sees growing importance among young users. With the availability of customer data for targeted campaigns and product recommendations, banks need to focus on leveraging data insights to deliver more personalized offerings as and when the customer is most likely to need them. A more profound attempt to understand the customer is also expected to be appreciated by the users.

We recently helped SBI General Insurance build a first-of-its-kind personalization tool that functions as a primary risk advisor for users. Leveraging gamification, interactive mobile UI/UX designs, and advanced analytics.

Some of the pointers that banks should keep in mind while designing their mobile applications include –

  1. Creating a mobile-first approach with responsive design
  2. Biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition) for quick sign-ins while maintaining security measures
  3. Ease of navigation and discovery to reduce search time
  4. Non-intrusive soft nudges and triggers to motivate user engagement

Features and Functionalities

A tech-first GenZ leverages multiple features in its mobile banking app daily. With several successful applications going the super app way, users expect mobile applications to offer various features and functionalities that help them manage their financial needs. 

Some 84% of Gen Zers and millennials surveyed by shopping website Klarna said the profusion of smartphone technology had helped them to manage their money effectively. And 63% also said that technology allows them to oversee all of their finances better. 

According to a study on Digital Banking Attitudes by Chase Bank in 2023, Gen Z users performed most of their non-banking tasks, such as goal tracking, budgeting, and checking credit scores on mobile devices. 

An interesting observation about the interest in money management was the time spent on finance news and educational videos that young users consumed during the pandemic. Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), a Dulles, Virginia-based network benchmarking and analysis firm, said all consumers increased their use of finance apps during the pandemic, but this was especially true of members of Gen Z, who doubled the time they spent checking their finances on their phones, spending 127% more time specifically looking at their investments than they did before the pandemic.

Mobile banking applications would benefit from having certain features in their applications to boost usage –

  1. Budgeting and expense tracking features
  2. Goal setting and savings tools
  3. Financial education resources and tips
  4. 24/7 customer support via chatbots

Conclusion

Understanding the wants and needs of GenZ when it comes to mobile banking is crucial for banks and financial institutions to stay relevant and attract this tech-savvy generation. From aligning brand values with what the demographic group resonates with to providing user experiences in line with the best-in-class applications and ensuring the appropriate features and functionalities are present and efficiently used within the application, we can help banks meet the expectations of GenZ and build long-lasting relationships with this demographic.

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