Your credit union may have figured out how to serve Millennials, but there is another generation to understand: Gen Z. Although the two generations look similar, their interests, tendencies, and money-spending habits are quite different. So, how can your credit union stay ahead of the game and offer the most convenient and appealing services to the next round of consumers? These potential members are the future, and credit unions would be wise to learn how best to cater to this generation.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z includes people born between 1997 and 2012 (after millennials). They are more ethnically diverse and make up 27% of the U.S. population, which is greater than any other past generation. Many of these individuals have been raised in the digital age of the internet, social media, and bite-size tidbits of information, which have significantly shaped their preferences and consumer habits. They're accustomed to smartphones and technology, preferring to communicate via text or social media message.
Gen Zers are also more frugal than their predecessors, as they grew up in a recession. By 2026, this generation is predicted to have tremendous spending capability. Now that you're aware of Gen Z's future impact, your credit union can start planning how to serve them. The following accommodations and tools will help your credit union form stable relationships with the most unique generation to date.
The future of banking is mobile & digital
Gen Z individuals are just now becoming adults, and their technology bias is coming with them. In fact, 74% of them spend their free time online. If you're a credit union looking to impress Gen Z, you'll need to jump on the digital bandwagon and offer a completely digital and mobile experience. As they enter the financial scene, Gen Zers will be searching for the fastest, most convenient digital banking tools that they can use on the go using their smartphones. This audience will want:
- Multiple payment options
- Increased flexibility
- A user-friendly customer portal
- Automatic alerts
- Personalized product and service recommendations that apply to their current situation (buying a car, applying for a loan, etc.).
Gen Zers are also extremely debt-conscious and are more prone to save their money. According to a 2021 CNBC report, Gen Z's average debt in 2020 was $16,043. This is thousands of dollars less than Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. This group would benefit greatly from debt consolidation tools, seamless online payments, and insights on how to best utilize their money. They need to know they can bank smarter with your CU.
The call for credit unions
At the end of the day, you need to make banking more convenient for the Gen Z demographic. These tech-savvy consumers want easy-to-use digital mobile banking services that allow them to view their balance, make payments, send money to a friend and complete other tasks wherever they go.
To successfully attract Gen Z members, you need to add value to their lives by simplifying their money management. One way this can be achieved is through simplified yet advanced credit union software technology like FLEX, which can give your CU the cutting-edge technology to appeal to Gen Z. We're offering a special Mobile eGuide complete with advice on how to develop an impressive mobile banking experience.