Generation Z is growing up.
It’s a misconception that Generation Z are labelled as “smartphone addicts” and categorized as the most tech-savvy consumer group, who has grown up connected to the Internet. They share similar traits to millennials – such as adapting to technological products at a young age, seeking digital connectivity through social media, stressed about managing personal finances, relying on mobile apps for everyday use, and owning a smartphone. Gen Z is an emerging and growing demographic to keep an eye out for, because in 2020, it is predicted that Gen Z will account for 40% of North American consumers. Right now, the oldest Gen Z consumer is 24 years old, while the youngest is a toddler.
From generation to generation, financial habits, technology and user expectations are constantly evolving. Generation Z is financially cautious, price sensitive and risk-averse through economic uncertainty, while burdened with financial challenges and limited by financial expectations such as college debt. On the other hand, not all Gen Z consumers are lacking personal finances and investments knowledge, and instead turn to friends and family for financial information in their decision-making process. With high expectations on speed, efficiency and their vision on the best consumer experience, Generation Z is quick to jump from brand to brand, product to product, in search of the perfect product or service that solves all their needs.
This all points to an interesting question: despite their limited expertise and experience with financial markets, will Generation Z adopt to today’s trending fintech applications and habits in their everyday lives?
The answer is a simple: yes.
As the post-millennial generation that grew up using smartphone devices, gaming systems and computers, Generation Z is comfortable with using new and advanced tech products. It’s true that as a digital native generation, their lifestyle needs will be solved through digital solutions. They are on the brink of trading their stuffed pocket wallets for digital wallets.
In fact, they are already integrating digital technology applications for practical use in everyday financial applications, positioning Gen Z consumers as the next users of digitalized money and services. Namely:
- Budgeting – Why complicate it with an Excel spreadsheet when a mobile app can handle the number-crunching in a visually-informative, efficient and flexible manner? Budgeting apps are helping young adults understand how to allocate their money toward living expenses and savings.
- Banking – When you’re working 9-to-5 or busy with school everyday, it’s hard to make time to physically visit a bank. Also, mobile banking apps are helping users stay informed and updated on their accounts that are accessible and efficient to use. However, Gen Z still relies on their parents when they seek for financial advice and information, as opposed to a chat bot.
- Payments – With 70% of Gen Z consumers having at least one mobile app installed for financial services, they are leading the way for mobile payments. It’s not limited to using credit or debit cards to pay for services. Whether it’s for an Uber ride, public transport, or a daily coffee at Tim Hortons, paying with your phone via a mobile app (with financial backing from a credit card) is convenient and on track towards a future where everything you need is stored on your phone. They also use person-to-person apps like Venmo to send money to their friends. Gen Z is happy to use an alternative payment system that has mobile accessibility, greater convenience, value and efficiency – and cash is neither of those.
- Planning & Investing – While Generation Z can be financially unaware or risk-averse to invest for the long-term in stocks, they don’t mind saving a little at a time for a rainy day.
But what about buying digital assets? Stock trading? Downloading cryptocurrency platforms? Paying for coffee with Bitcoin Cash and other cryptocurrencies?
Even millennials are buying Bitcoin for themselves – and some are already choosing to receive their salary in Bitcoin. For a consumer group that grew up to be today’s “digital natives,” how do they [Generation Z] perceive cryptocurrency?
Although cryptocurrency is gaining awareness in the media because of the Facebook Libra buzz and pop culture references, it’s not enough to convince young adults to start using crypto. Generation Z is learning, at their own risk, how to trust brands, use products with personal information and establish their online identity.
What we can say, is that to convince Generation Z to start using crypto, we must view this from a customer experience approach that is humanistic and this requires integrating fintech services to think from the perspective of a Gen Z consumer.
So, how can fintech businesses successfully target and entice up-and-coming fintech users?
The first step is understanding that the financial services industry is becoming digital – millennials and Gen Z consumers are now relying on mobile banking applications and flexible budgeting.
The next step here is to adapt to the concerns of Gen Z users. Spoiler alert: they are worried about data privacy and their online identity. To ease this concern, establishing transparent and responsible policies on user data collection, fees and security to ensure that the end user is well-aware and can trust the product. This is especially crucial as there are many conversations surrounding Facebook’s inability to provide a trusted platform, resulting in data privacy breaches that puts users at risk.
The third step is for the fintech business to create the ultimate online and offline engagement strategy: as in, targeting users with an omnichannel platform. A fintech business can succeed with strong customer support systems that ensures instant, reliable and personalized service. This would be in combination with digital and physical banking experiences that are personalized and easy-to-use.
Utilizing all of the above we can expect for Gen Z consumers to be the next Generation to turn to crypto in search for a better digital payment service and experience.
At Coinberry, we are always evolving along this digital journey with our members, fellow Gen Zers, and fintech enthusiasts to ensure the best experience on our platform. Start your Coinberry journey today at https://app.coinberry.com/users/sign_up
: Telus International. (August 3 2017). How Fintech Companies are Attracting Gen Z Through Customer Experience. https://www.telusinternational.com/articles/fintech-gen-z-customer-experience
 Accenture. (2017) 10 Megatrends Driving the Future of Payments. https://www.accenture.com/ca-en/insight-banking-future-payments-ten-trends