Targeting Millennials in Financial Services

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"Targeting Millennials in Financial Services", report explores the attitudes and behaviors millennials have with regards to their financial services, using our extensive surveying of consumers in 20 key banking markets around the world. It identifies those aspects of the customer experience that financial services providers need to address to effectively engage with millennials and highlights successful providers, products, services, and campaigns. Best practice examples and studies presented are drawn from around the world and across the economy, encompassing banks, insurers, investment managers, consumer brands, and retailers.

In the last two decades, millennials have matured in terms of their size, economic strength, and socio-cultural influence. Banks need to adapt their propositions to the preferences and behaviors of the new dominant cohort, covering everything from marketing, channels of acquisition, channels of service, and product design. This report reviews the key points banks need to address, with best practice examples from across the financial services industry and other markets.


– Millennials are digital-first but not digital-only. They are high-touch customers looking for engagement across channels.

– Traditional strengths such as a good reputation and a branch network are still important to millennials.

– Millennials value speed, simplicity, and ease of use in a bank. Their tolerance for friction in their life is lower and their lack of financial knowledge makes them more anxious about their finances.

– Personalized or tailored services and rewards are valued by millennials.

Reasons to Buy

– Gain insight into relevant millennial attitudes and behaviors.

– Gain insight into the components of a successful millennial outreach program.

– Review successful case studies of millennial engagement from leading brands.

Alley Financial
Up Bank
Goldman Sachs
Atom bank
Monzo Starling
Bank of America

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Banks must tailor their offerings with millennials in mind

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Defining the demographic opportunity as a cohort

2.1.1. Millennials were born between 1983 and 1996

2.1.2. Millennials have emerged as the largest living generation in many (but not all) nations

2.1.3. Millennials are highly urbanized and a more diverse generation than their predecessors


3.1. Millennials’ digital focus should not preclude engagement via other channels

3.1.1. A digital strategy is key – but not to the exclusion of other channels

3.1.2. Millennials are omni-channel customers who drive industry change

3.1.3. Millennials are high-touch customers who embrace both traditional and emerging retail banking channels

3.1.4. An established reputation and branch presence remain important to millennials

3.1.5. Millennials express a greater willingness to embrace digital-only banking

3.1.6. Ease, simplicity, and mobile phone dependency are all common themes for millennials

3.1.7. Mobile banking is particularly pronounced in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US

3.1.8. Mobile-dependent millennials show a strong preference for checking balances, transferring money, and making payments via mobile

3.1.9. Millennials still rely on banks and traditional communication methods when making investments

3.1.10. Millennials appreciate rewards – especially if they are personalized


4.1. Cultivate a meaningful purpose to underpin your business

4.1.1. Make financial brands an authentic champion of something target customers care about

4.1.2. Sustain and nurture purpose-led brands like any other

4.2. Utilize digital innovation to elevate the user experience and engagement

4.2.1. Streamline investment and banking processes with digital-forward offerings

4.2.2. Pure digital banking is not confined to just millennials, but they are shaping it

4.2.3. Providers should embrace AR for both utility and entertainment

4.3. Create multi-channel content that matters

4.3.1. Create and curate educational content around specific milestones

4.3.2. Reward loyalty with unique experiences and exclusive access


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.1.1. Definitions

5.2. Methodology

5.2.1. GlobalData’s Retail Banking Insight Survey

5.3. Secondary sources

5.4. Further reading


List of Tables

Table 1: Millennials globally represent a 1 billion+ demographic cohort


List of Figures

Figure 1: GlobalData’s demographics view millennials as born between 1983 and 1996

Figure 2: Millennials have come of age in the last 20 years to assume greater size, economic strength, and socio-cultural influence

Figure 3: Millennials are using the full spectrum of banking channels

Figure 4: Branch visits underpin the research undertaken by both millennials and the general market

Figure 5: Millennials are the core demographic for neobanks across the world

Figure 6: While ambivalent overall, millennials express a greater willingness to use digital-only banking than other generations

Figure 7: Like other generations, millennials value the importance of traditional criteria like familiarity and credibility

Figure 8: Millennials are more inclined towards companies with a proven track record

Figure 9: Millennials generally show a greater willingness to embrace new products

Figure 10: Higher expectations of immediate gratification are underpinned by heightened frustration with complexity and perceived time scarcity

Figure 11: Younger consumers admit to angst in the absence of their mobile phone

Figure 12: Millennials are driving mobile banking, especially in Western markets

Figure 13: A preference for mobile banking is notably more pronounced among Generation Z and millennials

Figure 14: A financial planner connected to the customer’s main bank remains the most used source when making investments

Figure 15: Millennials most commonly seek face-to-face interaction when securing investment assistance

Figure 16: Younger consumers are more likely to have used robo-advisors

Figure 17: GlobalData recommends focusing millennial targeting efforts around three key pillars

Figure 18: Brand positioning and purpose take on additional importance when targeting millennials

Figure 19: Toms rose to prominence by explicitly branding itself as a social enterprise

Figure 20: Bank of America’s Friends Again campaign tackled an awkward tension point for customers while effectively showcasing new capabilities

Figure 21: The emergence of digital-only banks like Xinja threatens to shake up the Australian banking sector

Figure 22: Up Bank combines a major bank partnership with non-bank innovation in design and user experience

Figure 23: UK neobanks like Atom and Monzo promise a more customer-centric approach

Figure 24: UOB’s TMRW symbolizes the changing banking landscape in Asian markets

Figure 25: Finn by Chase is a mobile-only bank designed by millennials for millennials

Figure 26: Marcus resonates due to its simplicity, the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns, and its market-leading rates

Figure 27: Alpha i promises to execute anytime, anywhere trades

Figure 28: Stash provides the convenience benefits that digital-native millennials are accustomed to

Figure 29: Fintech innovations like Zuper are honing in on ever-more specific issues

Figure 30: AR promotes a more interactive customer experience, delivering utility and entertainment value

Figure 31: TWE successfully elevated engagement via AR activation

Figure 32: Constantly evolving pack designs have propelled PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR brand

Figure 33: FRANK by OCBC highlights the merits of a millennial-specific sub-brand

Figure 34: StashLearn insight ranges from home ownership to retirement

Figure 35: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community taps into millennials’ trust in peer-generated endorsements

Figure 36: Gamification can help millennials learn about investing and keep them engaged with their portfolio

Figure 37: Kasikornbank’s Kelly Monthly Rescue provided access to a range of perks and demonstrated strong customer empathy

Figure 38: Markets covered in the 2018 Retail Banking Insight Survey

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