How Banks Are Changing Their Strategy To Serve Generation Z

Like most brands today, those in the banking industry are deeply concerned with how to meet the needs of the up-and-coming generations.

Millennials are now in their twenties and thirties and have been disrupting the banking world for some time. But now a new generation is starting to mature, and they bring a host of new experiences with them. GenZers are often referred to as digital natives, which means they have never lived in a world without digital technology - or at least were so young at its inception that a digital-free world is outside of their frame of reference.

This means they are more likely to interact with brands who can offer them digital experiences than those who do not. Digital technology is in their blood, and they gravitate towards connectivity wherever they find it.


This demographic is no small fish to fry, either. GenZ is made up of nearly 2.5 billion people - 35% of the world's population. And, while they may be young now, it won't be long before they enter the workforce en masse and look to financial brands to help them manage their money.

One might assume that, due to their predilection for connected experiences, GenZers are more likely to prefer online banking to physical branches. However, it turns out the opposite is true. GenZ people actually visit their local bank branch more often than Millennials, GenXers, and Baby Boomers. This means there is plenty of room for banks to transform their branches to accommodate this demographic.

"The classic branch appointment is not going out of fashion," reports BNP Paribas. "Far from it. According to research, this age group accounts for more meetings with branch representatives than any other generation. Just as Gen Z continues to shop in physical stores, it also still views the physical bank as a place for discussion and expertise. Now the goal for banks is to leverage technology to offer an enriched experience in physical branches."

Technology is still a major key to better serving GenZers, and banks which can incorporate digital experiences into their branches stand the best chance of attracting these customers. Self-service tablets, electronic booking, chatbots, and more can all be used to draw GenZ to your brand.

However, there is more to serving GenZ than just technology.


The world of investment can often seem like an old boys' club, and many people - especially GenZers and Millennials - view it as opaque, esoteric, and impenetrable. It's not that these young people don't have the desire to invest their money wisely, it's just that they can find it difficult to know where to start.

To help change this, Ally Invest has launched a special guide, designed to help these wilderness-wandering demographics get on the investment ladder and begin making their money work for them.

The 18-page eBook contains easy-to-digest and concise information covering a range of investment topics including:

  • What's holding many young adults back from investing and how to keep those fears in check
  • A quick primer on investing and the terms every would-be investor should know
  • Where the reader fits in vis-a-vis his/her peers when it comes to finances
  • Matching different investing approaches with individuals' personal styles, preferences, and tolerance for risk
  • Tips for getting started (Spoiler alert: skipping the daily latte can compound into nearly $100K over 30 years!)
  • Answers to readers' deepest, darkest investing concerns

By breaking this information down and clearly explaining it, Ally Invest hopes to encourage more young people to break through the investment glass ceiling and start doing more with their money than simply surviving and consuming.

"When it comes to investing, young adults are constantly being told that 'time is on their side'," said Executive Director of Ally Invest, Dave Dusseault. "While that's true, these 18-30-year olds need more than platitudes to help them overcome their many concerns, including how to juggle everyday expenses and debts with saving and investing, how to pick the right investing approach, and where to go for honest, trusted information. This new guide covers those topics in a way that's easy for young adults to understand and absorb, providing the information they need to help conquer their investing fears and understand how to get started."

Final Thoughts

GenZers are no great mystery. Like anyone else, they just want to deal with the brands they feel understand them, their needs, and the challenges they face in life. Whether it's by sating their thirst for technology-driven experiences or helping them negotiate some of the more esoteric corners of the financial world, there is plenty of opportunity for banking brands to attract the latest generation of customers.

How to better meet the needs of GenZ is set to be a hot topic at Future Branches 2019, taking place this November at the Hilton Austin, Austin, TX.

Download the agenda for more information and insights.

Return to Blog