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The Millennials or Generation Y (born between 1985 and 1994) are in charge of setting trends in the field of new technologies. Their ideas and the way they act and communicate have made most traditional services, such as finance, seek to adapt to changing times. It’s change or die time.
Mobile is the present and the future, and banks should ask themselves if their physical branch offices make sense for the needs of Millennials. Today very few young people go to a bank branch to find out about the state of their finances. They prefer to check their balance on their smartphone while on the go around the city.
These statements are backed by data from a recent report published by Gemalto, manufacturer of SIM cards and an international provider of mobile solutions for the financial sector. Only 3% of millennials don’t have any kind of mobile device, while 92% have a mobile, 42% have a tablet and 38% have both devices. In addition, 70% are connected for more than two hours a day and 37.7% for more than five hours.
If we focus specifically on the study’s data relevant to the financial sector — 27% of respondents say they’ve never been to a bank branch before. They prefer online services: 62% say they use online banking services at least once a month, through their smartphone or tablet. These figures speak for themselves.
But what makes them shun something as normal as going to the bank? They believe they can have more control over their personal finances through a smartphone. They feel more empowered and more independent with it. They are digital natives and only see the world through their smartphones. To them, if it’s not on their mobile phone, it’s not a bank.
The entire process has to be very simple and they need to have access to the same services they would have if they visited a real branch office. They are used to things like surfing the Internet, posting pictures on Instagram or ‘tweeting’ in an easy and intuitive way. According to Gemalto’s study, if the finance apps aren’t good or their bank doesn’t have one, then they’ll be more than willing to switch banks. You can’t mess with millennials!