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Is Gen-Y The Best Target for Mobile Banking Services?

When marketing mobile banking services, banks and credit unions tend to focus all their energy on Gen-Y. But there’s a juicier segment to target.

By Rob Rubin, Managing Director, Novantas

The other day, my daughter asked me what my favorite app was when I was little. My answer: pigs in a blanket. Gen-Y consumers may have grown up with the internet, but the next generation — Millennials — are growing up with the internet in their (parent’s) pocket.

In a recent survey on FindABetterBank, roughly 90% of respondents under the age of 50 indicated that they own smartphones. Many parents — including me — hand their phones off to their kids to keep them entertained. It’s exciting to think about the digital banking services Millenials will expect when they come of age.

Right now, Gen-Y consumers might be getting all the buzz. The mobile strategies and marketing messages most financial institutions are using target Gen-Y consumers. Obviously winning Gen-Y — and subsequent generations of consumer — is essential for banks and credit unions. But today, at this moment in time, research says the ripest segment for mobile banking services is somewhat older than Gen-Y. Our study found that people between 30 and 39 years old (i.e., “Young Gen-X Consumers”) are the most likely to be interested in using their smartphones for banking and making payments.


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Gen-X: What The Survey Revealed

Gen-X consumers use their smartphone for payments more than Gen-Y. Young Gen-X consumers are more likely than Gen-Y consumers to have used their mobile phones to pay bills, make retail POS payments, or send money to friends or family members.

Gen-X consumers want mobile banking features more than Gen-Y. Young Gen-X consumers are 15% more likely than Gen-Y consumers to indicate they “must have” mobile check deposit with their new checking account and they’re slightly more likely to say they must have a mobile banking app.

Now these findings don’t suggest it’s less important to acquire Gen-Y consumers. It does, however, point out that those most likely to want mobile banking services today are people who are a little older and probably have less time on their hands than Gen-Y.

Insights from Rob RubinRob Rubin is Managing Director of Novantas Data Services. His research leverages insights captured from thousands of bank shoppers every day while they are actually thinking about- and in the process of shopping for a new bank.

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  1. Tori Yoxall says:

    You seem to have the Gen-Y and Millennial demographic segments confused. You indicate that Millennials are younger (under 18) than Gen-Y. However, these generational titles are typically used interchangeably to describe the same segment of those born between 1980-2000.

  2. Some people use the two terms — Gen-Y and Millennials — interchangeably. Some people use them to distinguish between older and younger members of Gen-Y. And others use them to suggest two distinct and separate generations. When it comes to defining generations, there is no governing body. No one decides what the start and end dates are, and there is seldom any agreement about what characteristics embody each generation. If you look online, you can find a range of about 10-12 years for the start of Gen X and Boomers — pretty big swing when trying to narrow down a generation.

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