Millennials are Banking on Banks for Assistance in Personal Finance

Posted by: Lauren Katz

TD Bank recently released the results of the TD Bank Financial Education Survey on millennial banking habits.  The mission of the survey was to investigate millennial banking behaviors and preferences. The survey also attempted to gain a better understanding of what the go-to sources are for financial information for young adults today. The results of the survey indicate that millennials require more support with their personal finances.

Here are the key findings from the report:

While 59 percent of millennials reported that they are “extremely” or “very” knowledgeable about their day-to-day banking products like checking accounts, they still want advice on personal finance topics, including:

  • Savings (32 percent)
  • Creating a budget (30 percent)
  • Credit cards (26 percent)

Additionally, TD Bank found that very few of the respondents reported having formal financial education training, while 69 percent of respondents received no financial education lessons at all.

This is where banks can opt in and provide support.

We already know that the millennial generation is our nations oldest digital natives, which means online and mobile platforms are, and will continue to be, popular formats for obtaining information. In fact, according to TD’s report, 90 percent of respondents said they use online or mobile tools for their everyday banking activities, including checking balances and paying bills.

This statistic is hard to ignore. And quite frankly, it’s the perfect opportunity for banks to chime in and offer Millennials the tools they need.

Here are key recommendations for banks aiming to attract and retain millennial customers:

Cater to millennials’ screen time

Develop the capability to provide advice on-demand with personal finance management tools such as real-time alerts, reviews, and decision-making processes via Internet and mobile platforms. According to a survey from Independent Bankers of America, 74 percent of Millennials agreed, “Mobile banking is very important to me.” This was the highest result of any generation surveyed. Providing millennials with tips on personal finance in a user-friendly format is likely to fill the niche they’re looking for: money management advice at their fingertips.

Improve consumer intimacy

According to a consumer and retail banking report from Mintel, brands aiming to make a name for themselves as leaders in customer service will focus on making their branches shared spaces for their consumers. In addition to interactive content and video online, providing physical spaces where customers can sit with bank staff and develop financial solutions together is crucial. Remember, many millennials were just entering the work force during the 2008 Great Recession so money and budgeting are still very sensitive topics as many millennials are still very skeptical of the financial industry. Developing personal relationships with millennial customers will make them feel more comfortable an trusting of financial banking brands.

Virgin Money in the UK is already leading this trend with the implementation of ‘money lounges.’ These are spaces in flagship locations where customers can put their feet up, get financial assistance, or even book community events and meetings for free.

The bottom line is that Millennials are cautiously aware of their need for financial advice. Banks can capitalize on this need by improving customer service capabilities and by doing so through screen-first optimization. However, there must be a careful balance between providing digital solutions while also maintaining customer intimacy. Millennials will expect their banks to cater to their screens in addition to their one-on-one needs.

About Lauren Katz

Lauren Katz is a junior at the University of Kansas studying journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication. She is currently an account planner at the KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass...See Lauren's full bio.