The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
May 2014
Sponsored by:
Independently produced by:
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
2
OVERVIEW
Gen Y consumers will earn 46% of the income in th...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
3
MYTH NO. 1:
“GEN Y CONSUMERS ARE ALL THE SAME”
Why it’s a ...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
4
Age Is More Than a Number: Exploring the Differences Betwe...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
5
Look for opportunities to create financial co-management t...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
6
MYTH NO. 2:
“GEN Y IS IN LARGE PART MOBILE-ONLY”
Why it’s ...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
7
Debunking the Myth of the “Mobile Only” Bank Consumers in
...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
8
MYTH NO. 3:
“GEN Y IS NOT PROFITABLE”
Why it’s a Myth:
Giv...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
9
2) Cost Savings
Gen Y.2 leads the way in digital banking —...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
10
3) Acquisition and Loyalty
The financial lives of Gen Y c...
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
11
Determine an approach quickly. Gen Y.2 consumers, with Y....
www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y
12
ABOUT JAVELIN
Javelin Strategy & Research, a Greenwich As...
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The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y

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Gen Y consumers will earn 46% of the income in the United States by 2025, but they’re often misunderstood or ignored by financial services providers. This is especially true when it comes to online and mobile behavior and attitudes toward traditional banking.

Understanding this problem and designing to overcome it is critical to our work at Comrade, so we’re pleased to have partnered with Javelin Strategy & Research to publish “The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y". This report applies consumer data to dispel the myths circulating in financial services today about Gen Y consumers. Beyond exposing pervasive misconceptions, it also explains how to optimize digital and physical touchpoints to attract tomorrow’s most profitable bank customers.

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The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y

  1. 1. The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y May 2014 Sponsored by: Independently produced by:
  2. 2. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 2 OVERVIEW Gen Y consumers will earn 46% of the income in the United States by 2025, spurring profits for the financial institutions they choose. Despite their potential, the young Americans in Gen Y are often misunderstood by financial services providers or — worse yet — ignored. Financial institutions continue to struggle to identify ways to serve Gen Y consumers, especially with regard to online and mobile behavior, and attitudes toward the traditional banking relationship. But in order to attract and serve young consumers, a critical eye must first be applied to the myths and preconceptions surrounding Gen Y. This report applies consumer data to dispel the three most costly myths circulating in financial services today about young consumers. Beyond exposing pervasive misconceptions, this report explains how to optimize digital and physical touchpoints to attract tomorrow’s most profitable bank customers. FOREWORD This whitepaper was sponsored by Comrade in May 2014. It explores three myths of Gen Y consumers and provides recommendations on how to attract this profitable customer through optimizing digital and physical and touchpoints. The whitepaper was independently produced by Javelin Strategy & Research, a Greenwich Associates LLC company. Javelin maintains complete independence in its data collection, findings, and analysis.
  3. 3. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 3 MYTH NO. 1: “GEN Y CONSUMERS ARE ALL THE SAME” Why it’s a Myth: Getting in with Gen Y is a “do or die” initiative for digital service providers, and it’s an expensive mistake to treat these young consumers as a single group. The reality is Gen Y is made up of two distinct segments, both with widely differing circumstances, behaviors, and needs. The first group, Gen Y.1, numbers 31 million consumers ages 18 to 24. Gen Y.1 is financially young and uncommitted to any one service provider - a great target for prepaid cards or basic checking accounts. Their counterparts, the 42 million consumers of Gen Y.2, are 25 to 34 years old. These consumers are highly engaged in financial services, and are tech-savvy consumers with an appetite for financial products. To earn the business of next-generation financial customers, providers must understand and meet the needs of these two groups. Gen Y.1 and Gen Y.2 Differ in Many Ways: Banking, Employment, and More Figure 1: Selected Points of Comparison, Gen Y.1 vs. Gen Y.2 Consumers 7% 10% 15% 51% 59% 40% 14% 40% 29% 26% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Student Underbanked Another person manages finances Manages own finances Employed full-time Percent of consumers Gen Y.1 (18-24) Gen Y.2 (25-34) September 2013, n = 401, 562. Base: Consumers aged 18-24, consumers aged 25-34. © 2014 Javelin Strategy & Research
  4. 4. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 4 Age Is More Than a Number: Exploring the Differences Between Gen Y.1 and Gen Y.2 By examining just a handful of the variations between Gen Y.1 and Gen Y.2, the broad disparity between these two groups becomes clear. Gen Y.1 contains a larger proportion of underbanked consumers, at 14%, while underbanked Gen Y.2 consumers account for 10% (refer to Figure 1). While the largest proportion of Gen Y.1 consumers spend their time pursuing an education (40%), most Gen Y.2 consumers have a full-time career (59%). Gen Y.1 consumers are most likely to have another person managing their household’s finances (40%), but the majority of Gen Y.2 consumers have taken charge of their finances (51%). These differences illustrate a broader trend: The two Gen Y groups are at different stages in their financial maturation. To achieve adoption among young consumers, providers must design products suited for both the financially immature Gen Y.1 consumers and their more developed counterparts in Gen Y.2. Recommendations Don’t wait until they’re profitable. Start a relationship with Gen Y.1 now through products such as student loans, checking accounts, and prepaid cards. Gen Y.1 consumers are underbanked at high rates, which demonstrates a clear need for bank products. Provide Gen Y.2 consumers products suited to their career-driven life stage. Unlike Gen Y.1 consumers, Gen Y.2 has a developing need for products such as brokerage and retirement accounts and home loans. FIs that act as a trusted provider and teacher throughout Gen Y.2’s financial maturation can earn their loyalty in the long term. Design digital banking for speed and simplicity to serve Gen Y.1. Position high- frequency activities like account balance and recent transactions front and center and allow users to monitor their accounts without logging in. To satisfy Gen Y.2, build out support for multiple financial products and services within digital banking: retirement accounts, loans, stocks, and multiple account types. “Design products suited for both the financially- immature Gen Y.1 consumers and their more developed counterparts in Gen Y.2.”
  5. 5. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 5 Look for opportunities to create financial co-management tools. Because 40% of Gen Y.1 members have others managing their finances, look for opportunities to create financial co-management tools to support their needs. These could include tools to facilitate easier money movement or for oversight to help caregivers ensure their funds are being used responsibly. Additionally, design actionable alerts enhance these tools. Opportunities lie around budgeting, savings, and education. For Gen Y.2 members are transitioning from co-dependence to financial autonomy, so lightweight tools to create and manage budgets are critical. For education, a guided experience can help them become better buyers of financial services products and maintain financial well-being.
  6. 6. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 6 MYTH NO. 2: “GEN Y IS IN LARGE PART MOBILE-ONLY” Why it’s a Myth: “Mobile-only” consumers are defined as those who use a smartphone or tablet to bank through a browser or app but who avoid other channels such as branch, ATM, or online banking. The prevalence of mobile-only consumers, or mobile bankers that entirely avoid other channels, is highly overstated in financial services circles. Although a full 41% are monthly active users of mobile banking today, very few avoid other banking channels. Not only are mobile-only banking consumers scarce within Gen Y, but even among all age segments very few are mobile-only. The lack of mobile-only consumers can be attributed to multiple factors, including high rates of PC ownership, functional limitations of the mobile channel, and consumer preference for existing channels. For these reasons and more, Gen Y and all other consumers still turn to a variety of channels to manage their finances. Although rising smart-device adoption and mobile banking rates suggest the potential for mobile-only consumers to emerge in the future, the reality is that consumers aren’t yet committing to phones and tablets exclusively. “...among all age segments, very few are mobile- only.” Mobile-Only Consumers Are One in a Thousand Figure 2: Prevalence of Mobile-Only Consumers by Four Definitions, Gen Y. Consumers vs. Other Age Groups Q26. Please indicate the last time you conducted each of the following at (primary FI). September 2013; n = 2,680, 6,052 Base: All consumers aged 18-34, all consumers aged 35+ © 2014 Javelin Strategy & Research 0.0% 0.4% 0.7% 2.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 1.4% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Mobile bankers that have never used any other channel* Mobile bankers that have never used any other channel* in past 30 days Mobile bankers that have never used online banking Mobile bankers that have not used online banking in past 30 days Percentageofconsumers Gen Y All other consumers
  7. 7. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 7 Debunking the Myth of the “Mobile Only” Bank Consumers in Gen Y The previous figure shows four different definitions of “mobile-only,” from the strictest definition on the left to the most lenient on the right. Even by the loosest definition of mobile-only, mobile bankers who haven’t used online banking in the past 30 days, only a tiny fraction of consumers meet the criteria (refer to Figure 2). By a strict definition of mobile-only consumers — mobile bankers who never use other banking channels — fewer than one in 1,000 consumers qualifies. By defining mobile-only consumers as those who used mobile banking exclusively within the past 30 days, still only 0.4% of Gen Y consumers and 0.1% of other age groups qualify. Further broadening the definition of “mobile-only” to those who use mobile banking but not online banking, still only 0.7% of Gen Y consumers and all others fit the criteria. And finally, by the loosest definition of mobile-only consumers as mobile bankers who avoided online banking for the past 30 days, still only 2.4% of Gen Y and 1.4% of Gen Y consumers fit the bill. Recommendations View your initiatives through an omnichannel perspective. Today’s customers interact with financial institutions through multiple channels. Support for new platforms will set your FI apart, but the user experience is an aggregate of multiple channel experiences. Take advantage of the unique capabilities of each device type. Build your features around device-specific features such as the camera within the smartphone, the larger screen of the tablet, or the keyboard of the laptop. The user experience from one channel to another should be complementary but not identical. Support mobile account opening and enrollment. Mobile-only consumers number so few in part because they cannot enroll in mobile banking without going through online banking. The mobile channel needs to include all the features consumers expect through online banking. Consider investing in HTML5 with responsive design to create a consistent yet optimized experience. Regardless of the user’s screen — be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop — a responsive design is key. Many mobile consumers still choose to bank through the browser, and responsive design can facilitate a strong experience for these users through the devices they choose. “The user experience from one channel to another should be complementary but not identical.”
  8. 8. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 8 MYTH NO. 3: “GEN Y IS NOT PROFITABLE” Why it’s a Myth: Given recent regulatory changes and economic pressures from the lingering Great Recession, financial institutions are struggling to find a profitable way to approach Gen Y consumers. Traditional revenue centers like overdraft fees and credit card interchange have been dramatically slashed by modifications to Regulation E, the Durbin Amendment, and the Credit CARD Act of 2009.1 Meanwhile, young Americans are facing unprecedented student loan debt 2 and a less-than- welcoming job market,3 suggesting Gen Y will be less wealthy and ultimately less profitable than their parents and Gen X counterparts. Despite these challenges, there exists a tremendous opportunity for FIs to tap into the attitudes and behaviors of younger consumers, who expect convenient, innovative, real-time services that enable them to bank and spend money when and how they want. As Gen Y’s financial lives mature, FIs must change traditional short-term revenue strategies if they are to successfully develop business models that yield in the long term. The New ROI for Serving Gen Y 1) Revenue The impact of the recession on unemployment and debt notwithstanding, the incomes of Gen Y are rising rapidly, increasing faster than those for any other demographic group. Their income is forecast to surpass that of Gen X in less than 10 years, leaving baby boomers far behind (Figure 3).4 Gen Y.2s are already on par with the rest of consumers when it comes to financial product ownership, with an average of eight products owned across all FI relationships. And while Gen Y.1 indicates an acute aversion to punitive bank fees, Gen Y.2 consumers are more likely to be willing to pay fees for services they value.5 1 Coping with Regulation: The Necessity of Bank Fees, Javelin Strategy & Research, February 2012. 2 “Student Loan Debt by Age Group” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, http://www.newyorkfed.org/ studentloandebt/, accessed May 9, 2014. 3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data reproduced at http://www.governing.com/gov-data/economy-finance/youth- employment-unemployment-rate-data-by-state.html, accessed May 9, 2014. 4 Gen Y: How to Engage and Service the New Mobile Generation, Javelin Strategy & Research, March 2011. 5 A Tale of Two Gen Ys: On the Road to Long-Term Banking Profitability, Javelin Strategy & Research, January 2013.
  9. 9. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 9 2) Cost Savings Gen Y.2 leads the way in digital banking — and it’s not even close. A full 54% of Gen Y reports conducting mobile banking in the past 30 days, compared to 31% of consumers age 35 and up. And 81% of Gen Y.2 consumers have logged in to online banking in the past 30 days, compared to 73% of other consumers. As a rule, Gen Y is more open to a number of crucial cost-saving digital activities. They’re leading the way in turning to digital channels to open checking accounts (48% opened their account digitally vs. 34% of consumers 35 and older), asking their bank questions (33% vs. 22%), and as a reliable alternative to paper statements (72% of Gen Y receive online statements only for their checking account, compared to 57% of accountholders 35 and older). But don’t make the mistake of labeling them “mobile only,” or even “digital only.” Gen Y.2 consumers also want costly hand holding from their banking relationships. A full 25% prefer to monitor their primary accounts in person at the branch, compared to 14% of consumers overall. “…don’t make the mistake of labeling them ‘mobile-only,’ or even ‘digital only.’ Gen Y.2 consumers also want costly hand holding from their banking relationships.” 6% 12% 20% 26% 39% 46% 44% 42% 39% 35% 33% 30% 16% 6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2010 2015 2020 2025 PercentageofTotalU.S.PersonalIncome Gen Z Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomers © 2014 Javelin Strategy & Research Gen Y Will Surpass Gen X by 2021. As the Largest Generational Breadwinner Figure 3: Personal Income by Demographic Segment (2010 – 2025)
  10. 10. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 10 3) Acquisition and Loyalty The financial lives of Gen Y consumers are in flux. One out of four Gen Y.2 consumers has switched banks in the past two years (25% vs. 15% of all consumers),6 and they are more likely to switch banks based on a desire for better online and mobile capabilities, wider product selection, better security features, and better loan or credit card rates. Innovative FIs and third-party service providers have an unprecedented opportunity to acquire new customers. Recommendations Start now to build a long-term relationship. The return on investment (ROI) of serving Gen Y comes down to developing trust and loyalty. As Gen Y consumers mature financially, they will need guidance as they apply for credit card accounts, plan for retirement, start investing, and buy cars and houses. Ultimately, a long- term relationship should be established on building financial literacy — not by providing boring educational materials on a corner of the website, but by demonstrating on a daily basis that the FI makes banking chores easy. That means helping young consumers avoid missteps with bill reminders, overdraft warnings, and cash-flow projections, and providing mobile services that enable them to make smarter on-the-go financial decisions every day. FIs that demonstrate they have Gen Y’s back with day-to-day finances will be in position as young adults expand the scope of their financial lives. Focus onboarding on engagement rather than cross‐selling. Rather than using onboarding as an opportunity to cross‐sell products and services aggressively, FIs generally have more to gain by focusing onboarding on engaging new customers and encouraging them to increase their use of self‐service channels. Gen Y’s heavier use of bank branches suggests they desire coaching, education, and reassurance as they make their first financial decisions. They are at an impressionable stage when their digital habits can be shaped and deepened, enabling FIs to turn off paper statements, set up paychecks on direct deposit, deposit other checks with smartphones, and position online and mobile banking as the first channels young adults choose. Additionally, newcomers to banking are at higher risk of overdrawing accounts, making onboarding a critical time to introduce young customers to the benefits of overdraft protection. Use alerts to help young consumers avoid missteps. Instead of feeling threatened that they will lose fee income, financial institutions would be better-served by helping young people avoid pitfalls. Alerts should represent the cornerstone of the relationship with Gen Y, enabling them to view balances without the hassle of logging in, advising them when money will be tight, reminding them of upcoming bills, and notifying them as their credit card balances mount. 6 A Tale of Two Gen Ys: On the Road to Long-Term Banking Profitability, Javelin Strategy & Research, January 2013.
  11. 11. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 11 Determine an approach quickly. Gen Y.2 consumers, with Y.1 soon to follow, are establishing early banking relationships and habits that could influence FI profitability for years to come. With competition from prepaid cards like GoBank and Bluebird and non-banks such as payment providers Venmo and Square, mobile phone providers like Verizon, and peer-to-peer lenders, FIs must design products and experiences that are unique to the needs of young people. Focus on providing accessible self-service channels and rate structures that are easily digestible.
  12. 12. www.javelinstrategy.com The Three Costliest Myths about Gen Y 12 ABOUT JAVELIN Javelin Strategy & Research, a Greenwich Associates LLC company, provides strategic insights into customer transactions, increasing sustainable profits and creating efficiencies for financial institutions, government agencies, payments companies, merchants, and other technology providers. Javelin’s independent insights result from a uniquely rigorous three-dimensional research process that assesses customers, providers, and the transactions ecosystem. To learn more, visit us at www.javelinstrategy.com or call 925-225-9100. ABOUT COMRADE Focused on improving the user experience through design, Comrade has delivered over 300 projects to clients in Financial Services, including two of the top three U.S. retail banks, the world’s largest asset manager and three of the top 5 Fintech organizations. Comrade works smart and fast to design and launch innovations like mobile and Web apps that better engage customers and increase revenue. For more information, visit www.comradeagency.com. Authors: Mark Schwanhausser, Director, Omnichannel Financial Service Daniel Van Dyke, Research Specialist, Mobile Ian Benton, Research Specialist, Omnichannel Financial Services Publication Date: May 2014 Editor: Chuck Ervin METHODOLOGY The consumer data in this report is based primarily on information collected online from 8,732 consumers in October 2013. The overall margin of sampling error is ±1.05 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments. The consumer data in this report is also based primarily on information collected online from 3,213 consumers in September 2013. The overall margin of sampling error is ±1.73 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments.

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