Learning to ‘speak millennial’ via online banking

How is online banking evolving to serve the infamously tech-obsessed 18-34-year-olds?

This article on online banking will be totes amazeballs, at least, that’s the aim. Confused? There is no denying the English language is evolving with generational change. There are a shedload of new terms and phrases that a quick keyboard trip over to urbandictionary.com may only start to clear up.

Smartphone use has saturated the millennial market; 96% of 18-34-year-old New Zealanders own one, according to a eight-country Telstra survey of 27,000 adults, 8000 of which are millennials.

Financial services once reserved for the confines of a brick-and-mortar bank branch are now moving on over to online banking platforms worldwide. And this is certainly the case for banks in New Zealand.

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“The ubiquitous use of smartphones among the younger generation and, the fact that two in three millennials regularly use mobile banking to engage with their main bank, exemplifies the importance of delivering quality digital banking experiences,” Telstra’s report states.

So, what are millennials looking for in online banking?

If Tinder for online banking existed, what would banks have to offer to make New Zealand adults swipe right?

According to a 2016 SAP digital experiences survey, banks are already showcasing some attractive attributes online.

SAP is a German multi-national software corporation that makes software to manage business operations and customer relations.

The banking industry took first place when consumers rated their digital experience across eight sectors, in the SAP research.

“The banking industry is the best at taking time to get to know its customers and delivering exciting and engaging digital experiences.

“The sector is outperforming other industries on a far more emotional level,” the report states.

Specific attributes where banks are doing well include:

  • Predicts my preferences.
  • Customised and tailored to my preferences.
  • Makes me love the brand.
  • Relevant offers, without infringing on privacy.
  • Associates with my identity.
  • Fits in with my life and is effortless.

“New Zealand banks have made significant investments in placing the customer at everything they do.

“They appreciate customers want rich experiences in-branch, online and via mobile, and are building strategies aligned to this.

Other industries should follow in the banking industry’s footsteps, when it comes to customer’s digital experience, the report suggests.

Westpac CashNav appeals to the tech-savvy

Westpac, Canstar’s Bank of the Year – Online Banking, is case in point of how a bank can “millennify” a traditional pen-and-paper activity – budgeting.

Making budgeting sexy is no mean feat. Budgeting is essentially putting the kibosh on spur-of-the-moment spending on whatever tickles your fancy. So, banks are met with a challenge when presenting this as an attractive activity – even for those who aren’t living the endless latte dream.

Westpac has taken on the mission with open arms. The bank launched its money-tracking app in September 2016. The majority of CashNav’s users are under the age of 35 and, for many, this is their first experience with budgeting.

The app is as personal – and possibly confronting – as it gets.

CashNav tracks customers’ spending habits by measuring expenses throughout the month and comparing it with the corresponding period the previous year.

The background of the app changes colour, depending on whether you are spending less than usual (green) or more than usual (red). The app also splits purchases into wants and needs and then breaks it down even further into what categories the spending falls into, such as shopping or utilities.

CashNav also uses push notifications, to send the users weekly summaries of how their spending from the previous day will impact on their monthly expenditure.

But, users also have the option to turn various notifications off, again making it personal to the user.

Using physical cash might be waning in popularity, but online banking and apps attempt to regain some of the visibility around spending.

If you’re a millennial – or you’re not but are still keen on online banking – check out Canstar’s online banking report. No urban dictionary translations required.

Read Canstar’s online banking report

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