FinTech Update: 5 Financial Apps To Know Next

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

These five money apps are banking on Millennials for success…

Young consumers are driving the fintech revolution—according to study after study. Finance company SoFi reports almost 40% of 25-34-year-olds are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more. According to Bank of America’s 2016 Consumer Spending Snapshot, mobile wallet transactions are up 267% with 18-34-year-olds, and spending is up 235%. “Venmoing” has become a verb for a reason. The increasing popularity of the new payment method helps explain why credit card usage is on a decline with consumers between the age of 20-50. But they’re not just making spending and paying mobile, young consumers want their financial institutions to be mobile as well. Research by The Independent Community Bankers of America found that 74% of Millennials say mobile banking is very important to them, and 40% say they’d rather communicate with banks via email and websites. According to the 2016 FIS Consumer Banking PACE Index, 63% of Millennials are accessing their bank accounts on their mobile phones on a monthly basis—they’re also 30% less likely than Baby Boomers to visit a bank location or use a drive-thru, and are 17% more likely to pay a bill from their bank through a mobile device. Of course, investing is another financial space that’s been taken mobile for Millennials—while they may be notoriously risk-averse and financially insecure, they’re finding their own way of getting into the stock market, and mobile microinvesting (investing in “low-maintenance, index fund-based allocation strategies with small, frequent contributions”) has been a fairly safe strategy many young investors are trying out. Startups like Acorns—which we called out back in 2014—and Robinhood have created apps to help young consumers…


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“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

Major financial institutions are still trying to figure Millennials out, so Prudential conducted a survey to gather some much-needed intel. The Great Recession-era adults are pessimistic about their financial futures: 79% don’t believe that “comfortable retirement” will be a possibility when they’re in their 80s and 70% think “it’s impossible” to save the recommended annual amount to make it possible. Ypulse found that saving for retirement falls behind other, more imminent financial priorities. (MediaPost)

Teens are rallying around the issue of gun control in increasing numbers. A recent survey from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (conducted by Ypulse) found that gun violence prevention is the top issue young people expect the candidate they vote for in 2018 to take a stance on. Six in ten 15-18-year-olds said they’re “’passionate’ about reducing gun violence” and 72% of 15-30-year-olds agreed that politicians who don’t do more to combat gun violence shouldn’t be re-elected. (Mic)

Need proof that the future of STEM is female? Just take a look at children’s drawings. From 1966-1977, researchers asked 5,000 students to draw a scientist, and about 99% of them drew men. Fast forward the same study to 1985-2016, and one-third of children drew a female scientist. But we still have a long way to go to break gender stereotypes: 14-15-year-olds “drew more male than female scientists by an average ratio of 4-to1." (CNN)

Digital consignment store ThredUp wants to open 100 IRL stores. They’re expanding their physical footprint from two to ten stores this year, with more planned for the future. Why are online-only brands increasingly building bricks-and-mortar? (Think: Glossier, Everlane, even ThredUp competitors like The RealReal). Creating experiences with guests from a common check-out up to an in-store event builds “trust” and “awareness.” (Glossy)

Are Instagram and dating apps “crippling” relationships? Psychotherapist Esther Perel thinks so. Ypulse data shows 27% of 18-35-year-olds have used a dating app, 12% use them weekly, and nearly eight in ten use other social media apps weekly or more often. All that time scrolling past potential partners creates a new kind of loneliness: Instead of feeling “socially isolated,” they’re “experiencing a loss of trust and a loss of capital while you are next to the person with whom you’re not supposed to be lonely.” (Recode)

“We should be nice and good to others because we would want the same in return, being rude to someone doesn't make the situation any better.”—Female, 21, MI

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