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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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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