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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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