Watch Out Banks—Millennials Would Trust These Brands with Their Money

Young consumers don’t trust banks, and these are the brands they say they would trust with their finances instead…

Traditional banking is struggling with young consumers. The 2016 Millennial Disruption Index revealed that leading banks JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo are among the top ten least-loved brands by Millennials, and our personal finance survey found that 37% of 18-36-year-olds say they don’t trust banks. The generation’s predilection for digital financial solutions has made “Venmo” a verb, and they aren’t just using peer-to-peer payment apps for bar tabs. CNBC reports that rent, utilities, and vacation expenses like plane tickets are being charged via fintech services like Venmo as well. Venmo has also invaded online shopping, allowing users to pay with their account anywhere that already takes PayPal—like Lululemon and Home Depot. They’ve also introduced a debit card, inching them ever-closer to banking services. Of course, in the wake of this digital financial invasion, those traditional banks have banded together to introduce their own peer-to-peer competitor, Zelle—but fintech startups might not be the only competition they have to worry about.

That same Millennial Disruption Index found that 73% of Millennials would prefer to handle their financial needs through Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square. This year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon might offer “a checking account-like product” that would appeal to young consumers and those who don’t have bank accounts. They have reason to believe consumers would be interested: Thirty-eight percent of Amazon customers told LendEDU that they would trust the online retail giant with their finances as much as they would a traditional bank.

But beyond Amazon customers, would all young…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies