How to financially empower Gen Z with personalised banking

Digital natives want hyper-targeted financial products that align with their values

Young women sending money through digital wallet, using wireless technology. Getty Images
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In our digital-first world of rapidly evolving customer preferences, banks are facing a new challenge: catering to the needs and expectations of their newest cohort, Generation Z.

Digital natives – born into a world of advanced technology and constant access to information – bring a new perspective on financial services.

They value a personalised touch in every aspect of their lives, and their banking needs are no exception.

Traditional banking no longer cuts it; these people crave an experience that is tailored, authentic and, most importantly, aligns with their values.

Unravelling the Gen Z persona

To create personalised banking experiences for Gen Z, we must first recognise that their values, goals and aspirations differ significantly from previous generations.

Gen Z embraces technology as a means of empowerment – eager to manage their finances efficiently and effortlessly through their smartphones.

This tech-forward generation seeks frictionless access to financial information, hyper-targeted financial products and intelligent “nudges” to help them manage their finances – all conveniently accessible through their smartphones.

Use of data analytics

Data-driven personalisation stands as a transformative force in the realm of banking, holding the key to pique Gen Z’s interests.

Advanced data analytics and algorithms enable banks to use their vast data repositories to form a holistic view of Gen Z's financial habits and aspirations.

Incorporating artificial intelligence can take personalisation to the next level.

For example, using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants enables banks to engage with Gen Z customers in real time, providing instant assistance and support at every step of their financial journey.

Building bridges

Gen Z expects banks to be present where they are. To resonate with these customers, banks must speak their language and be present on their social media platforms, messaging apps and other digital channels.

Interactive chatbots and engaging content that address their financial concerns are essential tools for forging connections.

Banks that communicate in a way that feels natural and authentic to Gen Z can build meaningful relationships.

From a social media presence that reflects their values to personalised messages that address their financial concerns, every interaction counts.

Empowerment through financial education

Beyond transactions, Gen Z are self-learners who crave knowledge and understanding.

Financial literacy is a crucial aspect that banks must prioritise for this generation.

Empowering Gen Z with the right information and guidance sets them on a path to independence and financial success.

Banks can take on the role of trusted advisers, offering more than just traditional banking services.

Educational resources, interactive tools and personalised financial advice can help Gen Z customers to navigate the complexities of personal finance.

By providing the knowledge to build a solid financial foundation, banks can empower them to make informed decisions that shape their future.

Gen Z is not interested in one-size-fits-all banking solutions. They seek hyper-personalised products and benefits that cater to their unique preferences.

Is the current banking experience Gen Z-approved?

To engage and captivate this new generation, banks must reimagine their approach to customer experience.

This means harnessing the power of technology, data and design to create seamless, intuitive and personalised banking journeys.

Gen Z expects an experience that goes beyond just transactions – they want a banking partner that understands their goals, supports their financial journey and speaks their language.

To gain and retain their attention, banks must be willing to design and innovate, breaking free from the mould of traditional banking.

Whether it is designing flexible savings plans tailored to their unpredictable income streams or niche lending solutions, data-driven personalisation empowers banks to deliver bespoke offerings that appeal to this generation.

The road ahead

As Gen Z consumers begin their financial journeys, banks must adapt to meet the preferences of this tech-savvy and digitally native generation.

Harnessing the power of technology, data and design, banks can create an adaptable banking ecosystem that not only resonates with Gen Z, but also sets the stage for captivating the ones next in line, Gen Alpha.

Corey Thompson is executive vice president and head of digital for retail banking group at Mashreq

Updated: March 06, 2024, 12:14 PM