We don’t forgive easily
As a newcomer to the fintech industry, it strikes me how little I know about the potential of my money.
I can get real-time savings advice on it, I can convert it into crypto and pay my Netflix bill, or talk to my Google smart speaker about it, or take out a loan on it with a few clicks, just like I would with an overdraft – the list of fintech pilots and products is lengthy and growing every day.
But now is a time of drastic change as people are beginning to see the true worth of their money and neobanks are leading the way in financial transparency, lighting up all the hidden opportunities stashed away in that cash of yours, sitting there gathering dust.
The customer service horror stories I’ve heard and experienced personally with big player banks who, more often than not, seem to rest on the laurels of their legacy names, are alarming.
My generation don’t forgive easily. If we feel betrayed, we rarely go back or give you a second chance. If your mobile banking app is down for days at a time, or if it still just offers bare minimal functionality, then we’ll open another account with Starling or N26 and eventually phase you out completely. If the grass is greener, then that’s where we’ll be.
Trust in banks is changing. I no longer trust my long-established bank to serve my needs, because too many times the mobile banking app has crashed with no explanation. Transferring money instantly is table stakes now – if you can’t even do that, then we’re really in trouble.
But neobanks aren’t perfect either. They’re susceptible to data breaches just like their predecessors. Monzo’s recent PIN debacle prompted many of my friends to change their passwords and question whether the bank was still safe to be with.
When Credit Karma denied the phrase “data breach” despite overwhelming evidence on Reddit, I shook my head in dismay. If you’re called out, own up, be transparent. Just as easily as Gen Zs distrust, we also forgive – if you handle us the right way.
Challengers such as Monzo and Starling are becoming the popular second choice for students and young adults. Yes, they still have a HSBC account or a Barclays account, but for how long?
In the context of industry priorities such as simplicity and ease-of-use, surely one will have to win if consumers are being told they should be able to get everything they need from one place?
Walmart’s application for its own crypto ‘Walmart Coin’ points to this monopolisation, as it tries to lure in the proportion of society who still feel alienated and intimidated by banking environments.
A call once in a blue moon to encourage a customer to look at investing their savings isn’t enough. Despite the blow up of mobile banking apps from big players, they still offer very little. Challengers should use this moment – especially with new customers – to enlighten them.
Looking at these developments through a Gen Z lens, I’d say it’s more important than ever to educate your customers on what they can do with their money.