Centennials, the generation that changed the customer-banking relationship

Centennials represent 35% of the world's population and it is estimated that this year they will exceed 2.56 billion people

Centennials represent 35% of the world's population and it is estimated that this year they will exceed 2.56 billion people .

Person buying online with credit card

Centennials are experimenting with new ways of relating to banking. / Photo: Pexels

Oriol Ros

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Leer en español: Centennials, la generación que cambió la relación cliente-banca

Financial services are available to everyone, but each generation has its own peculiarities in the way it uses, communicates, and the type of responses it expects to receive from banks. Latinia, as an expert company in the manufacture of event processing software for banking, analyzes the challenges and opportunities that financial institutions have to help these new profiles and highlights the need to rely on the use of technology to strengthen the quality of their services and the scope of their products.

“Banking continues to think of millennials when today we have to deal with centennials (young people born after 1997), Generation Z, who are starting to handle money, and align services to this need. As a quote published in The Economist newspaper pointed out “if you have just turned 18, it means that you are younger than companies like Amazon and Google; When you were three years old, Facebook hardly started, with four, Youtube began, with five, Spotify, with six came the iPhone and with eight WhatsApp. That is, we are talking about someone who has not known another reality than digital. It's just their world and they are starting to handle money. Who thinks of them? Their peers, the same ones who pick code with their age and think about the future of financial services by setting up their own startups with this audience -and their needs- in mind, " explains Oriol Ros, Latinia's director of corporate development.

Centennials represent 35% of the world's population and it is estimated that this year they will exceed 2.56 billion people. According to a study published by Ameritrade, the purchasing power of this generation exceeded 200,000 million dollars for 2019. Their main characteristic is that they live with a 'smartphone' in hand and, therefore, this is precisely the means through which they relate to banks.

Their behavior is marked because they come into contact with new products through social networks, they grew up surrounded by technology and prefer to interact through this medium , seeking to generate personalized and safe digital experiences . They choose to communicate through messages and emoticons.

“Beyond the services provided by financial institutions; there is something radically different for the Centennial generation: that their financial services provider, which may not be a bank, is ethical and sensitive to environmental initiatives, gender equality or promotes positive discrimination against minorities. A banker has not had to think about this in the last 50 years, today he has, ”the Latina spokesperson analyzes.

Also read: Brain drain: what is the future of Latino youth?

Latinia highlights the following behaviors, as the main characteristics in the way this generation interacts with financial service providers:

  1. They understand the interactions with their bank as a relationship and not as a transaction: the bank will be wrong if it does not change this chip.
  2. It's not just digital for digital; in the middle is also the message, as the teacher McLuhan said and the context can be as important as the content of what is delivered.
  3. Teaching and learning to manage money will be one of the first challenges of this new generation, so services that teach saving and improving the financial education of this target will be one of the first battles to win over this coveted audience.

“A good App could perfectly be the best marketing campaign that the bank can do, since the centennial will not hesitate to recommend their bank for the convenience of this application; in the same way, it will not tolerate actions that other publics have assumed as acceptable, such as charging a commission for a withdrawal, or having to pay for a duplicate card, physical or virtual, ”concludes Oriol Ros.


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