According to a 2019 Morgan Stanley study, millennials are the primary drivers of new loan demand and will be for the next eight years. Following them, Gen Z will soon enter the prime 25- to 40-year-old lending age group. Even though many Gen Z members are currently young, they could influence the direction of banking’s evolution. Morgan Stanley states that nearly 80% of Gen Z individuals with smartphones already use mobile banking.

For banks to succeed and expand, they need to effectively engage these pivotal younger consumers by reimagining traditional banking methods. Simply incorporating digital elements into existing services won’t be sufficient for growth. A common oversight in many organizations’ digital strategies is neglecting to understand key market segments and providing distinct value. Genuine innovation considers both the areas of innovation and the nature of the innovation itself. To stand up against emerging competitors, established banks need to recognize and seize new growth areas, implementing strategies that align with the behaviors, expectations, and preferences of millennials and Gen Z.

Fintech partnerships, incubators, and accelerators are increasingly focusing on digital experiences that cater to younger audiences. These audiences want brands that offer not just digital convenience but also genuine experiences. A notable example is the collaboration between 1871 and BMO Harris Bank, which supports fintech startups founded by women. Katherine Davis notes that these startups aim to make banking, investing, and money management easier. Many from Gen Z saw the impacts of the Great Recession on their families and observed millennials grappling with student debt. As some now face the financial challenges of the Covid-19 era, they might be more cautious with finances than the previous generation and have a keen interest in financial education.

Gen Z values online community and desires a personal touch in digital interactions. While apps and technology are important, banks should prioritize service, communication, and community.

There’s a challenge of technology becoming overwhelming. To cater to millennials and Gen Z, banks should use strategies like gamification and provide meaningful content to build real relationships. Nymbus’ CEO emphasized that technology should improve customer engagement. This approach has benefited many financial institutions in their digital journey. While millennials and Gen Z are changing banking, it’s essential for banks not just to mimic popular platforms like Amazon. Success lies in valuing all customers and providing genuine value.


For banks to tap into this market, mere digital adaptation isn’t enough. A deeper understanding of these demographics is crucial. Many banks’ digital strategies fall short as they fail to truly grasp the unique preferences of these younger generations. It’s not just about providing digital solutions, but genuine experiences that resonate. The focus should not only be on what areas to innovate but how to innovate, ensuring that these solutions are tailored to the behaviors and preferences of millennials and Gen Z. Conclusively, while digital tools like apps are pivotal, they’re just part of the equation. The future of banking, especially concerning millennials and Gen Z, requires a balanced approach that emphasizes service, community, and genuine value. The challenge for banks is to innovate without overwhelming users, ensuring that technology complements, rather than replaces, the human touch.

Netzer, Allison. “Council Post: How Millennials and Gen Z Could Reinvent the Banking Industry.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Nov. 2022,