Digital-first customers

Why banks shouldn't ignore their digital-first customers

When it comes to the customer experience, banks still prioritise their older customers. In an Open Banking era, this could be their gravest mistake yet

Look at the bank statement of any millennial (those aged 16 to 36) and you'll see the rich spending data from their daily life is giving way to fewer, bulkier transactions. This includes weekly Monzo top-ups, payments via Apple Pay and PayPal transfers.

Most millennials still use banks but increasingly view them as the mere infrastructure upon which to base the better, more personalised financial experiences that fintech startups offer. In this climate, banks might look at the potential for innovation and partnerships through digital portals and think 'What's in it for me?'. A good starting point is to develop an understanding of customers' habits, informed by data.

Three customers share their experiences:

Mark Dighe, 31, owns a film production company and uses Monzo alongside his conventional bank

"Only in the last five years did I really trust the internet for finances and shopping, but I think people who are early twenties now won't have any trouble with it. My parent's generation would probably not trust digital banking, which is why they're not scared of it. But Blockbuster wasn't scared of Netflix – and look what happened to them."

Marina Pape, 32, lives between Cape Town and London, works for a remote workforce company and uses Monzo because it better fits her lifestyle

"In addition to Monzo, I find myself relying on peer-to-peer services like TransferWise to move my money around my accounts. Otherwise banks penalise me financially for living a less conventional lifestyle."

Dennis Jones is a fintech entrepreneur and early adopter of Monzo

"As the requirement to touch and feel banks decreases, the behaviour no longer starts with a physical bank. If that behaviour hasn't built up, why would a millennial (or any future generation) feel the need to switch back to a worse user-experience one day?"


Data shows 71% of millennials feel no relationship with their bank and up to 50% will be more than happy to house their money with the likes of Amazon or Google in the future

A customer can leave a bank in every way that matters without actually closing their bank account. The banks should be worried, but they aren't
Louise Beaumont

Co-chair, techUK Open Bank Working Group

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