Millennials Need CUs—They Just Haven’t Met You Yet

Engage these consumers how and where they like to do business.

January 18, 2011
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Want to attract millennials (a.k.a. generation Y), the 95 million-strong generation born between 1980 and 2000?

Engage them wherever they are, advises the Microsoft white paper, “Millennials Need You—They Just Haven’t Met You Yet.”

This white paper explores how millennials and boomers think about financial institutions personal financial management (PFM) tools. It also explores how consumers are (or aren’t) using online and mobile services to understand and better manage their finances.

Its findings:

• Millennials are immersed in technology, and financial institutions that succeed in capturing their attention will be those that relate to their world, enable technology for interactions, and provide a seamless experience across all channels—branch, Web, call center, mobile, and beyond.

• Large segments of boomers and millennials say they don’t plan to visit the branch. They go online for basic transactions, such as viewing account balances or paying bills. But there will be opportunities to provide services such as financial planning, investment, and insurance advice in the branch.

• Most millennials don’t use PFM tools but they’re interested in doing so. Millennials and boomers use PFM tools differently—Excel and other new online tools for millennials vs. boomers’ use of established tools such as Quicken.

• Millennials tend to track expenses as they happen, not after the fact, and are more focused on creating and managing a budget than their boomer counterparts.

• Nontraditional providers of financial information are getting millennials’ attention by meeting their need for on-the-go, relevant banking information.

PFM and aggregation services (i.e., Mint, Amex) are inserting themselves between the consumer and the financial institution. They’re telling consumers they no longer need to visit financial institution websites to get information and to manage their spending and investments.

• Mobile applications make PFM tools relevant to millennials. To incorporate PFM tools into their daily lives, millennials want access when they’re on the go.

Millennials generally are familiar with PFM mobile applications. Most (60%) have tried at least one such tool or service. Millennials will try new PFM mobile apps—if they’re positioned effectively. To resonate, these services should be free, and effectively consolidate accounts for easy viewing in one place.

Financial institutions will differentiate themselves and add long-term value by looking to the future to meet the millennials where they’re going, not where they are today.

Next: Five steps to attract youth

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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