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Lazy ‘Gen Z’ loves mobile banking

By Claes Bell ·
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Posted: 6 am ET


The next generation after millennials is now old enough to have bank accounts, which means they also have their own set of banking tendencies. Banks want to learn these tendencies so they don't get left behind as this generation gains spending power.

Thanks to a new survey by TD Bank, we now know something about this new group of customers, which the bank calls "Generation Z." Just as you'd expect, they're a little more dependent on mobile banking via smartphone, and a little less wedded to the traditional checking account than older consumers.

But enough of that. As a millennial, it's now my duty to follow in the footsteps of the baby boomers and criticize everything younger generations do, no matter how petty or picayune the grievance, with an amazing lack of self-awareness. Here goes.

  • These lazy Generation Z kids don't even know the value of a trusty checking account. Only 75% of those 17 to 20 years old say they have a checking account, compared with 84% of responsible millennials, and 91% for the general population.
  • Gen Zers never put down their smartphones to, say, have a real conversation with a wise millennial, and that extends to their banking. A whopping 39% of them say they value mobile banking as a feature of a checking account, more than twice the national average, and 41% consider their banking app "essential."
  • Gen Zers can't even be bothered to write a nice check for your birthday or even in front of a long line of people at the grocery store. Almost three-quarters of them say their debit card is "essential" versus 56% nationally, so they probably just swipe their debit cards instead -- while taking a selfie, I bet.

As you can see, Gen Zers' banking habits, like everything they do and say, mark them as self-centered and inferior compared with their older and more seasoned millennial counterparts. This is an insightful and true opinion, and not at all an expression of fear that my generation will lose its cultural relevance at some point and become exactly like our parents -- except maybe a little bit worse.

What do you think? Are Gen Zers going to be substantially different in their banking habits compared with older consumers?

Follow me on Twitter: @claesbell

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October 16, 2015 at 11:34 am