I’m a Financial Advisor Who Knows How Gen Z Banks (It Might Surprise You) (2024)

I’m a Financial Advisor Who Knows How Gen Z Banks (It Might Surprise You) (1)

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Every generation handles finances differently. The unique challenges and opportunities they live through will often define these tendencies.Gen Z, for example, approaches banking from a more technological mindset.

GOBankingRates spoke with Stoy Hall, certified financial planner and CEO of Black Mammoth, and Anne Marie Ferdinando, member outreach manager at Navy Federal Credit Union, to discuss what sets this younger generation apart in terms of their banking habits.

“While members of Gen Z are tech savvy and comfortable with the digital space, they are interested in people, balancing online resources with their desire for in-person interaction with experts in the financial field,” said Ferdinando.

“Due to this, and their understanding of the importance around saving and avoiding debt, I feel that Gen Z will enjoy a higher level of financial success,” she noted. “Having engaging life experiences and peace of mind are the top priorities for this group, and they are very aware of how money management will play an important part in their future.”

Read below for more expert insights on how Gen Z banks.

They’re Focused on Cybersecurity

First and foremost, Gen Z is all about “cyber everything,” said Hall.“Their obsession with cybersecurity and data protection is unparalleled.

“Growing up in a world of digital interconnectedness and constant cyber threats, they have developed an acute awareness of the importance of safeguarding their personal information,” he explained. “This generation expects nothing less than the highest standards in digital security from their financial institutions.”

Hall also noted that they’re not just passive consumers; they actively seek out banks that prioritize cybersecurity and offer robust digital protections.“They scrutinize privacy policies, security measures and data-handling practices before entrusting their money to any institution.”

He says this proactive stance reflects their desire for control and assurance in an era where data breaches and cyberattacks are common. On that same note, he says that they also have a demand for cutting-edge technology.

Integrations with cutting-edge technology, from biometrics like fingerprint and facial recognition to AI-driven fraud detection systems, are non-negotiables for them. They expect banks to employ advanced algorithms that can detect unusual transactions and potential fraud in real-time, providing an additional layer of security.”

They Seek Out Personalized Services

“Personalized service tailored to their unique needs is a game-changer,” Hall said. “Gen Z demands a banking experience that feels personal and customized. Having grown up in an era of hyper-personalized marketing, they expect the same level of individual attention from their banks.”

Hall explained that value alignment is also big on Gen Z’s list of preferences.

Gen Z is highly value-driven. They prefer to bank with institutions that reflect their ethical and social values, such as those committed to environmental sustainability or social justice causes. They are likely to choose banks that support green initiatives, fair trade and other social impact programs, reinforcing their personal values through their financial choices.”

Aside from this, Gen Z are also big on tech-savvy solutions.

“They appreciate digital tools and platforms that provide a seamless and intuitive user experience,” Hall added. “Mobile apps that offer personalized dashboards, spending insights and goal-setting features are particularly appealing to them. These tools help them track their financial health, set savings goals and receive tailored financial tips.”

Finally, Hall noted that this generation expects interactive and responsive customer service, whether through chatbots, social media or in-app messaging.

“They value quick, helpful responses and proactive communication from their banks. They appreciate real-time support options and prefer banks that leverage AI to provide immediate assistance and personalized interactions.”

They’re Into Cryptocurrency

Perhaps most surprisingly, according to Hall, is Gen Z’s embrace of cryptocurrency.

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“‘Crypto, crypto, crypto’ could very well be their mantra,” he said. “While older generations might still be skeptical about the stability and legitimacy of cryptocurrencies, Gen Z dives headfirst into this new financial frontier. They see crypto as not just an investment but as an integral part of their financial ecosystem.”

This isn’t just a passing trend, either. “For Gen Z, crypto represents the future of money. They are drawn to the decentralization, transparency and potential for innovation that cryptocurrencies promise,” Hall said.

He added, “They believe that digital currencies can democratize finance and reduce reliance on traditional financial systems, which they often perceive as outdated or restrictive.”

As early adopters of new technology, Hall says this younger generation is more willing to experiment with and adopt emerging financial instruments. “This open-mindedness sets them apart from older generations who may be more cautious and traditional in their investment approaches.”

Final Note

“In summary, if you think you know how Gen Z banks, think again,” said Hall.“Their approach to banking is defined by a relentless focus on cybersecurity, a demand for personalized service and an enthusiastic adoption of cryptocurrency. Banks that want to win over this generation must adapt and innovate, or risk being left behind.”

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I’m a Financial Advisor Who Knows How Gen Z Banks (It Might Surprise You) (2024)


What is Gen Z looking for in a financial institution? ›

In conclusion, must-haves for Gen Z customers include easy and convenient access to financial products and services, transparent and fair pricing, and a strong focus on digital and mobile banking. In order to engage Generation Z, banks need to understand their particular banking habits and preferences.

What are the banking habits of Gen Z? ›

Gen Z attitudes toward money and finances are sometimes aligned with and sometimes starkly different from those of older generations. Research suggests that Gen Z trusts traditional banks more to secure their data and needs digital services to be exceptional to retain their customers.

What are the financial behaviors of Gen Z? ›

A recent study found that almost half of Gen Z is in debt, including student loan and credit card debt. While much of this debt is manageable, a few Gen Zers are struggling to keep up with their payments.

How can banks attract Gen Z customers? ›

Technology is still a major key to better serving GenZers, and banks which can incorporate digital experiences into their branches stand the best chance of attracting these customers. Self-service tablets, electronic booking, chatbots, and more can all be used to draw GenZ to your brand.

Are Gen Z financially savvy? ›

For example, a new study by the Investment Company Institute (ICI) finds that “Gen Z households have nearly three times more assets in the [retirement] plan accounts (adjusted for inflation) that Gen X households did at the same age.” More Gen Z-ers have retirement plans set up and they've saved more in those accounts.

What are the top 3 categories that Gen Z spends its money on? ›

Major Spending Categories For Gen Z

Gen Z spending habits show they care the most about fashion, makeup and beauty products, technology, and their pets.

What banks are popular with Gen Z? ›

Our digitally native Gen Z (currently aged between 11 and 26) are known for pioneering new trends and having an affinity with socially aware brands. But when it comes to Brand Love, legacy banks have secured their place in Gen Z's Top 10, with Lloyds, Barclays, and NatWest ranking 4th, 5th, and 8th, respectively.

What do Gen Z spend their money on? ›

46% of Gen Z spent more on fashion than anything else in 2022 (5WPR) Gen Z was the only generation to have clothing and fashion as their top spending category. 30% of Gen Z spent more on beauty and personal care than anything else, far more than any other generation.

What are Gen Z most interested in? ›

Gen Zers are more likely to cite streaming video, streaming music, and playing video games as daily activities compared with the general adult population, per a May 2023 Morning Consult survey. They're also less interested in traditional TV and listening to the radio.

Where does Gen Z get their financial advice? ›

In the same survey, 79% of respondents said they have gotten their financial advice from social media. Outside of social media, top sources were family (35%) and internet searches (33%).

How are Gen Z investing their money? ›

Almost half said they knew more about investments than their parents, and about a third said they were very or extremely confident in their ability to make financial decisions. But at the time of the survey, Gen Z's No. 1 investment product was crypto.

Are Gen Z pragmatic and financially minded? ›

They Are Pragmatic and Financially Minded

Financial mindedness is another core characteristic of Generation Z. Many Gen Zers grew up watching their parents take huge financial hits during the Great Recession. Having witnessed their parents' struggles, this generation is driven by pragmatism and security.

What are Gen Z buying behavior? ›

They expect seamless and personalized digital experiences from brands, whether it's through mobile apps, e-commerce websites, or social media channels. Gen Z consumers are adept at conducting online research, reading reviews, and comparing products and prices before making purchasing decisions.

What percentage of Gen Zers prefer online banking? ›

Banking Preferences:

40% of Gen Z prefer to use online banking as their primary method of managing their finances (Varo Money). 63% of Gen Z believe that a bank's mobile app is essential (Business Insider Intelligence).

What are Gen Z looking for in a company? ›

Gen Z employees want to feel valued in the workplace and for the connections that they make with colleagues and managers to feel as personal as possible. Building a positive company culture is key to motivating Gen Z in the workplace.

What is the investment trend for Gen Z? ›

As digital natives, Generation Z investors are comfortable with online investment platforms and mobile apps. They value simplicity, transparency and user-friendly interfaces. Innovation drives Generation Z investment preferences, with a keen interest in emerging technologies, disruptive industries and cryptocurrency.

What is Gen Z looking for in a career? ›

Gen Z's top industry choices are: healthcare and social services, education and professional and business services. Gen Z is more likely to want to work in the federal government than millennials. Millennials' top industry choices are: Education, healthcare and social services, and information technology.

What are millennials looking for in a bank? ›

If a bank offers them the best way of doing that, then they're more likely to use a bank than rely on multiple services. For Millennials, this begins with designing a quality user experience. They want financial products and services that are more streamlined and intuitive.

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