Digital Natives, with our fresh enthusiasm, have taken not only to social media, but also to digital and mobile payment options changing the face of financial services and the world. I am one of those so called Millennials, and for me it is very interesting to see how the actions of my peers and me impact everything.
When attempting to define the Millennial generation, Time Magazine labeled it the “Me – Me – Me Generation,” describing Millennials as “maybe the last large birth grouping that will be easy to categorize”. And one thing everyone agrees on is that we are the most digitally active people. I can definitely confirm this point. My generation invented many of today’s most popular social networks and are eager consumers of social media content, increasingly through smartphones, tablets and generally through mobile devices. Shares, re-tweets, likes, followers and posting blogs or pictures are very much a part of our vocabulary and our daily life and have a huge impact on the way we think and decide every day.
This opens new capabilities as well as challenges for financial services companies looking for ways to use social media to develop deeper and long-term relationships with us. For example, a study found that 82% of affluent Millennials look for financial products and services reviews on social media, while 75% would use social media to find information about personal investment, compared to only 44% and 17% of affluent Generation Xers. And yes – we do that. We do our research in Facebook, Twitter, etc.., where we look for given feedback and detailed reviews to compare products. A short example: Last year I decided that I could use a credit card. My first step was to visit the Facebook-Pages of credit card companies and to read reviews and feedback. It is that simple. Yes, you can also search for reviews in search engines but, to be honest, I am screening my social networks the whole day, and it is really easier for me to continue screening postings from other people in social networks.
Creating products that fit optimally into our digital life and meet our longing for comfort is one important way. I love the opportunity of online banking – not being forced to drive all the way to the next branch bank. I would definitely love the opportunity to use Apple Pay in Germany. The other important way is to promote these products efficiently online to win the attention and sympathy of people like me. That is exactly what many successful companies did in the past and they should keep doing so!