From TikTok to trust: Building relationships with Gen Z

As the influential Gen Z cohort reshapes banking, financial institutions must make major adaptations to attract and serve this group. In an interview Citizens Bank Vice Chairman Brendan Coughlin emphasizes the importance of an 'innovation mindset' and meeting Gen Z consumers where they are digitally.

The banking industry is facing a pivotal generational shift. Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, now makes up a sizable portion of the U.S. population. With their unique behaviors, values and tech fluency, this cohort is set to reshape financial services.

Insider Intelligence reports the projection that at least 4 million Gen Z consumers will open accounts annually through 2026. By 2023, there will be 33.7 million Gen Z mobile banking users in the U.S. Their economic clout is undisputed, with $360 billion in disposable income in 2021 alone.

To capture this vital demographic, banks and credit unions must make major adaptations across products, branding, marketing and value alignment. As Brendan Coughlin, Citizens Bank vice chairman, told Banking Transformed in a recent interview, “You have to have a test-and-learn mindset … you’ve got to be agile, and you’ve got to be fast moving.”

Gen Z exhibits distinct financial behaviors from previous generations. The average Gen Zer saves $857 per month – far surpassing millennials’ $294 in monthly savings, according to Publicis Sapient research.


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