How credit unions can beat fintechs in the war for millennials and Gen Z

Integrity and authenticity are more important than product offerings or even innovation in driving consideration of financial institutions among younger consumers. Too much focus on fintech competition may be misguided.

The accepted wisdom among many in financial services is that younger consumers — more focused on ethics and integrity generally — are more skeptical of financial institutions, and prefer to deal with (or to work for) the most innovative companies.

New research based on input from thousands of consumers around the world basically throws cold water on those two notions.

In a nutshell: Younger people worldwide tend to trust and like banking providers more than older people do. “Purpose”-related factors are more important to most consumers than product offerings and innovation. In fact, innovation ranked lowest pretty much across the board as a consumer preference. Integrity and authenticity are consistently the top drivers of consumer preference in financial providers, including among Millennials and Gen Z.

While in many ways the findings seem counterintuitive, the research, conducted in the first quarter of 2019 by Caliber on behalf of the European Association of Communication Directors, explores how the findings fit a logical pattern.


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