Gen Z research reveals financial savvy, counterintuitive banking preferences

BROOKFIELD, WI (November 7, 2017) — New research from Raddon®, a Fiserv company and provider of innovative research, insightful analysis and strategic guidance to financial institutions, reveals several counterintuitive findings on the financial behaviors and preferences of Generation Z.

Generation Z: The Kids Are All Right, based on a survey of more than 2,500 high school students ages 16 to 18, shows members of “Gen Z” are eager for financial education and have done more to further their knowledge of financial matters than preceding generations. Gen Z also shows a notable streak of traditionalism in their banking preferences.

The research finds that 56 percent of Gen Z respondents believe programs or seminars from financial institutions are very or extremely important sources of personal finance information. Boding well for their financial futures, 35 percent of Gen Z have attended a financial education program or seminar, compared to only 12 percent of Millennials, 11 percent of Gen X, and 16 percent of both Baby Boomers and Traditionalists.

“Gen Z will soon step into the spotlight as they begin to enter adulthood and take on the financial responsibility it brings,” said Bill Handel, vice president of research, Raddon. “By taking the time to better understand this generation’s priorities and preferences for moving and managing money, financial service providers have an opportunity to establish relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Digital Natives Anticipate Tech Supplementing Banking

The first generation of true digital natives, Gen Z was born beginning in the year 2000. They have been raised in a world of constant connectivity via mobile devices and social media, are well-versed in digital technology and accustomed to a continual flow of information, all factors that will influence how and where they bank.

Perhaps as a result of their exposure to all things digital, Gen Z is more likely to say they envision a future where technology companies supplement banks or credit unions by providing additional financial services. The study finds 44 percent of Gen Z anticipate supplementing traditional banking services with solutions from technology companies, compared to 37 percent of Millennials, 26 percent of Gen X, 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 10 percent of Traditionalists.

The Three Distinct Segments of Gen Z

The majority of Gen Z are not financial newbies, as 67 percent of survey respondents already have an account at a financial institution, either on their own or jointly with their parents. Another 4 percent have had an account in the past.

Based on their attitudes toward technology, delivery channels, alternative providers and traditional financial institutions, three distinct segments of Gen Z emerge from the research:

  • Conventionals — More than one-third of this generation (34 percent) express a preference for banking much like their grandparents, interacting face-to-face at a bank or credit union. They are distrustful of technology companies entering the banking space to provide financial services.
  • Digitals — Another 37 percent of Gen Z prefer to bank through digital or electronic channels, relying on services such as mobile banking provided by a bank or credit union. While they expect technology companies will impact financial services, they also believe they will still have to rely on traditional providers in the future.
  • Pioneers — Nearly one-third (28 percent) of Gen Z stands on the bleeding edge of technology. They think all financial institutions are the same, want to bank in a way that is most convenient for them, and believe their future financial services needs will be met by an array of providers.

Regardless of segment, communication is key to Gen Z. Winning their business will require services and strategies that speak to their unique experiences and preferences.

An executive summary of the research as well as the full report are available at Results of the study will be presented at the Raddon Research Conference taking place November 6-8 in Chicago.

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) aspires to move money and information in a way that moves the world. As a global leader in payments and financial technology, the company helps clients achieve best-in-class results through a commitment to innovation and excellence in areas including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; payments; e-commerce; merchant acquiring and processing; and the Clover® cloud- based point-of-sale and business management platform. Fiserv is a member of the S&P 500® Index, the FORTUNE® 500, and has been recognized as one of FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies® for 11 of the past 14 years and named among the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company for two consecutive years. Visit and follow on social media for more information and the latest company news.


About Raddon

Raddon, a Fiserv company, has been providing financial institutions with research-based solutions since 1983. Raddon works exclusively with financial institutions and has a unique understanding of the industry, resulting in the ability to apply practical know-how to the challenges and opportunities financial institutions face. Raddon combines best practices in research and analysis with consulting and technology solutions to help institutions achieve sustainable growth and improve financial performance.


Ann Cave
Vice President, External Communications
Fiserv, Inc.

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