Millennials have a novel relationship with money. They save more, in general expect more from their bank, prefer to make payments digitally rather than settling up in cash – although this tendency is now increasingly crossing the age gap as more and more people are making use of digital tools for financial management purposes – and, most markedly, use their mobile devices to carry out transactions. A Harris poll conducted on behalf of US FinTech specialist Fiserv last year indicated revealed that while nowadays a majority of consumers use their computers to access banking services online (on average six times a month), Generation Y-ers have a clear preference for mobile banking applications, which they use eight to nine times per month on average, compared with three times among the rest of the population.One example of a new online banking player is San Francisco-based startup Chime, which claims to offer "smarter banking for the mobile generation" and is on a mission to enable young people to open a bank account without dealing with a bank branch. Chime provides its users with a debit card, a current account and a savings account, avoiding the charges that normally go with the traditional approach to banking. In the same vein, Portland, Oregon-based startup Simple has also set out – as its name suggests – to simplify personal financial management. The Simple app has already won over a large number of customers by doing away with all hidden charges and providing integrated budgeting tools to help younger people manage their outgoings and savings. All these financial management tools, which can be accessed via a mobile app that makes automated money management quick and easy, are aimed specifically at millennials. However, the new players who are steadily transforming the relationship between banks and their customers cannot just take their audience for granted. These days millennials want them to focus more on security and biometrics. Although close to half of all Generation Y-ers in the UnitedStates have adopted mobile banking services, plenty of them also tend to give up using apps of this type due to over-long processing or the difficulty of remembering their passwords.
By Marie-Eléonore Noiré