How to Get Gen Z to Physical Banks

With the rise of mobile banking apps, creating foot traffic to physical banks can prove difficult. As businesses are opening back up and patrons returning to banks, the challenge is incentivizing the newest generation to do the same.

Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2012) is the most tech savvy generation of our time. Getting Gen Z off their phones and into physical banks is an opportunity, not an obstacle.

Gen Z and Banking
Generation Z is growing closer to joining the workforce, thus increasing their need for financial institutions to manage their money. The majority of Gen Z is already using the following forms of banking:
  • Opening their own accounts
  • Joining a parent’s account
  • Setting up savings for the future
  • Taking out school or car loans
Many of these processes are readily available on a bank’s mobile app, a feature that Gen Z is already quickly taking advantage of. This generation has access to financial management at their fingertips.

In terms of mobile banking usage, Gen Z is quickly catching up with the older age brackets. Mobile banking allows for regular maintenance of financial accounts while in-person banking is perceived as a tool for periodic financial repair.

However, Gen Z is more likely to visit in-person banks, outnumbering any other generation before them. Understanding what draws Gen Z to physical banks will be the key to bringing more of the generation into financial institutions.
Mobile Banking Effects
Up to 80% of Gen Z uses mobile banking, keeping pace with Millennials and older generations. Mobile banking allows Gen Z to accomplish many tasks right on their phones, such as:
  • Checking balances
  • Transferring money
  • Paying bills
  • Depositing checks
  • Tracking spending habits
  • Educating themselves on financial literacy
Banks’ mobile apps provide quick access and ease of use for everyday transactions, but some services require an in-person bank visit.

Many banks are closing due to mobile banking, which has decreased foot traffic by 30-50%. This costs countless bank employees their jobs and makes transactions difficult for those who rely on their local bank.

If banks offered more personal and in-depth services, Gen Z would maintain interest in making more bank visits.
What Draws Gen Z to Physical Banks
Getting Gen Z into banks requires offering services that interest them. There are three incentives that bring Gen Zers to physical banks:
  • Free Food
  • Education and Financial Planning
  • Sense of Community
Free Food

While food seems like an odd reason for Gen Z to visit physical banks, it has demonstrable effects on foot traffic.

One study shows that over 30% of Gen Z visits their banks multiple times a week if they are offered food. Some banks are taking this even further and setting up cafes in their banks, either offering free snacks or meals in their cafes.

Education and Financial Planning

As Gen Zers are beginning to open bank accounts and handle their finances, they want to learn more about money management.

Some members of this generation may be apprehensive of visiting in-person banks for fear of facing their financial status. However, there is a correlation between feeling worried about your finances and visiting your bank.

With a large portion of Gen Z seeking education to better their financial status, this is a prime opportunity for bringing them to physical banks. Promoting the services of financial advisors in banks creates a key service for Gen Z.

Sense of Community

Gen Z desires a bank to be a place that fosters a sense of community. Making Gen Zers feel welcome in financial institutions motivates them to become more frequent patrons.

  • Offer the educational services Gen Z desires
  • Promote sign on bonuses to new customers
  • Hold events as a thank you to long-standing members of the institution
Creating reasons to come into the bank will help secure a positive outlook for brick-and-mortar financial institutions. Implementing the above strategies will not only keep Gen Z aware of banks’ services but will incentivize them into becoming and staying customers. This facilitates Gen Z customer retention, expanding banks’ customer base and ultimately, rebranding the bank as an institution for everyone.
Deals and Promotions
Gen Z values deals and promotions as they begin to manage their finances. Combining the prospect of saving money with brand recognition can engage Gen Z, especially if they’re offered sign-on promotions. Loyalty programs are key in retaining their business and keeping their attention.

This demonstrates that Gen Z is becoming more money-conscious. Highlighting the need for physical banking through these promotions shows this generation you care about their money management. 
Archera helps bank and finance executives make smarter marketing decisions by identifying marketing gaps, creating custom strategies to fill in those gaps, and making the most of their resources. By guiding companies to change their approach to marketing decisions, Archera implements a design-thinking, data-driven strategy based on current psychology research and technology behaviors.
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