AUSTIN, Texas (4/17/14)--So-called "Gen Y" adults search for mobile tools, rewards programs and cash-back options more than older generations when selecting a financial institution, a Kasasa study released Wednesday found.
Nearly 80% of 18- to 34-year-olds polled said mobile banking is at least "somewhat important" when choosing a bank, according to the survey (MarketWired.com April 16).
About 85% of the same demographic said customizable rewards are at least somewhat important as well, compared with 73% of those between the ages of 35 and 54.
Further, 88% said cash-back programs were at least somewhat important, compared with 74% in the 35-to-54 category and 67% in the 55-and-up category.
Commissioned by BancVue, the Consumer Banking Insights Study surveyed more than 1,000 adults ages 18 and up.
"Attracting younger customers with rewards checking accounts and mobile offerings can help community banks and credit unions increase profits ... by way of heightened, non-interest income and increased account holder engagement and retention," said BancVue CEO Gabe Krajicek.
Also important to Gen Y adults seems to be a recognizable brand name, with 81% of respondents saying that a brand name is at least somewhat important, compared with 68% of those ages 35 to 54.
"Gen Y adults are more likely to respond to brand-name offerings," Krajicek said. "With social media, endless searchable options and new non-bank players entering the banking space, the notion that the customer is king has never been more true than it is now."
Despite 72% of Gen Y adults responding that banking locally is at least somewhat important, about 25% who have checking accounts say they don't use a "community financial institution" because they don't believe a community bank or credit union will offer the same benefits they're getting at their current bank.
And 30% said they don't manage their funds at a credit union or community bank because they've never thought about it, suggesting that community financial institutions need to improve at least their marketing efforts to attract the next generation of consumers (BancVue.com April 16).