South Florida bankers try to keep up with Millennials
Written by Katherine Lewin on September 26, 2018
The Millennial generation is banking differently, and banks all over the world, including South Florida, are just trying to keep up with them.
The younger generation is more focused on great benefits, a wide variety of products and services and quick online mobile access to these services. The majority of the Millennial generation don’t want to have to go to a branch to do their banking – they want to have their bank in their phone.
More than one fifth of bank customers between the ages of 18 and 30 have applied for or purchased a mobile banking app in the past year, compared to just 6% of Baby Boomers, according to data from Informa Research Service. One-third of Millennials say they won’t need a bank in the future, according to The Millennial Disruption Index, a survey conducted by Scratch, a unit of Viacom.
“It’s all about staying relevant with technology and making sure the mobile banking app is robust enough, making sure ATM machines offer services beyond cash dispenses such as paying loans and transferring money,” said FirstBank Florida Executive Vice President and Regional Executive Calixto Garcia-Velez. “In a nutshell, it’s a hyper-focus on technology and making sure that our technology and our products and services keep up with the market trends.
“The younger generation very rarely go to a branch,” Mr. Garcia-Velez said. “They don’t need to go to a branch so long as they can self-service and bank remotely. For years, banks have been saying branches are going away. Since the revolution of mobile banking on peoples’ phones, now we’re starting to see a significant decrease in customer branches.”
The younger generation is also more likely to transfer between institutions or have between two to four financial institutions that they work with.
According to Bankrate, studies reveal that millennials are more likely than older consumers to leave their primary bank for another one, and half of US millennials indicated that they would be open to banking with Amazon or Google in an Accenture survey.
Data from Informa Research Service’s SEA Score, which measures member and customer engagement, show that people older than 55 are 37% more likely than Millennials to be loyal to their financial institutions. So Millennials are 63% less loyal than the Baby Boomer generation. Millennials will switch institutions if the benefits offered are not attractive enough – 93% of millennials in a recent Kasasa study say that finding banks that don’t charge any fees is important to them.
At Popular Bank in South Florida, major changes are being made to the physical branches in order to offer more convenience and technology for customers. “By the end of this year, nine out of our 11 branches will be completely transformed,” said Israel Velasco, Florida Regional Executive for Popular Bank.
“When you physically go into any of our branches that have been transformed, there is no teller line. There is a separate platform area where we have universal bankers. Our bankers can take care of a customer with deposits or opening an account, which allows a lot more flexibility. Everything is digital.
“We found that with our younger banking customers, they’re very open to adopting new tools and products and they’re faster at adopting technology and they want convenience,” Mr. Velasco said. “We gave them a lot more tools that they can use to do their banking. They don’t have to walk into a branch. We have the best of both worlds.”